New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Solar Effeciency Across America

Team: 4

School: AIMS@UNM

Area of Science: Environmental


Interim: Problem Definition:

The current trend in American energy usage is unsustainable. Many alternative energy solutions, such as solar, wind, and geothermal energies, have been examined, but never implemented on a large scale. Our team is creating a program that should show a rough projection of what will happen should solar energy be implemented on a large scale.

Problem Solution:
Our program, which will be written in C++, will be given a location as general as a state or as specific as a zip code. The program will then examine weather patterns in the area, and recalculate how effecient a typical solar panel will be if placed in that area. We will then project that data onto a larger solar panel array, and examine how much power that will produce. Specifically, the program will look into how much power would be generated were solar panels to be placed on every rooftop.

Progress to Date:
The team working on this is largely new to programming, so much of our first semester was dedicated to learning the basics of C++ and outlining the structure of our program. Currently, the program can take an area in square meters, and output how much power would be generated yearly from that area. We are currently gathering data on the weather conditions per state, and are assembling that data into a file readable by the program.

Expected Results:
The program in its final state should be able to receive a location, then output the cost of putting a solar panel on ever rooftop, how long it would take for the energy savings to equal this cost, the total area of the solar grid, and the total energy output.

Team Members: Charlie Rhykerd, Jared Kileen, Frankie Hendrick

Sponsoring Teacher: Andrew Hostetler


Team Members:

  Jared Kileen
  Charlie Rhykerd

Sponsoring Teacher: Andrew Hostetler

Mail the entire Team

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