Experimental and theoretical investigations into the solar tower concept
Swee, Yu Wen
Date of Issue2017
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
International climate pledges will drive growth in solar technologies as the world takes a united stand to reduce world’s emissions. Solar energy remains the most promising source for Singapore as the tropical island enjoys high intake of solar radiation all year round. However, the uptake of solar has been slow due the lack of land and roof space. This problem can be addressed with the use of 3D solar generation by extending the solar cells upwards in the configuration of a tower. This project consists of 2 simulations, experiments, economic analysis and finally a design suggestion for the solar tower. Findings from simulation and experiment demonstrated an increase in solar generation for a solar cube of up to five times compared to a flat panel, and this amount increases as the height of the solar cube increases. In addition, the payback period for a solar tower is shorter as compared to flat panels despite the large number of solar cells used. The payback period decreases as the height increases. This research contributes by (i) providing and evaluating simulation models from two different literatures to help simulate global irradiance on surfaces in Singapore for future application in solar systems, (ii) providing justifications for using 3D solar generation in Singapore, and (iii) providing a conceptual design for mounting mechanism and structure for the solar tower for use in real life.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University