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Using variable speed drives, servo motors and RS-485 communication in a solar tracking system for educational purposes

Sibson, Jarrad (2012) Using variable speed drives, servo motors and RS-485 communication in a solar tracking system for educational purposes. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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      Abstract

      This thesis covers the development of the solar tracking system that is to be installed at the Murdoch University South Street campus. Work had previously been completed on this project by students of ENG454 in 2009 and by Rhyss Edwards as part of his thesis “Control System Design and Commissioning of Photovoltaic Trough Concentrator Systems Installed at the Murdoch University South Street Campus” in 2010. The major focus of this thesis was to cover the communication and data transmission between the variable speed drives, servo motors and the Labview controller over a RS-485 network. The final system is to be used as a learning tool for engineering students.

      During this thesis a large emphasis was placed on the research and documentation of the existing tracking system. Information regarding the variable speed drives, servo motors and RS-485 communication was gathered in order to gain an understanding of how the system interacted. From here documents were produced regarding the installation of SEW VSD’s and controlling the solar tracking program in order to aid future students who may work on this project.

      Robust testing of the existing system was undertaken in order to discover any deficiencies that may be present. Re-wiring of the bench-top system took place to establish communication between the variable speed drives and the Labview Controller. Modifications were made to the existing Labview controller. This focussed on the structure and sequencing of a data transmission process, from the controller to the VSD, across an RS-485 network. Changes were made to the front panel of the controller to enhance operator usability.

      At the completion of this thesis it was discovered that the solar tracking system has a large scope for future work to be completed on it. Further advancements to the Labview controller will need to be made before the project is able to be commissioned.

      Publication Type: Thesis (Other)
      Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
      Notes: For further information including appendices contact author
      Supervisor: Cole, Graeme
      URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/10205
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