Solar Panels Over the CAP

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UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Academic year: 
There is a growing need to find creative ways to conserve water in Arizona. The Coloroado River, which supplies the water for Phoenix and Tucson through the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal, is currently in a Tier 2 draught, causing Arizona's water allotment to be cut by 21%. This project evaluates the economic feasability of using solar covers to reduce evaporation along the CAP canal.

The proposed design consists of solar structures over the CAP canal, with a corresponding model of energy collection and evaporation reduction. The team developed a model that can adequately respond to various input conditions based on seasonal trends. The model was used to determine sections of the canal that a solar structure would have the largest positive impact on the specified objectives. With adaptive and assumption based modeling techniques, the feasibility of solar structures can be determined.

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