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Part of MOST literature reviews
Type Literature review
Keywords photovoltaics, Green IT
Authors Ben Mitchell
Dan Hein
Sai Ravi Chandra
Jarod Maggio
Published 2011
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Impact Number of views to this page. Views by admins and bots are not counted. Multiple views during the same session are counted as one. 5,710
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Return to main project page: Stand-alone solar photovoltaic powered high-speed wireless Internet access

Search terms[edit | edit source]

  • Ultra capacitors
  • MPPT
  • Bi-Directional converter
  • Photovoltaic systems mechanical design
  • Portable photovoltaic system
  • Solar cell wifi design
  • Photovoltaics and GIS
  • Stand alone systems and GIS
  • GIS and internet availability
  • SAPPS and GIS
  • Geographical modeling and photovoltaics

Journals[edit | edit source]

  • International Conference on Renewable Energies and Power Quality
  • Solar Energy
  • Journal of Photovoltaics
  • Solar Energy Engineering
  • Renewable Energy
  • Energy and Buildings
  • International Journal of Sustainable Development
  • Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems
  • Building Services Engineering Research and Technology
  • Energy Policy
  • Papers in Regional Science
  • Journal of Sustainable Development
  • Applied Energy
  • Transactions in GIS
  • Government Information Quarterly

Popular literature[edit | edit source]

Meraki Introduces First Solar Powered Outdoor WiFi Access Kit

Solar Powered WiFi

JES Solar Powered Wireless

SolarNetOne: Solar-powered networking for anyone


Wireless System Architecture: How Wireless Works

Wireless Networking in the Developing World

Photovoltaic Geographical Information System (PVGIS)

Peer-reviewed literature[edit | edit source]

Andrew, Burke. Ultracapacitors: why, how, and where is the technology Journal of Power Sources 91.1 (2000): 37–50. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.[edit | edit source]

Abstract This paper covers all the basics of Ultra capacitors from why we need them, their advantages, their working and a detailed comparison of various features of Ultra capacitors with that of batteries. Various concerns like the cost issues and the manufacturing problems of the technologies involved are discussed.The present status and the future scope of the technology is also covered.

Chan, Marco S. W., K. T. Chau, and C. C. Chan.Effective Charging Method for Ultra capacitors Journal of Asian Electric Vehicles 3.2 (2005): 771–776. Print.[edit | edit source]

Abstract A charging circuit for Ultra capacitors has been proposed, disadvantages of using common charging methodologies like linear regulators, current transducers and closed loop circuitry for current control have been cited and the use of PWM (pulse width modulation) has been made in the circuit the circuit is basically open loop thereby limiting any stability problems. Theoretical and practical demonstrations of the circuit have been shown and studied.

Xue, Jinhui et al. Technology Research Of Novel Energy Storage Control For The PV Generation System Power and Energy Engineering Conference, 2009. APPEEC 2009. Asia-Pacific. 2009. 1 –4.[edit | edit source]

Abstract Recent years, technologies for new energy have developed rapidly since the energy crisis and the environmental pollution got worse. And the solar energy generation technology tends towards the stage of a large number of applications in engineering from the research stage. This paper designed a grid-connected PV system firstly, then introduced the operation principle of the various parts as well with the control strategy of the power flow. The design of energy storage is of great significance as the output power of PV cells array is greatly affected by the light intensity and the temperature change. Battery is used as the energy storage device normally in the traditional energy storage system. In this paper, it used the Ultracapacitor as the energy storage device after comparing with the battery, and designed the charge-discharge control strategy according to the characteristics of the ultracapacitor. Finally it verified the feasibility of the energy storage control strategy through the simulation models which was built based on the PSCAD/EMTDC platform.

Li, Nan, Jiancheng Zhang, and Yun Zhong. A novel charging control scheme for super capacitor energy storage in photovoltaic generation system Electric Utility Deregulation and Restructuring and Power Technologies, 2008. DRPT 2008. Third International Conference On. 2008. 2671 –2675.[edit | edit source]

Abstract A control scheme is described to charge series-connected super capacitors for photovoltaic generation systems. Based on the features of the super capacitors charge, the control scheme consists of three modes, i.e., the constant current charge mode, the constant power charge mode, and the constant voltage charge mode. The shift of three modes can be realized by controlling the duty of IGBT in the Boost-Buck converter system. Meanwhile, the high voltage, which is more suitable for application, can be obtained. Compared with the normal charge method with series-connected current-limiting resistance and the charge method with the constant current charge mode and the constant voltage charge mode, the proposed charging control scheme can shorten the charging time and improve the usage of the electric power generated from the PV arrays. The advantage described above is verified by simulations.

Kim, Younghyun et al. Maximum power transfer tracking for a photovoltaic-supercapacitor energy system Low-Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED), 2010 ACM/IEEE International Symposium On. 2010. 307 –312. Print.[edit | edit source]

Abstract It is important to maintain high efficiency when charging electrical energy storage elements so as to achieve holistic optimization from an energy generation source (e.g., a solar cell array) to an energy storage element (e.g., a supercapacitor bank). Previous maximum power point tracking (MPPT) methods do not consider the fact that efficiency of the charger varies depending on the power output level of the energy generation source and the state of charge of the storage element. This paper is the first paper to optimize the efficiency of a supercapacitor charging process by utilizing the MPPT technique and simultaneously considering the variable charger efficiency. More precisely, previous MPPT methods only maximize the power output of the energy generation source, but they do not guarantee the maximum energy is stored in the energy storage element. Note that the load device takes its energy from the storage element so it is important to maximize energy transfer from the source into the storage element. We present a rigorous framework to determine the optimal capacitance of a supercapacitor and optimal configuration of a solar cell array so as to maximize the efficiency of energy transfer from the solar cells into a bank of supercapacitors. Experimental results show the efficacy of the proposed technique and design optimization framework.

Li, Yangyang, T.D. Todd, and Dongmei Zhao. Access point power saving in solar/battery powered IEEE 802.11 ESS mesh networks Quality of Service in Heterogeneous Wired/Wireless Networks, 2005. Second International Conference On. 2005. 5 pp. –49.[edit | edit source]


IEEE 802.11 access point (AP) power saving is an important feature for solar/battery powered ESS mesh networks. In this paper we propose a media access control (MAC) protocol for power-aware multihop infrastructure, based on extensions to IEEE 802.11(e). A power saving mesh AP includes a network allocation map (NAM) in its beacon broadcasts which specifies its temporal operation, and thus coordinates traffic delivery and power saving at both end stations and at the AP. A simple algorithm is proposed for dynamically updating channel activities so that best-effort traffic load changes can be quickly accommodated. Simulation and analytic results are presented for the proposed system which show that the proposed protocol and algorithm can achieve good AP power consumption without any significant end station performance degradation

Fashandi, S., and T.D. Todd. Real-Time Handoff in Solar/Battery Powered ESS Mesh Networks Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications, 2005. PIMRC 2005. IEEE 16th International Symposium On. Vol. 3. 2005. 1489 –1494.[edit | edit source]


ESS mesh networks will soon provide extensive coverage deployment for outdoor WLAN hotzones. In these types of networks, solar powered mesh access points (MAPs) and mesh points (MPs) can be used to provide tether-less infrastructure extension in an inexpensive and flexible manner. Unlike conventional WLAN networks, power saving on the access points (APs) is an important feature which can result in significantly reduced solar-powered AP node costs. Unfortunately, when infrastructure nodes conserve power, they become less responsive and this can significantly lengthen the hand off process. In this paper we propose and analyze different algorithms for mitigating these effects, so that real-time handoff can occur as fast as possible. Three different algorithms are proposed for dynamically activating the power saving infrastructure. The proposed algorithms are tested and compared to conventional handoff algorithms via simulation and analysis

Todd, T. D et al. The need for access point power saving in solar powered WLAN mesh networks IEEE Network 22.3 (2008): 4–10.[edit | edit source]


Wireless LAN mesh networks are now being used to deploy Wi-Fi coverage in a wide variety of outdoor applications. In these types of networks, conventional WLAN mesh nodes must be operated using continuous electrical power connections. This requirement may often be very expensive, especially when the network includes expansive outdoor wireless coverage areas. An alternative is to operate some of the WLAN mesh nodes using an energy sustainable source such as solar or wind power. This eliminates the need for a fixed power connection, making the node truly tetherless and allowing more flexibility in node positioning. In this article we first review the background and recent activities in the area of energy sustainable WLAN mesh networks. These types of networks are provisioned geographically, in that the assigned resources are a function of the geographic region where the network is to be deployed. The theory behind this is briefly described using some sample North American locations. We then discuss the current shortcomings of IEEE 802.1 1 when used in these types of networks. IEEE 802.11 requires that the access point be continuously powered, and this requirement is a major barrier to deploying cost-effective sustainable energy networks in certain applications. Recent work is then reviewed that has begun to address the changes that would be required to the standard to better support these types of networks.

Staub, T. et al. Connecting remote sites to the wired backbone by wireless mesh access networks Wireless Conference (EW), 2010 European. 2010. 675 –682.[edit | edit source]


Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs) operating in the 5 GHz band (IEEE 802.11 a/h) offer a great opportunity to function as wireless access networks. Remote sites that lack direct access to a wired/fibre network may benefit from this technology, as it can be used to bridge possibly large distances. The high gain of directional antennas improves the reception of signals in focused directions and reduces interference from unwanted sources. Therefore, they are the preferred choice for such bridging scenarios. In this paper, we present our experiences with setting up such a Wireless Access Network using directional antennas in the area of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. We describe the necessary equipment and planning steps, highlight common pitfalls and discuss gained insights as well as experimental results. Measured data supports the feasibility of our networking approach, yet reveals the high impact of general challenges that have to be overcome in real-world deployments.

G. H Badawy, A. A Sayegh, and T. D Todd, Energy Aware Provisioning in Solar Powered WLAN Mesh Networks in Proceedings of 17th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks, 2008. ICCCN ’08 (presented at the Proceedings of 17th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks, 2008. ICCCN ’08, IEEE, 2008), 1-6.[edit | edit source]


WLAN mesh networks are often installed to provide wireless coverage for temporary events. In these types of networks, the WLAN mesh nodes can sometimes be operated using an energy sustainable source such as solar power. Resource provisioning consists of pre-assigning each node with a solar panel and battery combination that is sufficient to prevent node outage for the duration of the deployment. This is done by assuming a temporal load profile for each node, which is then used to perform the assignment using historical solar insolation data for the desired deployment location. Unfortunately, this methodology cannot take into account the state dependencies which occur when the network uses energy aware routing, and therefore the system may be over-provisioned. In this paper we propose a methodology for WLAN mesh node resource assignment that incorporates energy aware routing into the assignment algorithm. The problem consists of determining a network-wide minimum cost resource assignment subject to satisfying the input load profile. A genetic algorithm (GA) has been developed for this purpose. Our results show the large resource savings that energy aware resource assignment can achieve when compared to that done using the conventional methodology. We also study the competitive ratio of both resource assignment schemes and show that for small traffic overloading, energy aware routing performs better than shortest path routing in networks which are provisioned using the proposed methodology.

Vargas, E.J., A.A. Sayegh, and T.D. Todd. Shared Infrastructure Power Saving for Solar Powered IEEE 802.11 WLAN Mesh Networks Communications, 2007. ICC ’07. IEEE International Conference On. 2007. 3835 –3840.[edit | edit source]


Solar powered WLAN infrastructure is a cost effective option in outdoor deployments where continuous power sources are not practical. In these nodes the cost of the solar panel and battery can be a significant fraction of the total, and therefore reducing access point power consumption is very important. In this type of network, peak bandwidth requirements may not be satisfied by a single access point radio, even though long term average bandwidth requirements may be very low. In this case multiple radio APs or overlapped AP coverage deployment is required to meet this peak demand. When this happens the long term power consumption of the nodes can be reduced by implementing shared dynamic power saving between the WLAN mesh nodes. In this paper we propose and evaluate two algorithms for efficiently activating the solar powered infrastructure when additional bandwidth is needed. The algorithms are designed to be compatible with the existing IEEE 802.11 standard and include conventional load balancing when more than one AP is active in a given coverage area. We demonstrate that the proposed algorithms can significantly reduce the power consumption of the shared solar powered infrastructure.

Sayegh, A.A., and T.D. Todd. Energy Management in Solar Powered WLAN Mesh Nodes Using Online Meteorological Data Communications, 2007. ICC ’07. IEEE International Conference On. 2007. 3811 –3816.[edit | edit source]


Solar powered WLAN mesh nodes are assigned a solar panel and battery size based on power consumption profiles. If future loading exceeds the design target, then a node may not be able to achieve the outage performance for which it was configured. To prevent this from happening, forced power saving can be used to reduce node power consumption to acceptable levels. However, forced power saving generates a deficit in offered capacity which should be minimized as much as possible. In this paper we first formulate this as a non-linear control problem. An efficient linear programming approximation is then defined and solved based on an offline optimization where future solar insolation is known in advance. This provides a bound on the performance of any real control algorithm. We show that the LP solution is accurate in that it comes very close to achieving a no-control capacity deficit lower bound. A control algorithm is then proposed whose operation uses dynamic access to publicly available on-line meteorological data. The proposed approach uses this on-line data but could also benefit from on-line weather forecasting. Our results show that the proposed algorithm minimizes node outage and performs favorably compared to the offline and no-control lower bounds.

M. G Jaboori, M. M Saied, and A. A.R Hanafy, A contribution to the simulation and design optimization of photovoltaic systems IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion 6, no. 3 (September 1991): 401-406.[edit | edit source]


This paper presents guidelines to the proper selection of solar array and battery sizes for use in PV-powered dispersed systems, located far from public power networks. It will also deal with the choice of the key design parameters of separately excited DC motors used for farm irrigation. The selection procedure is based on the accurate system modeling and the annual simulation using actual meteorological (insolation and temperature) and typical load data pertinent to the state of Kuwait. The procedure determines the useful, dumped and commercial energy components, forced upon by system-load interaction. Two systems are investigated, system (1) is an alternating current (AC) residential load of a given annual demand profile on hourly basis, while system (2) represents an imgation setup featuring a DC motor and a battery backup. The results showed that a properly-sized battery interface would enhance the performance of the irrigation system, energywise, by more than 12% compared to the directly coupled case. As for the AC load, there exist optimum battery and PV sizes, where the effective energy is maximum.

  • Illustrates a DC and AC load system for differing applications

A. L Rosenthal, M. G Thomas, and S. J Durand, A ten year review of performance of photovoltaic systems Conference Record of the Twenty Third IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 1993, 1289-1291.[edit | edit source]


This paper presents data compiled by the Photovoltaic Design Assistance Center at Sandia National Laboratories from more than eighty field tests performed at over thirty-five photovoltaic systems in the United States during the last ten years. The recorded performance histories, failure rates, and degradation of post-Block IV modules and balance-of-system (BOS) components are described in detail.

  • 90% of systems experience module failure

Chambouleyron I., Photovoltaics in the developing world Energy 21, no. 5, 385-394, 1996[edit | edit source]


We discuss the use of photovoltaic systems in the developing world and the problems hindering their widespread use. Three countries are considered when referring to Latin America, namely, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. They each have different approaches to the dissemination of stand-alone PV power. Brazil relies entirely on the free market. Mexico has launched one of the world's largest rural electrification programs under the jurisdiction of the public electric utility. In Argentina, the approach combines a government policy and decisive intervention by the private sector. An official PV policy is essential for the successful implementation of photovoltaics in developing countries. The role of regional centers for the dissemination of solar technologies is discussed.

  • PV policy is essential to use in developing world
  • Many past PV failures due to non-technical issues
  • Huge potential in dev. world

T. Robbins and J. M. Hawkins, Powering telecommunications network interfaces using photovoltaic cells and supercapacitors Telecommunications Energy Conference, INTELEC 97., 19th International (presented at the Telecommunications Energy, 1997[edit | edit source]


New and emerging telecommunications access networks may require network termination units (NTUs) to be back-up powered, especially for telephony service provision. The multiplicity of NTUs, located at or near customers’ premises, dictates the need for both low capital and operational costs. Powering an NTU with photovoltaic cells and supercapacitors is expected to achieve a low life-cycle cost. This paper introduces the requirements for NTU powering, then develops photovoltaic cell and supercapacitor component models and investigates their application to powering an NTU.

  • Cost and maintenance of batteries are issues to system adoption

T. Jackson and M. Oliver, The viability of solar photovoltaics, Energy Policy 28, no. 14 (November 2000): 983-988, 2000[edit | edit source]


This paper summarises the contributions to a special issue of Energy Policy aiming to assess the viability of solar photovoltaics (PVs) as a mainstream electricity supply technology for the 21st Century. It highlights the complex nature of such an assessment in which technical, economic, environmental, social, institutional and policy questions all play a part. The authors summarise briefly the individual contributions to the special issue and draw out a number of common themes which emerge from them, for example: the vast physical potential of PVs, the environmental and resource advantages of some PV technologies, and the fluidity of the market. Most of the authors accept that the current high costs will fall substantially in the coming decade as a result of improved technologies, increased integration into building structures and economies of scale in production. In spite of such reassurances, energy policymakers still respond to the dilemma of PVs with some hesitancy and prefer to leave its evolution mainly in the hands of the market. This paper highlights two clear dangers inherent in this approach: firstly, that short-term cost convergence may not serve long-term sustainability goals; and secondly, that laggards in the race to develop new energy systems may and themselves faced with long-term penalties.

  • PV costs will drop substantially in the next decade
  • Policy makers still slow to promote PV use
  • Potential for PV use is enormous

R. A. Messenger and J. Ventre, Photovoltaic systems engineering CRC Press, 2004[edit | edit source]

  • 10 step approach to mechanical design of PV systems

Brabec Christoph J., Organic photovoltaics: technology and market Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 83, no. 2–3 (June 15, 2004): 273-292. 2004[edit | edit source]

  • Reel to reel processing – appeal of organic PVs
  • Traditional PVs have unfavorable cost structure
  • Need more info on lifetime performance

J. W. Kimball, T. L. Flowers, and P. L. Chapman, Low-input-voltage, low-power boost converter design issues IEEE Power Electronics Letters 2, no. 3 (September 2004): 96- 99. 2004[edit | edit source]

  • Packaging and capital are most important
  • Efficiency and circuit startup – issues of low cost design

Zhenhua Jiang and R. A. Dougal, A novel, digitally-controlled, portable photovoltaic power source Twentieth Annual IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition, 2005. 1797- 1802 Vol. 3. 2005[edit | edit source]


This paper is to present a novel, digitally-controlled, portable photovoltaic (PV) power source that can be used as a standalone power source in remote missions or made on the jacket to power portable personal electronics. Since the solar cell has a nonlinear voltage-current characteristic, the photovoltaic power system has to track the solar array maximum power point to ensure the efficient operation. The battery is used to store energy when the solar irradiance is sufficient or the load is light and to provide energy to the load in the case of no sunlight or a heavy load. For advanced batteries such as lithium ion cells, the charging current or voltage should be limited in order to protect the battery. The charging and discharging currents are regulated by a charger and a discharger respectively. Since the battery voltage depends on its state-of-charge and the solar array peak-power voltage varies with temperature level, illumination level and age of the solar array, it is essential to cascade a power converter at the system output to obtain bus regulation. To reduce the solar array temperature, a shunt regulator is used to limit the charging current or voltage of the battery by dissipating the excess solar array power. In this paper, an integrated, multi-objective digital power controller for this PV power source is presented, and a state machine based model of the multi-objective controller is described. The large-signal behavior of the system is analyzed. The controller design is then verified by numerical simulation in the virtual test bed (VTB) environment.

  • Shunt regulator is used to limit temp
  • PVs can power electronic systems
  • Describes a digital controller for PV power sources

D. Niyato, E. Hossain, and A. Fallahi, Solar-powered OFDM wireless mesh networks with sleep management and connection admission control, in Proceedings of the 2006 international conference on Wireless communications and mobile computing, IWCMC ’06 (New York, NY, USA: ACM, 2006), 653–658, 2006[edit | edit source]

  • OFDM mesh networks connect diff types of networks
  • ODFM is used in high-speed wireless LAN and broadband

F. C. Krebs, H. Spanggard, T. Kjær, M. Biancardo, and J. Alstrup, Large area plastic solar cell modules, Materials Science and Engineering: B 138, no. 2 (March 25, 2007): 106-111 2007[edit | edit source]

  • Polymer cell modules are still below 5% efficient
  • Mechanical stress outdoors is a major issue
  • Durability outdoors remains a problem

A. Farbod and T. D. Todd, Resource Allocation and Outage Control for Solar-Powered WLAN Mesh Networks 2007[edit | edit source]

  • Reducing AP power consumption is very important
  • Control algorithms can prevent system outage
  • PV systems have been used in comm systems for decades
  • Most work relies on idealized battery models
  • APs should spend max time in sleep state
  • Power saving functions reduces system cost

Riza Muhida et al., Development of Mobile Photovoltaic Robot for Exploring Disaster Area 2008[edit | edit source]

  • PVs used to extend operation

Ali Muhtaroglu, Alex Yokochi, and Annette von Jouanne, Integration of thermoelectrics and photovoltaics as auxiliary power sources in mobile computing applications Journal of Power Sources 177, no. 1 (February 15, 2008): 239-246. 2008[edit | edit source]

  • PV components should scavenge energy when system is off
  • PV integration can improve battery life by 5%

Nan Li, Jiancheng Zhang, and Yun Zhong, A novel charging control scheme for super capacitor energy storage in photovoltaic generation system, Third International Conference on Electric Utility Deregulation and Restructuring and Power Technologies, 2008. DRPT 2008 (presented at the Third International Conference on Electric Utility Deregulation and Restructuring and Power Technologies, 2008. DRPT 2008, IEEE, 2008), 2671-2675. 2008[edit | edit source]


A control scheme is described to charge series-connected super capacitors for photovoltaic generation systems. Based on the features of the super capacitors charge, the control scheme consists of three modes, i.e., the constant current charge mode, the constant power charge mode, and the constant voltage charge mode. The shift of three modes can be realized by controlling the duty of IGBT in the Boost-Buck converter system. Meanwhile, the high voltage, which is more suitable for application, can be obtained. Compared with the normal charge method with series-connected current-limiting resistance and the charge method with the constant current charge mode and the constant voltage charge mode, the proposed charging control scheme can shorten the charging time and improve the usage of the electric power generated from the PV arrays. The advantage described above is verified by simulations.

  • Three modes – constant current charge, constant power charge, constant voltage
  • Controlled charging can shorten charging time of super caps
  • Lists adv of using super caps
  • Few control methods of super caps have been studied

G. H. Badawy, A. A. Sayegh, and T. D. Todd, Solar Powered WLAN Mesh Network Provisioning for Temporary Deployments, 2008[edit | edit source]

  • Battery cost is limiting factor in PV adoption for WLAN Mesh Networks
  • Heterogeneous resource management has advantages to homogeneous
  • Design algorithms help realize potential of resource assignment

T. A. Singo, A. Martinez, and S. Saadate, Design and implementation of a photovoltaic system using hybrid energy storage, 11th International Conference on Optimization of Electrical and Electronic Equipment, 389-394. 2008[edit | edit source]

  • PV hybrid system with electrochemical batteries and ultracapacitors
  • Ultracapacitors decreases the losses in batteries
  • Temperature is a key influence
  • Highlights problems with current battery situation

T. D. Todd, A. A. Sayegh, M. N. Smadi, and Dongmei Zhao, The need for access point power saving in solar powered WLAN mesh networks, 2008[edit | edit source]

  • Continuous power is barrier to WLAN Mesh Network nods
  • Many PV wi-fi networks are being implemented throughout the states
  • Cost of PV and batteries are limiting to PV WLAN adoption

T. A. Singo, A. Martinez, and S. Saadate, Using ultracapacitors to optimize energy storage in a photovoltaic system 11th International Conference on Optimization of Electrical and Electronic Equipment, 2008. OPTIM 2008, 389-394. 2008[edit | edit source]

  • Electrochemical batteries increase size and cost of system
  • Ultracapacitors decrease loss in the batteries
  • Ultracapacitors cannot be used without batteries

G. H. Badawy, A. A. Sayegh, and T. D. Todd, Energy Aware Provisioning in Solar Powered WLAN Mesh Networks, 2008[edit | edit source]

  • Sizing of PV systems has been studied
  • Genetic Algorithms can be used to minimize cost of resources

M. E. Glavin, P. K. . Chan, S. Armstrong, and W. G. Hurley, A stand-alone photovoltaic supercapacitor battery hybrid energy storage system, Power Electronics and Motion Control Conference, 2008. EPE-PEMC 2008. 13th (presented at the Power Electronics and Motion Control Conference, 2008. EPE-PEMC 2008. 13th, IEEE, 2008), 1688-1695, 2008[edit | edit source]


Most of the stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems require an energy storage buffer to supply continuous energy to the load when there is inadequate solar irradiation. Typically, Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries are utilized for this application. However, supplying a large burst of current, such as motor startup, from the battery degrades battery plates, resulting in destruction of the battery. An alternative way of supplying large bursts of current is to combine VRLA batteries and supercapacitors to form a hybrid storage system, where the battery can supply continuous energy and the supercapacitor can supply the instant power to the load. In this paper, the role of the supercapacitor in a PV energy control unit (ECU) is investigated by using Matlab/Simulink models. The ECU monitors and optimizes the power flow from the PV to the battery-supercapacitor hybrid and the load. Three different load conditions are studied, including a peak current load, pulsating current load and a constant current load. The simulation results show that the hybrid storage system can achieve higher specific power than the battery storage system.

  • Ultracaps can be used with batteries to provide large bursts of current
  • Three load conditions studied – peak current load, pulsating current, and constant current
  • Combining batteries and caps increases battery SOC for peak and pulse loads

Jonathan W. Kimball, Brian T. Kuhn, Robert S. Balog A System Design Approach for Unattended Solar Energy Harvesting Supply, IEEE 2009[edit | edit source]


Remote devices, such as sensors and communications devices, require continuously available power. In many applications, conventional approaches are too expensive, too large, or unreliable. For short-term needs, primary batteries may be used. However, they do not scale up well for long-term installations. Instead, energy harvesting methods must be used. Here, a system design approach is introduced that results in a highly reliable, highly available energy harvesting device for remote applications. First, a simulation method that uses climate data and target availability produces Pareto curves for energy storage and generation. This step determines the energy storage requirement in watt-hours and the energy generation requirement in watts. Cost, size, reliability, and longevity requirements are considered to choose particular storage and generation technologies, and then to specify particular components. The overall energy processing system is designed for modularity, fault tolerance, and energy flow control capability. Maximum power point tracking is used to optimize solar panel performance. The result is a highly reliable, highly available power source. Several prototypes have been constructed and tested. Experimental results are shown for one device that uses multicrystalline silicon solar cells and lithium–iron–phosphate batteries to achieve 100% availability. Future designers can use the same approach to design systems for a wide range of power requirements and installation locations.

  • Detailed system design of a MPPT system
  • Ultracaps have a limited operating voltage of 2.7V
  • Ultracaps offer better lifetimes than batteries in extreme climates
  • If temp is lower than 65C capacitance is even greater

D. Brunelli, C. Moser, L. Thiele, and L. Benini, Design of a Solar-Harvesting Circuit for Batteryless Embedded Systems, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers 56, no. 11 (November 2009): 2519-2528,2009[edit | edit source]

  • Power losses are a concern in different circuit components
  • Leakage is a factor for supercaps
  • Good study of a batteryless system

E. Serrano, G. Rus, and J. García-Martínez, Nanotechnology for sustainable energy Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 13, no. 9 (December 2009): 2373-2384, 2009[edit | edit source]

  • Supercaps have drawn significantly less attention than batteries
  • Use of nanostructured materials increases capacity of the cap
  • The nanostructuration of materials can improve cap performance

O. M. Toledo, D. Oliveira Filho, and A. S. A. C. Diniz, Distributed photovoltaic generation and energy storage systems: A review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14, no. 1 (January 2010): 506-511, 2010[edit | edit source]

  • Supercaps are the most efficient and reliable in discharge cycles
  • Great graphic showing caps versus other storage devices

F. Y. Li, P. Bucciol, L. Vandoni, N. Fragoulis, S. Zanoli, L. Leschiutta, and O. Lázaro, Broadband Internet Access via Multi-Hop Wireless Mesh Networks: Design, Protocol and Experiments Wireless Personal Communications 58, no. 4 (January 7, 2010): 807-829, 2010[edit | edit source]

  • Providing internet to rural and mountainous regions
  • Still a large need for internet access in rural areas

G. H. Badawy, A. A. Sayegh, and T. D. Todd, Energy Provisioning in Solar-Powered Wireless Mesh Networks, 2010[edit | edit source]

  • Most systems do not take into account energy aware routing
  • Genetic Algorithms can save resource costs

C. Daniel, Building Integrated Concentrating Photovoltaics: A review Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 15, no. 1 (January 2011): 603-611, 2011[edit | edit source]

  • Solar concentrators could be a way to minimize solar cell size needed

M. Kretschmer, C. Niephaus, T. Horstmann, and K. Jonas, Providing Mobile Phone Access in Rural Areas via Heterogeneous Meshed Wireless Back-Haul Networks 2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications Workshops (ICC), 1-6, 2011[edit | edit source]

  • Mobile internet nodes could expand mobile phone access to developing areas

B. Parida, S. Iniyan, R. Goic, A review of solar photovoltaic technologies, 2011[edit | edit source]


Global environmental concerns and the escalating demand for energy, coupled with steady progress in renewable energy technologies, are opening up new opportunities for utilization of renewable energy resources. Solar energy is the most abundant, inexhaustible and clean of all the renewable energy resources till date. The power from sun intercepted by the earth is about 1.8×1011 MW, which is many times larger than the present rate of all the energy consumption. Photovoltaic technology is one of the finest ways to harness the solar power. This paper reviews the photovoltaic technology, its power generating capability, the different existing light absorbing materials used, its environmental aspect coupled with a variety of its applications. The different existing performance and reliability evaluation models, sizing and control, grid connection and distribution have also been discussed.

  • Increasing efficiency, lowering costs, and minimizing pollution are challenges of the industry
  • One of fastest growing industries

Culler, D., Taneja, J., and Jeong, J., Design, Modeling, and Capacity Planning for Micro-Solar Power Sensor Networks[edit | edit source]

  • Nodes for deep forest environments
  • Avoid supercaps as they cant hold charge for more than 30 days

Alazraki, R. and Haselip, J., Assessing the uptake of small-scale photovoltaic electricity production in Argentina: the PERMER project[edit | edit source]

  • Technical, organizational and intellectual barriers to implementation
  • Two billion ppl without access to electricity
  • Batteries were a concern due to inappropriate disposal

Asgar, M.A., Bhuiyan, M.M.H., et al., Economic evaluation of a stand-alone residential photovoltaic power system in Bangladesh[edit | edit source]

  • PV systems are much cheaper than alternative energy sources if more than 1km from a village in Bangladesh
  • Offers a much better alternative to diesel or oil generators
  • Need more policy support to implement PV programs

Goetzberger, A. and Hebling, C., Photovoltaic materials, past, present, future[edit | edit source]

  • Crystalline silicon is high cost and complicated to manufacture
  • Still great hopes in the thin film industry

T. Robbins and J. M. Hawkins, Powering telecommunications network interfaces using photovoltaic cells and supercapacitors[edit | edit source]

D. Cruz Martins and R. Demonti, Photovoltaic energy processing for utility connected system[edit | edit source]

A. Farbod and T. D. Todd, Resource Allocation and Outage Control for Solar-Powered WLAN Mesh Networks[edit | edit source]

Geographical Information Systems[edit | edit source]

Amador, J. and Dominguez, J., “Application of Geophysical Information Systems to rural electrification with renewable energy sources” Renewable Energy, vol (30) No. (12), pg. 1897-1912, 2005.[edit | edit source]

Ariza Lopez, F. and Lopez, R. and Lopez Pinto, A., “Territorial competitiveness of the stand alone photovoltaic systems versus grid electricity supply. A method and a study based on GIS” Solar Energy, vol (61) No. (2), pg. 107-118, 1997.[edit | edit source]

  • Stand alone photovoltaic power systems (SAPPS)
  • Spatial costing model based in GIS
  • Recommend grouping households to make SAPPS more economically viable

Byrne, J. and Zhou, A. and Shen, B. and Hughes, K., “Evaluating the potential of small-scale renewable energy options to meet rural livelihood needs: A GIS lifecycle cost-based assessment of Western China’s options” Energy Policy, vol (35) No. (8), pg. 4391-4401, 2007.[edit | edit source]

  • China, stand-alone systems, economic viability
  • Uses lifecycle costing and GIS
  • Compared combined systems-PV and wind

Choi, Y. and Rayl, J. and Tammineedi, C. and Brownson, J., “PV Analyst: Coupling ArcGIS with TRNSYS to assess distributed photovoltaic potential in urban areas” Solar Energy, vol (85) No. (11), pg. 2924-2939, 2011.[edit | edit source]

  • PVGIS and PV Analyst software in GIS
  • Compares five different models incorporating geographical representation
  • Also uses 3D analysis

Gadsden, S. and Rylatt, N. and Lomas, K. and Robinson, D., “Predicting the urban solar fraction: a methodology for energy advisers and planners based on GIS” Energy and Buildings, vol (35) No. (1), pg. 37-48, 2002.[edit | edit source]

Gadsden, S. and Rylatt, N. and Lomas, K., “Putting solar energy on the urban map: a new GIS-based approach to dwellings” Solar Energy, vol (74) No. (5), pg. 397-407, 2003.[edit | edit source]

Ghosh, S. and Vale, R. and Vale, B., “Domestic energy sustainability of different urban residential patterns: a New Zealand approach” International Journal of Sustainable Development, vol (9) No. (1), pg. 16-37, 2006.[edit | edit source]

Grubesic, T. and Murray, A., “Constructing the divide: Spatial disparities in broadband access” Papers in Regional Science, vol (81) No. (2), pg. 197-221, 2002.[edit | edit source]

  • Broadband access analysis on a micro-geographic level
  • Cites previous studies on broadband and internet importance for a global community and information access

Izquierdo, S. and Rodriquez, M. and Fueyo, N., “A method for estimating the geographic distribution of the available roof surface area for large-scale photovoltaic energy-potential evaluations” Solar Energy, vol (82) No. (10), pg. 929-939, 2008.[edit | edit source]

Kraines, S. and Wallace, D., ”Urban sustainability technology evaluation in a distributed object-based modeling environment” Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, vol (27) No. (2), pg. 143-161, 2003.[edit | edit source]

Mclaughlin, D. and McDonald, N. and Nguyan, H. and Pearce, J., “Leveraging Solar Photovoltaic Technology for Sustainable Development in Ontario's Aboriginal Communities” Journal of Sustainable Development, vol (3) No. (3), pg. 3-13, 2010.[edit | edit source]

Muselli, M. and Notton, G. and Poggi, P. and Louche, A., “Computer-aided analysis of the integration of renewable-energy systems in remote areas using a geographical-information system” Applied Energy, vol (63) No. (3), pg. 141-160, 1999.[edit | edit source]

Nguyen, H. and Pearce, J.,"Estimating potential photovoltaic yield with r.sun and the open source Geographical Resources Analysis Support System” Solar Energy, vol (84) No. (5), pg. 831-843, 2010.[edit | edit source]

Rylatt, N. and Gadsden, S. and Lomas, K., “Methods of predicting urban domestic energy demand with reduced datasets: a review and a new GIS-based approach” Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, vol (24) No. (2), pg. 93-102, 2003.[edit | edit source]

Rylatt, N. and Gadsden, S. and Lomas, K., “GIS-based decision support for solar energy planning in urban environments” Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, vol (25) No. (6), pg. 579-603, 2001.[edit | edit source]

Sawada, M. and Cossette, d. and Wellar, B. and Kurt, T., “Analysis of the urban/rural broadband divide in Canada: Using GIS in planning terrestrial wireless deployment” Government Information Quarterly, vol (23) No. (3-4), pg. 454-479, 2006.[edit | edit source]

Suri, M. and Hofierka, J., “A New GIS-based Solar Radiation Model and Its Application to Photovoltaic Assessments” Transactions in GIS, vol (8) No. (2), pg. 175-190, 2004.[edit | edit source]

Wiginton, L. and Nguyen, H. and Pearce, J., “Quantifying rooftop solar photovoltaic potential for regional renewable energy policy” Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems, vol (34) No. (4), pg. 345-357, 2010.[edit | edit source]

  • Rooftop PV potential using a five-step procedure. Including satellite imagery, geographical information systems, and object specific image recognition
  • ArcGIS Feature Analyst

Not Relevant[edit | edit source]

J. A. Paradiso and T. Starner, Energy scavenging for mobile and wireless electronics IEEE Pervasive Computing 4, no. 1 (March 2005): 18- 27, 2005[edit | edit source]

M. Wlas, M. Gackowski, and W. Kolbusz, The Ethernet POWERLINK Protocol for smart grids elements integration 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE), 2070-2075, 2011[edit | edit source]

Dabbish, L.A., Herbsleb, J.D., et al., Coordination in Innovative Design and Engineering: Observations from a Lunar Robotics Project[edit | edit source]

Chao, S.-H. Ho, and M.-H. Wang, K.-H. Modeling and fault diagnosis of a photovoltaic system Electric Power Systems Research 78, no. 1 (January 2008): 97-105, 2008[edit | edit source]