Open solar photovoltaic systems optimization
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The Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC) is an applied research centre at St. Lawrence College.
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Joshua M. Pearce, Adegboyega Babasola, Rob Andrews, “Open Solar Photovoltaic Systems Optimization” Proceedings of the 16th Annual National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Conference, Open 2012, pp. 1-7. open access
A partnership has formed between eighteen organizations to produce the Open Solar Outdoors Test Field (OSOTF), which has been designed to provide critical data and research on solar photovoltaic (PV) systems optimization in the public domain. Unlike many other projects, the OSOTF is organized under open source principles. All data and analysis when completed will be made freely available to the entire photovoltaic community and the general public. This paper documents how the teamwork between educational institutions and industry has resulted in one of the largest systems in the world for this detailed level of analysis of PV systems performance in real-world conditions. The challenges to this approach will be addressed and appropriate models for garnering industrial team work will be discussed. Conclusions will be drawn on how to scale other opportunities for the sharing of data to assist in improved optimization of socially-beneficial appropriate technologies.