A. Advanced Solar Cell Laboratory
The following are the equipment available in the Laboratory. The equipment are located in the Croom Class 100 facilitation for POCl3, PECVD, and vapour etching systems with electrical connections, gas cabinets, scrubber exhaust, and safety interlocks, air conditioning etc.)
1. POCl3 Installation and Wet Benches
Single tube furnace, standalone unit, three-zone system with 1300C maximum, temperature, digital programmable controllers, two-gas inputs, two gas-cabinets, quartz-tube diameter 8”, length 36 “, complete system with POCl3 hookup, sensors and monitors for safety.
2. PECVD Nitride System
Low temperature deposition of silicon nitride through plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition, PC-interface for RF power, gas flows, and pressures, mass flow controllers, and Advanced Energy PE-2500 Plasma Generator. Wafer sizes in 4”-14” diameter range per run, typical etch rate 400 angstroms per minute.
3. Two Screen Printers
Front and backside solar cell contacts, print area up to 18”16”, solar cell contact mask screens for 4” and 6” diameter wafers, x-y adjustments up to ~ ± 12 mm, repeatability ~ ± 20 m m, rotation adjustment ~± 5-deg, height adjustment ~ 1”, spin speed ~ up to 12” per second, Al and Ag pastes for contacts, one new system, and one used (back surface)
4. Rapid Thermal Annealing Furnace
Back surface field formation, screen-print contact anneal, belt width 9”, length 30-inch, speed 0-6ipm digitally controlled, three-zone, temperature maximum of 1000C, Tungsten filament heating, used equipment.
5. Plasmaless Edge Isolation and Texturing System
Multi-vapour etching system capable of etching 4”-8” wafers, three vapour sources, PC-based, LabVIEW interface, configured for edge isolation and surface texturing, supplied with XeF2 crystals.
6. Plasma Ion Immersion Implantation
One of a kind, BF3 plasma doping system for wafer
Diameters up to 8”, PC-based LabVIEW interface, temperature control, Mass flow controllers, Turbo pump vacuum, and safety features.
7. One-Sun LIV and Spectral Response System
Based on MOS-transistor technology, capable of measuring wide range of powers (~ 0.2 -100 Watt), PC-based LabVIEW interface, spectral response in 0.3-1.2-mm range.
8. Dicing Saw
Automated dicing saw, capable of dicing 4”-6” wafers
9. Module Tester
Based on MOS-transistor technology, capable of measuring wide range of powers (~ 0.2 -100 Watt), PC-based LabVIEW interface, large area
To laminate modules with glass front and glass back, glass and aluminium, glass and tedlar or tefzel-tedlar, or modules with glass or tefzel front and fiberglass back. The platen allows for module laminations of up to 625mm x 625mm (24”x24”).
The lab is capable of producing up to 80 W panel
B. 1.2 kWp Photovoltaic Water Pumping System
The system was a joint project with NEDO of Japan. It consists of solar PV array, inverter and pumping/motor set. The PV array is built up of 28 PV modules arranged in four rows connected in parallel, each row containing seven modules connected in series. The pump/motor is the submersible type designed for long service. Data collected are solar radiation, ambient and water temperature, array output data, inverter output data and performance data such as water flow rate, discharge head and pumped water volume. The overall system performance was 8 %.
C. Solar Car
The UKM solar car has a rated photovoltaic panel capacity of 750 W. The research in solar car applications includes the aerodynamics of the body, material with high strength and light weight, energy management and control systems, and chasis design. The car have entered several solar car tour and managed to obtained top ten positions in the two races that it participated.
D. Photovoltaic Thermal Solar Collectors
The term PVT refers to solar thermal collectors that use PV cells as an integral part of the absorber plate. The system generates both thermal and electrical energy simultaneously. The number of the photovoltaic cells in the system can be adjusted according to the local load demands. In conventional solar thermal system, external electrical energy is required to circulate the working fluid through the system. The need for an external electrical source can be eliminated by using this hybrid system. With a suitable design, one can produces a self-sufficient solar collector system that required no external electrical energy to run the system. The air flowed through the first channel formed by the glass cover and the photovoltaic panel. Next it enters the second channel formed by the back plate and the photovoltaic panel. The first channel has compound parabolic concentrators to concentrate solar radiation. The second channel has fins that transfer the heat from the photovoltaic panel. This flow arrangement and the compound parabolic concentrators as well as the fins will increase heat removal from the photovoltaic panel and will enhanced the efficiency of the system. Experimental results show that the thermal and electrical energy output of the system improves with a double-pass system compared with a single-pass system. It has also been shown that the system with fins always performs better than conventional flat-plate collector. The efficiency increases from 8% to 14% if the fins with density 0.32 cm-1 are added to the flat-plate absorber.
E. Grid-Connected Photovoltaic System
Photovoltaic systems convert sunlight into direct electrical current. There are two types of photovoltaic systems for building applications. These types are stand-alone and grid-connected systems. As their names imply, these systems are distinguished by their interaction with the electric utility. Since stand-alone systems are not connected with the utility, any electricity that cannot be used by on-site loads must be stored or dissipated. With the grid-connected systems, this excess electricity can be fed back to the grid.
F. Solar Hydrogen Production System
Electrolysis is the most developed technology for producing hydrogen from water, which can be operated by means of solar energy. Hydrogen has been regarded as the future fuel. The product of combustion of hydrogen is water, which can be recycled to produced hydrogen by means of electrolysis. Hydrogen can be converted directly into electricity in fuel cells, modified IC engines run on hydrogen and power plants can use steam, which is produced in hydrogen steam generators, during peak load periods. Even airplanes are being developed to run on liquid hydrogen, which is especially advantageous because of its high energy content by weight. Hydrogen would be collected, stored and distributed both gaseous and liquid as a pollution free fuel that can be converted into other energy forms at high efficiencies. The main components are the photovoltaic panel, the energy storage batteries, voltage regulator, electrolyzer and hydrogen storage tank.
G. Solar Hydrogen Eco House
Energy systems of future will have to be cleaner and much more efficient, flexible, and reliable than they are today in order to ensure Malaysia’s energy security and environmental viability. Hydrogen is a clean and sustainable form of energy that can be used in mobile and stationary applications and is the answer to satisfying many of our energy needs while reducing (and eventually eliminating) carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, making up more that 90% of all matter. The solar hydrogen eco-house combines the low energy architectural features such shading, daylighting and passive air movements with a solar hydrogen production system. These combinations will pave way to a futuristic sustainable, environment friendly, and bioclimatic residential dwellings. Sunlight hits the photovoltaic panels, which convert solar energy into electricity. This electricity will be use to run an electrolyzer that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen gas is vented to the atmosphere and the hydrogen gas is stored in a storage tank. The hydrogen can be use to run a fuel cell, cooking stove, and boiler for the absorption air conditioning system. The photovoltaic panel generates electricity and delivers to the grid if the hydrogen tank is full or none of the above apparatus in operation.
H. Solar Panel Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT)
Solar panel maximum power point tracker is a component of photovoltaic system that operates the photovoltaic array at its maximum power point. The maximum power point varies depending on cell temperature and the present insulation level. Therefore, a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) is implemented to control the variation of the current-voltage characteristics in the solar panel. The objectives of the research are: to ensure that PV system operates close to maximum power point when it is subjected to change due to the tropical environmental conditions; to provide high energy conversion efficiency in solar car electrical power conversion system; to maintain tracking for wide range of variations in tropical environmental conditions; and to provide an output interface that compatible with battery charging requirements.
I. Hybrid Systems
The hybrid system is a very efficient means of energy generation. Different forms of energy sources can be combined. A hybrid wind photovoltaic system has been developed. The system consists of four 60 Wp photovoltaic panels, 60 W wind turbine, the charger-controller for controlling the charging and discharging of the battery and a battery bank for storing the electric energy generated for later use.
J. Solar Cell Fabrication and Characterization
The UKM solar cell group has produced the first solar cells since the early 80s. Several facilities for producing and characterization of solar cells are available. This include electron gun for sample preparation, screen printing facilities, furnace for junction development for layers of p and n absorption into the substrate, determination of IV curves and fill factor.
K. Combined Solar Powered Autofeeder, Lighting and Aeration System
Regular timing for fish feeding and aeration system are very important in increasing the productivity of the fishing industry. Moreover, overfeeding of fish must be avoided. A combined hybrid solar autofeeder for fish farming has been developed. The unit integrates lighting, aeration and automatic fish feeding system into one combined unit suitable for remote application. These three in one innovative features will also increase the security for such unit if placed in remote areas. The unit requires replacement of batteries after 3 years. Furthermore, for a typical fish farm with 10 units of the combined system, the payback period is approximately 3 years.
L. Hybrid Wind Solar Lighting System
A combined solar and wind energy system for street lighting suitable for remote as well any other standalone applications has been developed. Solar power and wind power can compliment each other very well through out the year. Typically, during daytime, suns radiation is used to generate energy via the solar panels and wind is typically weak. At night, there is no solar radiation to generate energy from the photovoltaic but the wind strengthens to generate energy via the turbine.
M. Low Cost Single Axis Automated Sunlight Tracker
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