Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering: Dr. Joshua M. Pearce

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This collection contains publications by Dr. Joshua M. Pearce, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. For Prof. Pearce's full list of publications, go to:

Specialization: Applied Sustainability and Green Engineering; Photovoltaic Materials and Electronic Device Physics of Solar Photovoltaic Cells.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 23
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    A Review of Solar Photovoltaic Levelized Cost of Electricity
    (Elsevier, 2011) Branker, K.; Pathak, M. J.M.; Pearce, Joshua M.
    As the solar photovoltaic (PV) matures, the economic feasibility of PV projects are increasingly being evaluated using the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) generation in order to be compared to other electricity generation technologies. Unfortunately, there is lack of clarity of reporting assumptions, justifications and degree of completeness in LCOE calculations, which produces widely varying and contradictory results. This paper reviews the methodology of properly calculating the LCOE for solar PV, correcting the misconceptions made in the assumptions found throughout the literature. Then a template is provided for better reporting of LCOE results for PV needed to influence policy mandates or make invest decisions. A numerical example is provided with variable ranges to test sensitivity, allowing for conclusions to be drawn on the most important variables. Grid parity is considered when the LCOE of solar PV is comparable with grid electrical prices of conventional technologies and is the industry target for cost-effectiveness. Given the state of the art in the technology and favorable financing terms it is clear that PV has already obtained grid parity in specific locations and as installed costs continue to decline, grid electricity prices continue to escalate, and industry experience increases, PV will become an increasingly economically advantageous source of electricity over expanding geographical regions.
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    Viability of Small-Scale Arsenic-Contaminated Water Purification Technologies for Sustainable Development in Pakistan
    (Wiley, 2011) Hashmi, Fatima; Pearce, Joshua M.
    Drinking arsenic-contaminated water leads to a series of health problems that has limited development for the largely poor rural people of Pakistan who are unable to afford bottled water, centralized treatment plants, or expensive water filter systems. This paper reviews the available appropriate technologies for the removal of arsenic in drinking water to assist in just sustainable development in Pakistan. Several technologies were found to be both technically- and economically- viable and support the large-scale deployment of these small-scale, appropriate technologies. The economic viability determined in this study was based on both first costs and operating costs. The cost of implementing such technologies for an individual Pakistani family is made acceptable with the use of local materials, which the family may already own. For example, systems using sand and iron nails in the filters, and which are placed in plastic buckets that are already in common use in the villages, drive down the overall costs of the technology and put it in the reach of even the most destitute. This study found that complications from the variability of local supplies result in the need to identify the locally most appropriate solution from both a technical and economic standpoint. This review article should be helpful for any practitioner in determining the locally optimal solution for the removal of arsenic from drinking water in Pakistan.
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    Environmental and Economic Assessment of a Greenhouse Waste Heat Exchange
    (Elsevier, 2011) Andrews, Robert; Pearce, Joshua M.
    As the economic costs of energy and the negative externalities associated with the combustion of fossil fuels threaten the economic viability of greenhouses in northern climates there is a renewed interest in the use of waste heat. This paper presents a technical and economic methodology to determine the viability of establishing waste heat greenhouses using the waste heat from industrial processes in northern climates. A case study is presented of an exchange between a tomato greenhouse and a flat glass manufacturing plant, which found the waste heat system is significantly more economic to operate than a purely natural gas system.
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    Dispatch Strategy and Model for Hybrid Photovoltaic and Combined Heating, Cooling, and Power Systems
    (Elsevier, 2011) Nosrat, Amir; Pearce, Joshua M.
    The advent of small scale combined heat and power (CHP) systems has provided the opportunity for in-house power backup of residential-scale photovoltaic (PV) arrays. These hybrid systems enjoy a symbiotic relationship between components, but have large thermal energy wastes when operated to provide 100% of the electric load. In a novel hybrid system is proposed here of PV-trigeneration. In order to reduce waste from excess heat, an absorption chiller has been proposed to utilize the CHP-produced thermal energy for cooling of PV-CHP system. This complexity has brought forth entirely new levels of system dynamics and interaction that require numerical simulation in order to optimize system design. This paper introduces a dispatch strategy for such a system that accounts for electric, domestic hot water, space heating, and space cooling load categories. The dispatch strategy was simulated for a typical home in Vancouver and the results indicate an improvement in performance of over 50% available when a PV-CHP system also accounts for cooling. The dispatch strategy and simulation are to be used as a foundation for an optimization algorithm of such systems.
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    Catalyzing Mass Production of Solar Photovoltaic Cells Using University Driven Green Purchasing
    (Emerald, 2006) Pearce, Joshua M.
    Purpose: This paper explores the use of the purchase power of the higher education system to catalyze the economy of scale necessary to ensure market competitiveness for solar photovoltaic electricity. Design/methodology/approach: The approach used here was to first determine the demand necessary to construct “Solar City Factories”, factories that possess equipment and processes sized, dedicated and optimized to produce only solar photovoltaic systems. Inexpensive solar cells from these factories could produce solar electricity at rates comparable to conventional fossil-fuel derived electricity. Then it was determined if sufficient demand could be guaranteed by green purchasing from the international university system. Findings: A focused effort from the university community to purchase on-sight produced electricity would make it possible to construct truly large-scale dedicated solar photovoltaic factories rather than follow the piecemeal production increases currently observed in the industry. Practical Implications: Direct economic competitiveness of an energy source having markedly lower environmental, social and health externalities would have a positive-spiral (virtuous cycle) effect encouraging the transition of the global energy infrastructure away from polluting fossil fuels to green solar energy. Originality/value: Despite significant commercial progress in the conversion efficiency of sunlight into electricity with solar photovoltaic cells, their widespread adoption is still limited by high costs relative to conventional fossil fuel-based sources of electricity. The concept outlined and critically reviewed in this paper represents a novel and economical method of transitioning the electric supply system to renewable solar energy.