New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Solar Panel Efficiency

Team: 84

School: McCurdy High

Area of Science: photovoltaics

Interim: Question: Will adding a heat transfer material to a solar photovoltaic panel lessen the voltage losses that a solar panel incurs when it heats up?

Hypothesis: The addition of .300 bullet casings will lessen the voltage losses of a solar photovoltaic panel by drawing more heat off the solar panel than by any other casings, nails, or the absence of a heat transfer material.

Objective: To make several different heat transfer setups using "cartridge brass" bullet casings of different calibers and different sizes of steel nails to draw off built-up heat on a solar panel. In doing so, the solar panels will lose less voltage, and make them as efficient as possible.

Background: Solar Photovoltaic cells are one of many different ways to produce energy. Compared to gas energy power plants, solar panels cost more than five times as much to generate the same amount of power (refer to chart).

I plan to use a computer model to show the information and data, maybe excel? With the help of a mentor I plan to learn how to use a computer program.

Team Members:

  Mirella Galvan-DeLaCruz

Sponsoring Teacher: Chelsea Felker

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