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Development of Sustainable Power for Electrical Resources – SuPER System . EE 563 Graduate Seminar September 30, 2005 James G. Harris, Professor EE Department and CPE Program. Outline. Background Technical Description of SuPER System Feasibility Analysis Five Year Plan for Development

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development of sustainable power for electrical resources super system

Development of Sustainable Power for Electrical Resources – SuPER System

EE 563 Graduate Seminar

September 30, 2005

James G. Harris, Professor

EE Department and CPE Program

  • Background
  • Technical Description of SuPER System
  • Feasibility Analysis
  • Five Year Plan for Development
  • Faculty Participating in SuPER Project
  • Student Involvement
  • Facilities, Equipment, and Resources
  • Status and Plans
background electrification
Background - Electrification
  • Electrification – National Academy of Engineering’s top engineering achievement for the 20th Century
  • Estimated 1/3 of population (now, 6B) do not have access
    • Significant proportion of remainder does not have reliable access to battery or grid
    • 18,000 occupied structures on Navajo Nation lack electrical power (2001 legislation)
background significance
Background - Significance
  • Impact of electrification significant
    • Transformation of Western world
      • Thomas Hughes: Networks of Power
    • People who caused change
    • Social Impact – standard of living
  • Recognized by National Renewable Energy Laboratory in late 1990s
    • Village Power Program
    • Development of microfinancing
background solar insolation
Background – Solar Insolation
  • Goal to provide electrical resources to people in underdeveloped countries
  • Leapfrog technology – no need for 100 years of development
    • Example of cell phone in Asia
  • Review of global insolation map
    • Poorest people ($1-2 a day income)
    • Within plus or minus 30 degree of latitude
      • Highest values of solar insolation (minimum W hr/sq m/day)
background dc power
Background – DC Power
  • Solar photovoltaic systems inherently DC
  • History of DC (Edison) versus AC (Westinghouse and Tesla) at end of 19th century
    • DC versus AC for generation, distribution, and utilization
    • Initially, applied to lighting
  • Lighting today
    • 60W incandescent bulb and 20W compact fluorescent bulb lumens
    • Equivalent to 3W LED technology, and improving
background dc power loads
Background – DC power loads
  • Efficiency of electrical motors: few horsepower
    • Permanent magnet DC motors
  • Electrical appliances
    • Computer: 50W laptop (DC)
    • TVs, radios use DC power
    • RV 12V DC market: kitchen appliances
    • Portable power tools – battery powered (DC)
  • Computers: wireless connection
    • Internet, phone (voice over IP), TV, radio,
    • Education: MIT Media Lab $100 laptop project
background moore s law
Background – Moore’s Law
  • Stand-alone solar photovoltaic system technology is mature, e.g., Sandia Handbook
  • Application of Moore’s Law to development of SuPER system
    • Solar cell development: commercial and research lab
      • Estimate 5% per decade with base of 16% in 2005
      • Implies 25% efficiency in 2025
    • DARPA RFP: 1000 units of 50% efficiency

Commercial Module Range Laboratory Cells

Histories of Silicon Photovoltaic Module and Cell Efficiencies

Ref.: Martin A. Green; "Silicon Photovoltaic Modules: A Brief History of the First 50 Years"; Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 2005; 13:447–455 (Published online 18 April 2005 in Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/pip.612)


April Allderdice and John H. Rogers; Renewable Energy for Microenterprise; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; November 2000


Antonio C. Jimenez, Tom Lawand; Renewable Energy for Rural Schools;

National Renewable Energy Laboratory; November 2000


Jonathan O.V. Touryan and Kenell J. Touryan; Renewable Energy for Sustainable Rural Village Power; Presented at the American Scientific Affiliation Conference Arkansas August 1, 1999

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

background solar and dc power
Background – Solar and DC Power
  • Conclusion
    • Solar photovoltaic is poised for leapfrog technology
      • Many development tools available
      • Expectation of future efficiencies
      • Sustainable power source
      • Digital control of standalone system
    • DC is power of future
      • Decentralized
      • Matched to source and loads
technical description of super system

Solar Panel

Control and Status

DC Interface

Energy Storage (Battery)

Technical Description of SuPER System
  • Modular design: four subsystems
  • Stand-alone solar photovoltaic system design very mature
technical description of super system approach and goals
Technical Description of SuPER System – approach and goals
  • Approach to design from first principles
  • Created set of five sets of requirements
    • Overall, and a set for each subsystem
  • Overall goal:
    • Mean time between failures (MTBF): 25 years
    • Mean time to repair (MTTR): 1 hour
    • Design lifecycle of 20 years
    • Cost: less than $500 for 1 sq m PV module including battery replacements
technical description of super system requirements
Technical Description of SuPER System - requirements
  • Overall system requirements (abbreviated)
    • Total power/energy budget: input, storage, output
    • Measurements and definition of state
    • Safety: NEC/standards code, grounding
    • Mechanical design: enclosure/packaging
    • Startup and shutdown, error detection/recovery
    • Documentation: General Public License (Open Source)
technical description of super system requirements18
Technical Description of SuPER System - requirements
  • Solar Panel requirements (abbreviated)
    • Size: 1, 2, 4 sq m modular design
    • Voltage (DC); 12V, 24V, 48V
    • Fixed tilt @ latitude + or – 15 deg
    • Modularity: parallel/series, interface DC sources
    • Maintenance
    • Measurements: voltage/current; spectral and temporal characterization; temperature
technical description of super system requirements19
Technical Description of SuPER System - requirements
  • Energy storage requirements (abbreviated)
    • Type: deep cycle, AGM-gel, Ni-Cd
    • Maintenance minimal (clean terminals)
    • Replacement schedule: every 5-10 years
    • Safety and sustainability
    • Measurements: charging and discharging
    • Grounding and mechanical
technical description of super system requirements20
Technical Description of SuPER System - requirements
  • DC interface requirements (abbreviated)
    • Single or multiple DC outputs: model of AC 110V input service bus with multiple circuits
    • Currents: use of AWG 12 or 14 implies 15A
    • Circuit breakers, GFI, overload for motors
    • Characterization of DC electrical loads
    • Modular design for load growth
    • Forum for DC standarization: model of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
technical description of super system requirements21
Technical Description of SuPER System- requirements
  • Control and status module requirements (abbreviated)
    • Digital development technology: example is Altera FPGA/NIOS with uclinux OS, internet I/F
    • Switching of array power with conditioning
    • User display/interface
    • Digital control algorithms: maximum power point tracking (MPPT), softstart for power switching
    • Safety and grounding
    • Enclosure with environmental conditioning
feasibility analysis
Feasibility Analysis
  • Worst case global solar radiation: 4 KW h / sq m per day
  • Solar cell efficiency of 10% yields 400 W h / sq m
  • Solar module of 1 sq m for 400 W h per day
  • Energy storage at 12V with discharge of 50% yields 66 A h battery
    • Car/truck battery
    • Five year replacement
feasibility analysis23
Feasibility Analysis
  • Lighting: 5 LED lamps @ 3W for 4 hours yields 60 W h
  • Water pump: ¼ HP (187 W) for one hour
    • 565 liters at maximum heigth of 7.62 m (garden hose)
  • Computer and communication: 50 W for one hour
  • Refrigerator (12V DC) @ 50 W h
  • Portable battery charging @ 50 W h
feasibility analysis24
Feasibility Analysis

Daily Source (W h)

Solar energy production 400

Total energy use allocation 397

Lighting 60

Pump/motor 187

Computer/communications 50

Refrigerator 50

Portable battery charging 50

Energy storage: 12V AGM lead acid battery rated at 66 A h

(one day supply for 50% discharge)

feasibility analysis25
Feasibility Analysis
  • Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS)
    • SunWize Systems model DC30 75/100
    • Manufacturer suggested retail price $1469
    • Solar power generator system
      • Self-contained 12V DC with battery storage
      • 190 W h with input solar radiation of 4 K w h / day
      • Marketed for emergency power applications
      • AC output models available
five year plan for development
Five Year Plan for Development
  • Summary of development process
    • First three years for prototype development
      • Three generations at one year for each
      • Use of Electric Power Institute for administration
    • Last two years for field testing
    • Five years for completed design and testing
      • Includes business plan, documentation and dissemination
five year plan for development27
Five Year Plan for Development
  • First year activities
    • First generation functional design
      • Use of 20-101 power senior project lab
      • Set up development environment
        • FPGA and uclinux OS
      • Using EE/CPE senior project and thesis
      • Prototype goal: satisfy all functional requirements
    • Marketing plans with OCOB students
      • Winter 06 client for BUS 454 Developing and Presenting Marketing Plans/Senior Project
        • At least three marketing plans proposed:
          • USA investors for SuPER development
          • Indigenous entrepreneurs business opportunity
          • Indigenous consumers for SuPER system
five year plan for development28
Five Year Plan for Development
  • Second year activities
    • Second generation prototype addressing:
      • modularity, manufacturing, reliability, maintainability, cost, packaging
    • Development of involvement of student clubs
    • Extensive system testing and evaluation
    • Initiation of business plan
    • Establishment of DC standards forum
five year plan for development29
Five Year Plan for Development
  • Third year of activities
    • Third generation SuPER prototype addressing:
      • Packaging
      • Satisfies all functional and performance requirements
      • Cost requirements satisfied
      • Extensive testing and evaluation
    • Complete open source documentation of SuPER System: GPL compliant
    • Growth of DC standard forum development activities
    • Business plans disseminated
      • Targeted entrepreneurs within countries of interest
    • Plan for field testing in fourth year
      • Potential of Navajo Nation developed
five year plan for development30
Five Year Plan for Development
  • Fourth and fifth year of activities:
    • Assessment of SuPER system
      • Improvement of design and construction
      • MTBF of 25 years, MTTR of 1 hour
      • 20 year lifecycle cost < $500
      • Update of SuPER system open source documentation
    • Pilot projects initiated and evaluated
    • DC standards forum publishes DC standard
    • Revised business plan disseminated
faculty participating on super project
Faculty Participating on SuPER Project
  • Administrated by Electric Power Institute
    • Dr. Ahmad Nafisi, Director
  • Collaboration with CENG Center for Sustainability in Engineering
    • Dr. Deanna Richards, Director
  • EE/CPE faculty initially involved:
    • Drs. James G. Harris, Ahmad Nafisi, Ali Shaban, Taufik
  • OCOB faculty initially involved:
    • Dr. Doug Cerf, Associate Dean
    • Dr. Norm Borin, Chair of Marketing Area
student involvement
Student Involvement
  • EE graduate students for thesis work in system engineering
    • Overall system requirements, design, integration and testing
    • System design for status and control
  • EE and CPE students for senior projects in subsystem development
    • Design and testing of subsystems
  • OCOB students for senior projects in BUS 454 for marketing plans
  • Development of a Cal Poly SuPER team
student involvement33
Student Involvement
  • Initially work with resources available
    • Adequate for start, just lengthens schedule
  • Plan to acquire support for not only additional resources, but also students
  • Faculty to provide continuing direction through “generations” of students working on SuPER project
facilities equipment and resources
Facilities, Equipment and Resources
  • Solar panel system available in EE Department – see photo
  • Development laboratory to be established in power senior project laboratory (20-101)
  • Resources of Power Electronics Laboratory available (20-104)
  • Basic infrastructure for system development exists at Cal Poly

450-W 24-V Solar Panels on mobile station, 40-Amp charge controller, Solar Boost MPPT, and 2 Deka Solar Sealed Electrolyte Batteries; lab also has a 3.5 kW Outback All-In-One (MPPT, Charge Controller, and Inverter) to accommodate future expansion of the solar panel system.

status and plans foundations
Status and Plans - foundations
  • Support solicited over summer from foundations:
    • MacArthur
    • Rockefeller Brothers
    • Energy Foundation
    • Ford
    • Hewlett
    • Packard
    • Clairborne (Liz) and Art Ortenbery
    • Gates
    • Kaufman
  • “it does not fall within either of their current funding priorities and/or guidelines.”
status and plans nsf
Status and Plans - NSF
  • Submitted proposal to National Science Foundation on September 23, 2005
    • RUI: Development of Sustainable Power for Electrical Resources – SuPER System
    • Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Program Announcement within its Faculty Research Projects area for three years and total of $240K
    • Submitted to Control, Networks & Computation Intelligence (CCNI) program within Electrical & Communications and Systems (ECS) Division of the Engineering Directorate
status and plans start
Status and Plans - start
  • Initiate the effort with existing resources
    • Senior projects and thesis work
      • Engineering – technical
      • Business – economic
    • Establish DC web-based forum
    • Continue to involve other faculty and students
why broader impact of super project
Why? Broader Impact of SuPER Project
  • Provides family owned electrical power source
    • Only electrical power source for family
    • Increasing power resource with time
    • With financial business plan: $2-3 per month for all electrical power needs
  • Decentralized, sustainable development of electrical power in poorest countries
  • SuPER system potential resource for raising standard of living of poorest to par with rest of world
broader impact
Broader Impact
  • Priority and focus on developing sustainable electrical resource for poorest people
  • Success will provide model for people in developed nations
    • Recognize commitment to status quo
    • Centralized AC power generation with distribution
    • Review current PG&E bill
    • Replace with sustainable distributed DC power
interested in participating
Interested in Participating?
  • Check out SuPER website:
    • Announcement of opportunities
    • White Paper
    • Graduate Seminar Presentation
  • Visit with faculty involved:
    • EE: Jim Harris, Ahmad Nafisi, Ali Shaban, Taufik
    • OCOB: Doug Cerf, Norm Borin
  • 1. George Constable, Bob Somerville; A Century of Innovation: Twenty Engineering Achievements that Transformed our Lives; National Academy of Engineering; 2003; overview available at
  • 2. Jonathan O.V. Touryan, Kenell J. Touryan; "Renewable Energy for
  • Sustainable Rural Village Power";Presented at the American Scientific Affiliation
  • Conference ArkansasAugust 1999, available from NREL as NREL/CP-720-26871
  • [hybrid system for nrel village power program report
  • 3. Begay-Campbell, Sandia National Laboratories; "Sustainable Hybrid System Deployment with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority"; NCPV and Solar Program Review Meeting 2003 NREL/CD-520-33586 Page 541; available at [estimated date 2003, describes program resulting from "On November 5, 2001, President Bush signed the Navajo Nation Electrification Demonstration Program (Section 602, Public Law 106-511) into Law. This law directs the Secretary of Energy to establish a 5-year program to assist the Navajo Nation in meeting its electricity needs for the estimated 18,000 occupied structures on the Navajo Nation that lack electric power."]
  • 4. Thomas P. Hughes; Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983
  • 5. Thomas P. Hughes; American Genesis A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm 1870-1970; Penguin Books; 1989
  • 6. David Nye; Electrifying America Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940; MIT Press; 1990
  • 7. Antonio C. Jimenez, Tom Lawand; "Renewable Energy for Rural Schools"; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; November 2000
  • [report from village power program at nrel – covers all renewable sources]
  • 8. April Allderdice, John H. Rogers; Renewable Energy for Microenterprise; NREL: November 2000; available from
  • [microfinance introduction for renewable energy in underdevelopment countries]
  • 9. Ulrich Stutenbaumer, Tesfaye Negash, Amensisa Abdi; "Performance of small scale photovoltaic systems and their potential for rural electrification in Ethiopia"; Renewable Energy 18 (1999) pp 35-48
  • [authored by locals, but dated – example of early recognition of possibilities]
  • 10. Sunwize Technologies;; insolation map available at
  • [on-line catalog and interactive planning support; global insolation map]
  • 11. Evan Mills; "The Specter of Fuel-Based Lighting"; Science; v. 308, 27 May 2005, pp 1263-1264
  • 12. E. Fred Schubert, Jong Kyu Kim; "Solid-State Light Sources Getting Smart"; Science; v. 308, 27 May 2005, pp 1274-1278
  • 13. Thurton, J.P. and Stafford, B; "Successful Design of PV Power Systems for Solid-State Lighting Applications"; Fourth International Conference on Solid State Lighting; 3-6 August, 2004, Denver. Colorado / Proc. of SPIE; v. 5530; 2004; pp284-295
  • [mainly lessons learned]
  • 14. MIT Media Lab;
  • 15. Sandia National Laboratories, Solar Programs and Technologies Department; Southwest Technology Development Institute, New Mexico State University; Daystar, Inc., Las Cruces, NM; "Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Systems: A Handbook of Recommended Design Practices"; Sandia National Laboratories, SAND87-7023 Updated July 2003
  • [revised handbook first published in 1988]
  • 16. Kyocera Solar, Inc., Solar Electric Products Catalog , August 2005
  • [available on web – prices for small modules only]
  • 17. IEA PVPS International Energy Agency Implementing Agreement on Photovoltaic Power Systems Task 3 Use of Photovoltaic Power Systems in Stand-Alone and Island
  • Applications Report IEA PVPS T3-09: 2002 "Use of appliances in Stand-Alone PV Power supply systems: problems and solutions; September 2002
  • [dos and don'ts for design]
  • 18. Alison Wilshaw, Lucy Southgate & Rolf Oldach; "Quality Management of Stand Alone PV Systems: Recommended Practices" IEA Task 3,
  • [another report of iea agreement]
  • 19. Martin A. Green; "Silicon Photovoltaic Modules: A Brief History of the First
  • 50 Years"; Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 2005; 13:447–455 (Published online 18 April 2005 in Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/pip.612)
  • [history and use of moore's law with darpa rfp; also figure]
  • 20. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BAA05-21 posted Feb. 25, 2005 RFP—Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) program announcement with deadline on 3/29/2005, which will be open at least a year from this date; see
  • 21. H. Spanggaard, F.C. Krebs; "A brief history of the development of organic and
  • polymeric photovoltaics"; Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 83 (2004) 125–146
  • [overview in context of inorganic (si) pv's)
  • 22. T. Givler, P. Lilienthal; "Using HOMER® Software, NREL’s Micropower Optimization Model, to Explore the Role of Gen-sets in Small Solar Power Systems Case Study: Sri Lanka"; Technical Report NREL/TP-710-36774; May 2005.
  • 23. David L. King, Thomas D. Hund, William E. Boyson, Mark E. Ralph, Marlene Brown, Ron Orozco; "Experimental Optimization of the FireFly. 600 Photovoltaic Off-Grid System"; Sandia National Laboratories, SAND2003-3493 October 2003
  • [system and component test with ac inverter; measurement parameters; standards and codes identified, e.g., grounding]
  • 24. R. Akkaya*, A. A. Kulaksiz; "A microcontroller-based stand-alone photovoltaic power system for residential appliances"; Applied Energy 78 (2004) 419–431; available at
  • [microbased control, but focused on AC output]
  • 25. Angel V. Peterchev, Seth R. Sanders; "Digital Loss-Minimizing Multi-Mode Synchronous Buck Converter Control"; 2004 35th Annual IEEE Power Electronics Specialists Conference Aachen, Germany, 2004
  • [dc to dc for cell phone/computer using digital techniques]
  • 26. Jason Hatashita, "Evaluation of a Network Co-processing Architecture Implemented in Programmable Hardware." EE MS Thesis, February 2002; available at
  • 27. Homepage for Cal Poly Marketing Program: ; see client application in lower right hand space
  • 28. EE 460/463/464 Senior Seminar/Senior Project Handbook available at:
  • 29. Muhammad H. Rashid; Power Electronics: Circuits, Devices and Applications(3rd Edition); Prentice-Hall; 2004