This project is motivated by the potential of renewable energy. To this end, Instructional Lab 2 Engineering Service Learning team (IL2) is addressing specific problems such as efficiency, cost, and durability. The mission of this team is to design and create the prototype of a high-efficiency solar collector and subsequently test it. This project fits the mission of the community partner because, once created, the prototype will allow the UC Merced Engineering Instructional Labs to use it for demonstration and data collection. Once the solar collector is built, IL2 will test to show if the efficiency of the design is better than the one currently located in the heat transfer lab and possibly the market.
Compared to the semester timeline, IL2 has made several adjustments in order to complete a physical prototype. A major adjustment that was made was the shift of focus from the building the entire solar collector system to just the receiver instead, which does not include a pump system. This adjustment allowed the team to create a functional design that can be modified and tested in the future. Due to the huge efforts made in creating designs and functional decompositions of the receiver, the prototype has successfully been delivered to the Engineering Instructional Lab group for testing.