Open Access
Bhamidipati, Jyotsna
Graduate Program:
Architectural Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 13, 2008
Committee Members:
  • David R Riley Ii, Thesis Advisor
  • costs
  • LED lighting
  • DC power
  • photovoltaics
  • efficiency
The market demand for commercialization of Photovoltaic (PV) systems depends a lot on the reliability, efficiency and performance of various components within the system. PV panels produce DC power when exposed to sunlight, and an inverter converts this to AC power in a typical solar powered building. Though stand-alone PV lighting systems have existed for a long time it hasn’t been very efficient in the past. Incandescent light sources were commonly used with traditional PV lighting systems which are inefficient. Today, fluorescent fixtures are mostly used with PV’s due to its high efficacy. Light-emitting diodes (LED’s) present a new vision to energy efficiency in lighting design with their low energy consumption. Current research predicts improved efficiencies of LED light fixtures and their commercial use is a few years away. LEDs which operate on DC voltages when coupled with photovoltaics can be a simple PV lighting application and a sustainable lighting solution with potential for payback. This research evaluates the design and construction of a PV DC LED lighting system for a solar house at Pennsylvania State University. A detailed cost and payback analysis of a PV DC LED lighting system is presented in this research. PV array output simulations for the solar house are presented. Results presented in this research indicate that the Solid state lighting market is evolving rapidly and that LED’s are a choice in stand-alone PV DC lighting systems. The efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of such systems would improve in the coming years with research and development now focused on photovoltaics, which are an important part of renewable energy systems and on LED’s which could possibly be the future of energy efficient lighting.