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Remote data logger for photo-voltaic research

Purvis, Marc (2013) Remote data logger for photo-voltaic research. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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The following report delineates the design and development evolution of a micro-controller based data logging module for testing photo-voltaic panels. A comprehensive background elucidates: photo-voltaic theory, critiques the accuracy of mathematical models, explains a solar cell’s current-voltage characteristic curve, and discusses the various technologies that have been used in the design. The procedure and results for component tests are discussed as well as the major problems encountered during the prototyping phase. An Arduino Due micro-controller contains the control algorithm, which drives the requisite hardware components to generate, and record data for a current/voltage (IV) curve. A file management system controls the creation and naming of comma separated value (CSV) files that contain the I-V curve data, which is stored on an SD card. These files contain a millisecond marker indicating the operating time from the last micro-controller reset, current and voltage measurements, temperature readings, and a timestamp. A Wireless data transfer mechanism has been incorporated into the system, and a LabVIEW VI was developed to facilitate real time data monitoring as well as creating a secondary storage medium. The module produces measurements within a range of ±1 to ±3% compared to a commercial solar analyser while being a fraction of the cost.

Publication Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Lee, Gareth
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