One of my much cherished research goals is to work in the area of renewable energy systems. I am quite intrigued by the recent developments in solar energy systems that are producing superior solar panels as well as cheaper technology that also lasts longer. Geoffrey Grossman’s work at MIT is quite impressive in this regard. He developed Origami-based three-dimensional solar panels using evolutionary algorithms.
The key idea behind innovation in this feat is to have a realistic solar panel and to integrate it with a machine learning algorithm. The learning algorithm helps produce novel designs with trial and error, as is the case with any machine learning algorithm. I have been writing in the past about how to develop controllers for UAVs using machine learning. Similar ideas precisely map to this domain as well. The only difference being that instead of developing controllers, we evolve designs for solar panels.
I compiled a list of various online solar systems simulators. I hope that they can be used to come up with good innovative work on this.
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