Optimizing the Output of a Solar Panel Using Reflectors.
Acham Okiria, Charity
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Solar energy is a clean source of energy but, it is considered insufficient, even for domestic use, since it usually produces a low output than is necessary to run the available electrical needs. As such, it is typical to invest in it heavily by buying more panels to generate more energy to satisfy the available needs. This insufficient energy is partly due to the low input received by the solar panel and hence a small amount of output. In this project, the output of a solar panel has been increased with the aid of reflectors. A reflector, when set up near or attached to a solar panel, can reflect sun rays to the solar panel, and in this way, it increases the input of the panel. However, the reflector has to be strategically positioned so that the reflected rays hit the panel during most of the daylight hours. A mathematical model was created for this setup, taking into consideration the optimal tilt angle of a panel in Uganda, and it was tested practically by placing the prototype under the sun. Since the model indirectly aimed at reducing the heavy investment put into meeting electrical energy needs with the use of solar panels, it was tested with more than one reflector to provide options of more affordable reflectors, however, they came with varying efficiencies.