The Imperative Role of Solar Power Assistance for Embedded Based Climatic Parameters Measurement Systems

Safia A. Kazmi

ZHCET, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India

Ankur Kumar Gupta

IIMT University, Meerut, India

Nafees Uddin

JIMS Engineering Management Technical Campus, Greater Noida, India

Yogesh K. Chauhan

Kamla Nehru Institute of Technology, Sultanpur, India

Introduction

Today, solar energy is gaining popularity and replacing conventional energy sources, e.g. coal, oil, and gas, for electricity generation. The process of generation of electricity from fossil fuels leads to air, water, and land pollution, w'hich affects the forests and environment. The advantage of using solar energy is that it can be utilized directly for a stand-alone low-scale power system and can be used by the end consumers as well as for commercial applications. The distributed power generation nature of solar-powered systems makes it a major and viable renewable energy source in rural areas and in roof-top installations in urban areas. Various technologies and applications are adopted to harness the solar energy, such as the solar panels, solar heaters, and the solar architecture for power generation in household and industrial applications. It is generally used to heat homes, provide lighting, heat water, and generate electricity. Basically, the proper usage of energy can lead to a beautiful and bright future.

In spite of being the most abundantly available energy source, solar energy has many drawbacks, the primary one being the cost of installation as compared to other RE sources. Setting up of a solar panel yard with the semiconductor material used in the panels for direct conversion from solar to electrical energy incurs high cost. The production of semiconductors require high standards of purity and hygiene, which further escalate the overall cost involved. Another major drawback of using solar energy is the inconsistency in the availability of sunlight all through the year. This dependability on weather conditions along with high cost are the major challenges faced in the design and implementation of solar power-based monitoring systems.

The use of embedded systems, e.g. analog and digital sensors, Arduino/microcon- troller, and wireless data transceiver systems, for performance enhancement of the solar PV-based applications is discussed. The basic advantages of these embedded system components are easy monitoring of performance parameters, accuracy, and measured data transmission of solar powered applications.

Literature Review

Due to several instances of solar PV applications, researchers explored novel approaches for monitoring of various environmental parameters. Comprehensive studies have been carried out related to the accuracy, robustness, efficiency, and execution [1-29].

In Ref. [1], the authors designed a system to monitor the solar irradiance for a one-year duration. The temperature and current sensors are utilized to measure the performance of solar PV system. A portable data acquisition system (DAS) with the Lab-VIEW-based graphical user interface (GUI) is developed and shown in Figure 10.1.

In Ref. [2], the authors developed a hardware model, which comprised sensors and data storage as primary components for the measured performance parameters. The role of the proposed system is monitoring the performance of solar PV systems. The Lab-VIEW-based GUI system is developed for real-time monitoring the I-V curves. The operating duration of this developed model is 2 years, and the layout of the discussed system is shown in Figure 10.2.

The authors of Ref. [3] designed a commercial model of a data logger to measure the environmental parameters such as solar irradiance, temperature, and wind speed for 3 years. Hourly PV efficiency as a function of hourly in-plane irradiation was observed. The implemented system is shown in Figure 10.3.

The authors in Ref. [4] monitored the microscale grid-connected PV system up to 5 kWp range. For efficient and smart monitoring, the system performance was monitored for failure conditions by the satellite system. Under this investigation, an

Block diagram showing the devices interconnected with the PV plant for performance monitoring [1]

FIGURE 10.1 Block diagram showing the devices interconnected with the PV plant for performance monitoring [1].

8-month testing phase was carried out on hundred PV systems in three European countries. A stand-alone PV system is monitored by the embedded web server-based system for remote condition monitoring. The main components of the system, i.e. the temperature sensor, the voltage sensors, and the PIC18 microcontroller unit, are integrated with the local area network [5].

In Ref. [6], the authors developed a wireless-based prototype model for solar power performance monitoring system under non-ideal conditions. A Lab-VIEW- based GUI system was used for remote monitoring of electrical performance parameters such as voltage, current, and power of PV modules. The measured performance

Layout of proposed system for performance monitoring of PV solar plant [2]

FIGURE 10.2 Layout of proposed system for performance monitoring of PV solar plant [2].

The PV array and monitoring equipment [3]

FIGURE 10.3 The PV array and monitoring equipment [3].

parameters are transferred by the ZigBee transmitting module to the operator end. The developed model is shown in Figure 10.4.

Other authors [17] have developed an advanced data logger for recording the performance parameters. For the performance improvement of solar PV system and maximum power point tracking module is used to supply voltage the wireless module JN5139. The intermediate stages are battery charger and designed model of DC-DC buck converter [7]. The developed model is shown in Figure 10.5.

The authors of Ref. [8] installed a solar PV plant of 1.28 kWp capacity. A hardware implementation of a data logger system was done for the storage of the climatic

Performance monitoring of two PV modules using ZigBee [6]

FIGURE 10.4 Performance monitoring of two PV modules using ZigBee [6].

(a) Functional schematic diagram of the alternative power supply unit

FIGURE 10.5 (a) Functional schematic diagram of the alternative power supply unit,

(b) Front view: Printed circuit board and wireless module, (c) Rear-side view: solar PV cells for power backup [7].

parameters data (solar irradiation and wind speed sensor) and the electrical performance parameters of solar PV system (voltage and current). Moreover, the performance assessment of solar PV system was carried out efficiently with the main components such as microcontroller unit 30F3013 and RF transmitting modules at the receiver and transmitting ends. The proposed scheme of w'ireless remote monitoring system is shown in Figure 10.6.

Wireless remote monitoring of climatic and performance parameters of a

FIGURE 10.6 Wireless remote monitoring of climatic and performance parameters of a

low-scale PV system [8].

Block diagram of proposed system for solar parameters measurement [9]

FIGURE 10.7 Block diagram of proposed system for solar parameters measurement [9].

The authors have developed a hardware model for the measurement of solar performance and environmental parameters, e.g. current, voltage, temperature, and solar irradiation level. The photovoltaic system of 120 Wp capacity is considered for the performance monitoring [9]. The developed model is shown in Figure 10.7.

In Ref. [10], wired and wireless sensor network technologies are used to develop a system for monitoring the solar PV system performance, such as voltage, current, and power under two separate irradiation conditions. Furthermore, the environmental parameters such as temperature and humidity are also monitored. The testing phase of the developed system is investigated at the laboratory scale with the ZigBee transmitting module.

The authors of Ref. [11] developed a data logger, which has 25 irradiance sensors to estimate the solar irradiation on site. Using this network of sensors, two differentsized power plants are considered in this study. The deployed sensor node is shown in Figure 10.8.

In Ref. [12], the authors developed a data logger system comprised of various sensors to assess the data at the PV system site. Numerous analog and digital temperature sensors are used for measuring cell and ambient temperature continuously. Moreover, current sensors are used for measurement of PV system current, battery current, and load current. The developed system is shown in Figure 10.9a and b.

In Ref. [13], a PLC modem-based power management system is developed for the investigation of PV systems in smart home application. PLC modems measure the status of PV modules and the user can then check the status of PV system in terms of failure conditions. The schematic diagram of the developed model is shown in Figure 10.10.

In Ref. [14], the authors placed 16 temperature sensors to measure the real data at an energy site. An embedded system called DAS was designed for this purpose. The recorded data is shown on a liquid crystal display (LCD) regularly as well as being stored at the master control board. The testing is carried out during the morning to

Deployed solar irradiance sensor [ 11]

FIGURE 10.8 Deployed solar irradiance sensor [ 11].

evening hours. It is observed that the temperature is high between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. The block diagram of the developed model is shown in Figure 10.11.

The authors of Ref. [15] designed a low-cost power line communication (PLC)- based user-friendly PV monitoring system. To reduce the system cost, the PLC module is utilized without a communication modem. Individual PLC modules are deployed at each PV module for the system operation. The designed system is used to measure the voltage, current of each PV module, as well as environmental temperature. The master PLC module sends these PV performance parameters to the data logger. The block diagram of the used system is shown in Figure 10.12.

A wireless sensor network system is developed for monitoring the solar PV system performance. Analog sensors such as humidity, temperature, and current sensors are used for single PV modules separately. Performance data is transferred through a radiofrequency (RF) module. Two days performance parameters, such as current of panels 1-3, battery current, and temperature, are transferred from the transmitting side to the receiver side. The layout of the proposed system is shown in Figure 10.13.

In Ref. [17], a grid-connected PV park is considered for real-time monitoring. The obtained results show the utilization of voltage, current, temperature, and irradiation sensors for system protection and extensive monitoring. The performance parameters of solar PV systems, e.g. voltage, current, environmental temperature, and solar irradiation, are measured regularly and monitored at the controlling station/stage using transmitting modules. Simultaneously, the measured performance data are recorded

(a) Block diagram of developed data logger, (b) Pyrometer system to measure solar irradiance [12]

FIGURE 10.9 (a) Block diagram of developed data logger, (b) Pyrometer system to measure solar irradiance [12].

for further analysis. In Ref. [18], internet of things (IoT)-based monitoring is carried out to monitor the solar PV performance parameters. The major advantage of the IoT system is that it is easy to monitor a solar plant for performance evaluation remotely.

In Ref. [19], the authors developed an experimental system for monitoring the indoor environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, human occupancy, light intensity, and air quality monitoring. The measured data are recorded on the memory card (Micro SD card). The prototype model has supportive components such as an Arduino and various analog sensors.

The authors of Ref. [20] developed a low-cost PV analyzer, which comprised the major components of a current sensor (ACS712), voltage sensor (B25), and

Structure of PLC modem and renewable energy gateway [13]

FIGURE 10.10 Structure of PLC modem and renewable energy gateway [13].

Block diagram of the developed model of data acquisition system [14]

FIGURE 10.11 Block diagram of the developed model of data acquisition system [14].

Atmega328 microcontroller. Moreover, temperature, humidity, and solar irradiance type environment parameters are measured using the analog sensors. The authors considered two separate solar PV modules for online characterization at different irradiation and temperature levels. The experimental setup is shown in Figure 10.14.

A thermal study for the performance improvement of solar PV systems is carried out in this study [15]. An integration of Arduino and supportive sensors-actuator systems is used for the development of the prototype model. An automated water pumping system is driven to control the temperature of the solar PV system, which is validated from the obtained curves of temperature [21]. The developed system is shown in Figure 10.15.

(a) Schematic diagram of data logger-assisted PV monitoring system using

FIGURE 10.12 (a) Schematic diagram of data logger-assisted PV monitoring system using

PLC. (b) Deployed location of PLC [15].

The authors of Ref. [22] measured the temperature for a four-month duration. Two more sensors are connected with the Arduino system for pressure and altitude measurement. The schematic diagram of the developed system is shown in Figure 10.16.

Layout of PV monitoring system [16]

FIGURE 10.13 Layout of PV monitoring system [16].

Experimental setup for online characterization of PV module [20]

FIGURE 10.14 Experimental setup for online characterization of PV module [20].

(a) Block diagram of developed model, (b) Relay circuit control, (c) Schematic

FIGURE 10.15 (a) Block diagram of developed model, (b) Relay circuit control, (c) Schematic

diagram of system [21].

Schematic diagram of developed system for weather forecasting [22]

FIGURE 10.16 Schematic diagram of developed system for weather forecasting [22].

In Ref. [23], the authors developed a data logger system to measure the solar PV performance parameters as well as environmental parameters such as solar irradi- ance, ambient temperature, and humidity. In Refs. [24,25], the authors developed a customized cost-effective system that allows monitoring and predicting the performance of a roof-top installed PV system. Various types of sensors are used for the monitoring of environmental parameters such as ambient temperature, humidity, presence of dust (air pollution monitoring), wind speed, and solar irradiation. For the graphical representation of observed parameters, the Lab-VIEW-based graphical user interface (GUI) system is used and the performance data is transmitted using X-bee and/or Wi-Fi modules. The schematic view of the developed systems are shown in Figures 10.18 and 10.19.

In Ref. [26], the authors have developed a solar harvesting circuit for the wireless HART sensor node. The obtained experimental-based results with the proposed system have shown extensive proof of solar harvesting. In Ref. [27], the authors used analog sensors, such as voltage, current, temperature, and humidity sensors, for the performance investigation of solar PV system. The authors of Refs. [28,29] implemented a real-time performance measurement of a solar PV system. As well as monitoring of performance parameters, data acquisition (DAQ) is interfaced with sensors such as a humidity sensor, temperature sensor, solar irradiation sensor, and voltage and current sensors to store the measured data instantaneously. No data transmitting module is used in the system, and the schematic diagram of the developed system is shown in Figure 10.19.

In view of above literature review, the developed models monitored environmental parameters, e.g. solar irradiation, temperature, humidity, air pollution (dust particles), and performance parameters (voltage and current). Furthermore, it is observed that the performance assessment of the solar PV system is carried

(a) Schematic diagram of installed PV system monitoring system,

FIGURE 10.17 (a) Schematic diagram of installed PV system monitoring system, (b) Experimental setup comprised of microcontroller circuits, X-Bee Pro, and signal conditioning circuits for the sensors and resistive load [24].

Layout of developed environmental monitoring system [25]

FIGURE 10.18 Layout of developed environmental monitoring system [25].

out accurately and in an automatic manner during the investigation. These models for the solar performance monitoring are analyzed, and all the supportive components used ICT technology, modeling scale, etc. Further details are shown in Table 10.1.

 
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