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Active Solar Array Controller

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					Active Solar Array Controller

    Senior Design Project
    Arjun Bijanki, Joshua Berry
Introduction

Solar Power: applications, common
 practices, and ideal situations and
 applications
Restrictions and Caveats:
 Blackouts, Unregulated Voltages,
 Varying Power output
Objectives

Maximize solar flux collected by active
 positioning of array cells
Convert power to useable regulated
 voltages
Store excess power in batteries
Collect statistics on power generation
Original Concept

Standard comm protocol: RS-232
Micro-controller: Palm PDA running
 PalmOS
Solar Array capable of at least 10Watts
Large storage battery for external
 consumption
Smaller batteries to power the internal
 system
Original Block Diagram
Final Block Diagram
Solar Array
Power Conditioning and Battery
Received Data Block
Motor Controller
Software Flowchart
Design Issues

Noise from switching converters
Hardware complexity
Unfamiliarity with PalmOS
Poorly spec’d parts
Power consumption
Mechanical issues
Not Completed

 Feedback from hardware
 Data collection
 2 degrees of freedom
 Timer-based software
Completed

             1 degree of freedom with 12
              minute step size
             Solar position calculation
             Self-powered / uninterruptible
              power supply
             Software controller
Characterization

                                               Power vs Angle


                                                    35



                                                    30



                                                    25


                                                                                    4.9 Ω
Power (watts)




                                                    20
                                                                                    8.2 Ω
                                                                                    13.4 Ω
                                                                                    15.6 Ω
                                                    15
                                                                                    19.3 Ω


                                                    10



                                                     5



                                                     0
                -100   -80   -60   -40   -20             0      20   40   60   80
                                         Angle (degrees)
Recommendations

Use FPGA or microcontroller to simplify
 hardware.
Better isolation for noisy components.
  – Possibly soldered on separate boards
More robust software.
Questions?

				
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posted:3/4/2012
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