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Control system design and commissioning of photovoltaic trough concentrator systems installed at the Murdoch University South St campus

Edwards, Rhyss (2010) Control system design and commissioning of photovoltaic trough concentrator systems installed at the Murdoch University South St campus. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis is concerned with the upgrades to the Photovoltaic Trough array now installed at the Murdoch campus. The array was originally installed in Rockingham as a single 80 panel array. The project was taken over by the engineering department to restore its functionality as a teaching resource. As part of the relocation the array of panels was split into 3 smaller systems. A Large array with 40 panels and 2 smaller arrays with 8 panels each. The key components of this project were to design, implement and test control systems on the 3 arrays.

The project consisted of two basic streams of work. The Large array being the first stream which required more implementation and testing to revive the existing control system by using the old controller with new wiring and some minor upgrades to the way it operates. The second stream involved the designing of a new control system for the two identical smaller systems from the ground up. This required a bit of problem solving adapting left over structural components to work with VSD’s directly mounted to the axis of the system. The two streams ran in parallel with downtime in one utilised in the other.

The large array control system at the end of this project is now tracking the sun again. This stream of the process is now complete with the array ready to be connected to inverters to convert their generated power into useable power by the electricity grid. This stream of the project was prioritised over the smaller arrays stream as other projects are reliant on the completion of this part such as the connection of the inverters.

The small array stream has been extensively designed and is nearly ready to move onto the implementation phase. Due to the time constraints of the technical staff at the University, manufacturing will be delayed until the completion of the new engineering building. Documentation of the work undertaken will help any future projects complete the small system for use as a teaching resource.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Cole, Graeme
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