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Electrical design and commissioning of a solar trough concentrating system

Klugman, Piers (2015) Electrical design and commissioning of a solar trough concentrating system. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis outlines the electrical design, re-commissioning and testing of a photovoltaic (PV) solar trough concentrating system (STCS) at Murdoch University’s South St campus.

In order to become familiar with the system a literature review and system audit were undertaken. From this it was clear that a substantial amount of work was required to be undertaken to able to re-commission the system and achieve grid connection.

Approval for the grid connection was then sought and granted from the University’s facility management. As part of the approval process the electrical design and specifications were developed. The inverters and components required to undertake the rewiring of the array were then purchased.

In addition to this, the dual axis tracking system was re-commissioned and tested, and where necessary repairs were made to improve its performance and reliability. Work was also carried out on the PV receivers to improve their electrical cabling insulation. Once this was achieved the entire DC side of the array was re-wired and grid connected through two singles phase string inverters.

Commissioning, testing and collection of data from the array was then carried out, the details of which are discussed in the results section of this report. This project was ultimately successful and the PV STCS is now exporting electricity to the grid. The maximum power output of the system achieved so far is roughly 3kW, but once the system operation has been optimised, including thoroughly cleaning the parabolic trough mirrors, the system performance is expected to increase to at least 5kW in the future.

It should also be noted that a number of figures and tables have been removed, as noted in Appendix P, as it was not possible to obtain copyright permission to reproduce them in this Thesis. The headings with references have been left in place to enable readers to find the images themselves if additional illustration of important concepts is required.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Cole, Graeme
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