Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert F. Boehm

Number of Pages



In August of 2004, the SAIC solar concentrator located at UNLV was retrofitted with a 24 module photovoltaic aperture in hopes of producing a new type of solar electric concentrator. Alter the initial solar testing began, it became very apparent that the receiver design did not supply adequate cooling of the silicone cells, leading to module deformation and eventual failure. Through investigative studies of the failure and the possible solutions to the problem put forth at NREL and UNLV, a second phase array of mechanically sealed photovoltaic modules was constructed and tested. With a new methodology implemented in phase two, the module design was validated. Highly instrumented on-sun evaluation ultimately followed. The instrumentation included flow meters, thermocouples and a pressure transducer. A period of performance was carried out in the field. This paper summarizes this work and the performance of the system. Included is the diagnostic work related to the initial failures and how the perceived problems were corrected. Some qualitative evaluations of this approach for solar power generation are made.


Advanced; Development; Photovoltaic; Receiver; Testing

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

2836.48 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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