The researchers are also hoping that the prototype will help boost efforts to commercialize the new technology. The bus shelter is located on the west side of University Avenue between the John Hodgins Engineering Building and the Life Sciences Building.
“Our goal is to provide a clean, affordable power source for bus shelters that will let transit companies run Internet-based scheduling updates,” said Adrian Kitai, a professor of engineering physics at McMaster who guided the project. “The solar technology can also be used to light up bus shelter signage and provide lighting for general safety.”
The flexible solar cell project started as a master’s thesis for Wei Zhang, who subsequently worked as an engineer in the Department of Engineering Physics. Julia Zhu, a research technician in the department, and Jesika Briones, a master’s of engineering entrepreneurship and innovation graduate, also helped develop the initiative.
The ability to bend the solar cells to fit the curved roof of the bus shelter is one of the main features of the technology. The flexibility is achieved by tiling a large number of small silicon elements into an array, mounting them onto a flexible sheet, and connecting them through a proprietary method. The two solar strips installed on the McMaster bus shelter are about 90 centimeters long and 12 centimeters wide. Each strip has 720 one-centimetre square solar cells and generates up to 4.5 Watts of power.
With the help of Facility Services at McMaster, a solar strip was mounted at each end of the bus shelter roof and connected to two energy-efficient, multi-LED, light fixtures. Each light fixture uses only 600 milliwatts of power and produces about the same light output as a three watt regular tungsten bulb or what a small night light would use. The lights are bright enough for easy reading.
Gene Nakonechny | EurekAlert!
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This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
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