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Solar Tent: A Photovoltaic Generator Model for a Flexible Fabric with Inbuilt Cells
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Natural disasters and conflicts in many different parts of the world force thousands of people to get displaced from their homes and live in refugee camps temporarily or permanently. For refugee families, lack of energy access has great impact on their lives.

Tarpon Solar Company has developed a solar tent which is a combination of laminated cloth and flexible solar cells. In addition to producing renewable electricity, it can create a comfortable outdoor shelter from sun, rain and wind.

 

The aims of this study were to define and size the solar system of the tent in both AC and DC systems and optimize the tent to work in different locations around the world. Besides designing a monitoring system for the solar tent to evaluate the performance. In addition, defining the social aspect and the consumer behavior for a better solar tent future design. As a case study, Tarpon AC solar tent in Glava, Sweden has been installed to cover the basic needs of the tent users. To understand the solar tent performance in different weather zones, 4 different locations were suggested. A monitor system was designed to monitor the tent solar system performance. The simulation software PVsyst was used to size the PV system in the different locations with different solar data.

 

The PVsyst simulation results showed that the current Tarpon solar tent with 32 photovoltaic modules is extremely oversized to cover the basic needs loads (Lighting, mobile charging and ventilation) in the emergency cases.

 

The current Tarpon solar tent has a standard number of photovoltaic modules integrated in the tent fabric while the photovoltaic modules number should vary from one location to another according to the weather data and solar irradiation. In this case the current Tarpon solar system used in Glava, Sweden can be optimized by decreasing the number of photovoltaic modules to only 6 photovoltaic modules instead of 32 modules.

 

The study also shows that the features of the off-grid system components (battery and charge controller) are different from one location to another according to the criteria of selection.

 

This study concludes that for the temporary short-term emergency use of the tent where only basic needs loads are needed, DC system is better than AC system in terms of energy efficiency, system size and cost in the different proposed locations. While AC system is better when using the tent for prolonged time in terms of user flexibility and ability to extend the system. Understanding the consumer behavior and the goal of the tent whether to be used for an emergency short term shelter or a permanent shelter for a prolonged time are important factors for a better solar tent design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Solar tent, PV system, refugee camp, PV monitoring system, and flexible PV modules
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-30552OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-30552DiVA, id: diva2:1335163
Available from: 2019-07-04 Created: 2019-07-04

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Citation style
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