by Saul Meza, Neal Jackson, Francisco Segura
With our panel selected and construction on the home stalled, our group was left stranded with no task to accomplish. Wanting to model a photovoltaic powered system and having a need for electrical power at the construction site, an idea was formed to create a cart that would produce solar powered electricity. So, the group collected the needed materials for the cart; a solar panel, charge controller, batteries, inverter, and the cart. This solar powered cart helped show us how the photovoltaic system actually worked. The solar panel itself produces power that is sent through the charge controller to the batteries where it is stored. The inverter then draws from the stored power in the batteries and gives off an alternating current. This cart will be used to help charge tools or power anything needed at the construction site.
In order to protect the more sensitive components of the system, we enclosed the cart with plexiglass. While trying to modify to plexiglass to fit the cart, the glass would not cut correctly but would crack easily when trying to drill holes in it. We also investigated a way to bypass the battery system and try to use the power directly from the solar panel. The issue we came upon was that the inverter we were using was too small for the panel we had installed. So in order to step down the voltage coming from the panel we installed a transformer. The inverter drew too much power through the transformer we had selected for it to work properly. For now, we will stick with the battery bypass to the inverter.
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