News Nation: CWRU Researchers Explore Ways to Make Solar Panels Affordable and Long Lasting

A team of researchers led by Laura Bruckman, research assistant professor in the CWRU Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Abdulkerim Gok, a research associate at Gebze Technical University in Turkey (formerly at Case Western Reserve), used data science to better predict how weather and other conditions affect solar panels. Collaborators in the study include the SDLE Research Centre at CWRU for weather testing and CWRU Professor Jiayang Sun, of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, for modeling. This work could help in solving new ways of extending solar panel lifetimes according to the researchers. "This makes the cost of solar energy -- in this case -- better and easier to understand," said Professor Bruckman.

The study is titled "Predictive models of poly (ethylene-terephthalate) film degradation under multi-factor accelerated weathering exposures." The study combines both statistical data analytics and engineering epidemiology to develop predictive models for applications which are exposed to the environment to ensure polymeric components of solar panels must be very stable during long term outdoor use.

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