State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010TX360B
Title: The Effect of Photovoltaic Nanomaterial Roofing on Harvested Rainwater Quality
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: 21
Focus Categories: Conservation, Water Quality, Water Supply
Keywords: rainwater harvesting, nanomaterials, photovoltaic cells, drinking water, Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS)
Principal Investigators: Gao, Qiao; Kirisits, Mary Jo
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,000
Abstract: The global freshwater crisis has greatly motivated the investment in rainwater harvesting systems. The implementation of these systems to combat the worldwide water shortage is developing concurrently with the installation of photovoltaic roofs. The materials of this renewable energy technology have evolved from silicon wafers to more economically feasible and effective nanomaterials. Since the type of roofing material used for rainwater harvesting has been shown to affect the quality of the harvested rainwater (Chang et al., 2004), the use of solar roofs as catchment systems may pose a health risk to these consumers by altering the water quality as well as by releasing hazardous nanomaterials into the harvested rainwater. The main goal of this research is to investigate how nanomaterials from a solar roof can affect the water quality of harvested rainwater via a lab-scale roof coated with Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) or "solar paint," which is a type of nanomaterial used for solar energy capture. With an understanding of how harvested rainwater quality can be affected by nanomaterials found on photovoltaic rooftops, it can be determined if such materials are sources of contamination in harvested rainwater.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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