Tri-Sol Solar Energy
Undergraduate and Graduate Project
Investigators: Ravi Gorthala, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduate students: Tristan Cowan and Kevin Jalbert, Jr.
Graduate students: Shu Kai Chang, Niranjan Samuel Adaikalam
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Energy and CT Clean Energy Fund
Project Description: The goal of this project was to research and develop a novel, cost-effective, building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology specifically for the next-generation skylight technology that generates electricity, produces hot water and delivers daylight by utilizing teams of undergraduate and graduate students. The proposed technology utilizes a linear Fresnel concentrating PV/thermal system and is integrated into a skylight. Concentrating lenses focus solar radiation on a small PV strip reducing the amount of PV materials needed and yet allow diffuse light into the building. A prototype has been successfully built and is currently being tested.
Under this grant, TCoE built a Solar Testing and Training Laboratory (STTL) for testing and rating of solar thermal systems. STTL is being used to test the Tri-Sol prototype.
A patent is currently being filed.
Tri-Sol mock-up being tested using STTL rig.
A full-scale mock-up of Tri-Sol on display