Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Dr. Samuel F. Asokanthan


Efficiency of traditional solar panels is known to be very low and hence necessitates the use of extensive open spaces for producing solar-based electric power. In solar roadways concept, open spaces such as roads, parking lots, bicycle lanes, footpaths are proposed to be utilized. An in-depth quantitative feasibility study for implementing solar roadways in Canada is carried out considering the total available surfaces, solar panel efficiency and effects of fast moving shades. The load carrying capability of commercially available materials for the solar panel top cover is studied in an effort to examine the current as well as near-future implementation of this proposed concept. In addition, a piezo-based auxiliary energy harvesting system is proposed for harnessing the vehicle-induced strain on the solar panel top cover. The positions of the piezoelectric elements are optimized by studying the vibration characteristics of the top cover via numerical as well as experimental methods.