Feasibility Study of a Pavement Solar Box for Intersections

Date
2019
Authors
Hossain, Md. Fahim Tanvir
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Abstract

This research aims at designing and developing a pavement solar box for intersections. Pavement solar box contains a thin-film solar panel with the addition of a transparent shield cover with a view to utilizing the solar heat imposed on the pavement. Since pavements are often exposed to a great amount of solar energy throughout day time, they can be used to develop a technique which can accumulate and store this energy and later convert it into electricity. The construction of the pavement solar boxes involved choosing several polycarbonate samples as transparent shield covers containing different thickness, modulus of elasticity and light transmittance attributes. Transmittance Spectroscopy was carried out to measure the light transmittance percentage of the polycarbonate samples at each wavelength in the visible light range. It was followed by the evaluation of the performance of pavement solar boxes through Finite Element Analysis. Later, power generation data using these boxes were collected over a wide range of weather condition in outdoor situation and analyzed to get a better assessment in predicting power output. These solar boxes were subjected to vehicular loads during field test and sustained no significant damage or energy drop throughout the test. Results show that 304.8 mm x 304.8 mm Pavement Solar Box can produce an average of 2.2 W continuously over a period of 6 hours a day in sunny condition for the weather circumstances encountered in South Texas while offering a lesser power output on other weather conditions. These boxes can generate enough electricity to lighten up the crosswalks and alert the approaching drivers of crossing pedestrians.

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This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff.
Keywords
Energy Harvesting, Intersection, Pedestrian Safety, Polycarbonate Sheet, Thin-Film Solar Panel
Citation
Department
Civil and Environmental Engineering