Date of Award

Spring 5-2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Honors College Theses


Electrical Engineering

Second Advisor

Dr. Joyce W. O'Rourke

Third Advisor

Dr. Beverly Wade


The purpose of this project is to help reduce the electrical energy costs by using a natural resource that replenishes itself. The rays of the sun excite electrons in the light sensitive photovoltaic cells on the solar panels, and the cells convert the light into electricity. The total amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth is about 1 kilowatt per square meter. But because of the current technological limitations, the solar cells can only extract about 14% of the energy that reaches the Earth. The electricity generated by the array is directed to and stored in rechargeable batteries. The electricity can also bypass this step and be diverted straight to a motor or any electrical device. The energy stored in the batteries is used to drive any electrical piece of equipment or an AC motor. The use of solar energy to power electrical equipment is an effective way to reduce the depletion of natural resources and conserve energy.

Included in

Engineering Commons