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8 Jul 2015

The solar energy collection is not that easy compared to the different types of power generation system because it has the lowest capacity factor. It has 5 out of 24 hours in a day that it can generate electricity from its solar collection. The only solution to this is by optimizing the 5 hours solar energy collection. This design features a solar tracker with Light-Dependent Resistor (LDR). The system is managed by a S08 MCU of Freescale. It has flash and RAM access protection that can be used in embedded development security. The system has its own protection such as illegal opcode detection with reset and illegal address detection with reset. It has also power-saving modes in which a peripheral clock-enable-register can disable the clocks of unused modules.

The design is comprised of a MC9S08PA16AVLC 8-bit MCU, S08 core, 16KB Flash that serves as the main controller of the system. It directs the movement of the servo motor with respect to the data gathered by the LDRs. It has four LDRs that will be able to locate accurately the solar radiation at its optimum point while behind these LDRs is the movable solar panel. The solar panel movement is handled by the servo motor that is also controlled by the MCU. The vertical servo is used to adjust the inclination of the panel while horizontal servo is used to adjust the horizontal position of the panel. The smart battery serves as the energy storage of the solar module that can trip off the supplies produced by the solar panel preventing it from overcharging.

The design is applicable to different types of solar module that will be able to optimize their solar energy application. It can be used in a basic robotic arm development since it features the minor movement capability of a robot or use it as a reference in the development of more sophisticated system.

Optimized Solar Tracking System – [Link]

17 Jun 2015


@ phys.org:

Nano-electronics research center imec announced today at Intersolar Europe, a new efficiency record for its large area n-type PERT (passivated emitter, rear totally diffused) crystalline silicon (Cz-Si) solar cell, now reaching 22.5 percent (calibrated at ISE CalLab). It is the highest efficiency achieved for a two-side-contacted solar cell processed on six inch commercially available n-type Cz-Si wafers without the use of passivated contacts.

N-type silicon solar cells are considered as promising alternatives to p-type solar cells for next generation highly efficient solar cells thanks to their ability to withstand light-induced degradation and to their higher tolerance to common metal impurities.

Large area industrial crystalline silicon n-PERT solar cell with a record 22.5 percent efficiency – [Link]

1 Jun 2015


by Pieter:

It’s undeniable that South Africa is experiencing a critical electricity crisis. On the positive side, it’s forcing us to conserve and consider alternative sources of energy. My mom sponsored our household with a cheap Chinese solar panel with battery pack and LED lights to use during load shedding (we live in Cape Town zone 6 and you can find the schedule here).

This made me wonder: how much solar power does this system harvest in one day? Enter my handy $15 Scorpion Board. I built a cheap current sensor board (using a Diodes ZXCT1051 low side current sensor IC).

Logging harvested solar power using $15 Scorpion Board – [Link]

30 Apr 2015


This is a prototype model Battery (type C ) for electronic devices. The battery has the ability to be recharged by the sun and don’t need any battery charger. It is necessary for climbers, explorers, soldiers, free camping and general for humans who attempt in areas without infrastructure electricity. The standard can also be applied to other types of batteries and the current technology allows their development with much greater energy capacity.

Specifications of the prototype:

  • Battery 1.2v 700 mAh
  • Solar cell 1.5v 70mA

Solar self-rechargeable Battery – [Link]

12 Mar 2015


The NEW Solar BMS charger for LiFePO4 or any other Li-ion battery and used for OffGrid House, RV or boats, with wireless datalogging.

 Solar BMS (Solar Battery Management System)is a solar charge controller designed to replace the Lead Acid solar charge controllers most people use today in Offgrid, RV, Boats and multiple other applications with 12V and 24V systems. Solar BMS can be used with 3 up to 8 Lithium cells (any type) or supercapacitors. The new SBMS100 will have multiple improvements over the first generation SBMS4080 see further for details.

120A Solar BMS charger LiFePO4, Li-ion OffGrid,RV with WiFi – [Link]

6 Mar 2015


by retrotext.blogspot.co.uk:

I have just recently had solar pv installed, mainly to future proof my energy costs, I do not expect it to be like drilling for oil in my back garden, however the return looks to be encouraging.

The install gives you another single unit meter, from this you will see the total amount the panels produce, but that is about it.

I wanted to know how much the production was as it was happening, I discovered the light blinks on the front of the meter will flash 1000 times for each kWh of electricity which passes through. The rate of the flashing of the LED tells you how much power is currently passing through the meter.

A basic Arduino Solar PV Monitor – [Link]

4 Mar 2015


by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:

Indoor lighting offers a convenient energy source for many applications but lacks the high-power levels of solar energy. In fact, indoor lighting energy-harvesting systems face a number of challenges that differ subtlety from those encountered in solar-energy harvesting. Nevertheless, engineers can quickly implement energy-harvesting designs using a variety of components and specialized devices from manufacturers including Cymbet, IXYS, Linear Technology, Panasonic, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments, among others.

Specialized ICs, PV Cells Enable Energy Harvesting from Indoor Lighting – [Link]

6 Feb 2015


Photovoltaic cells output boosted with carbon. R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:

PORTLAND, Ore. — Scientists have demonstrated a doubling of the number of electrons produced by carbon-based photovoltaic polymer potentially doubling the efficiency of any solar cell. The process called “singlet fission” produces “identical twin” electrons from a single photon, instead of the normal one, dramatically boosting the theoretical maximum output of solar cells. Instead of loosing energy to heat, an extra electron is produced by the process of applying a polymer solution to an existing solar cell.

“One of the challenges in improving the efficiency of solar cells is that a portion of the absorbed light energy is lost as heat,” lead scientist at Brookhaven National Labs, Matt Sfeir, told EE Times. “In singlet fission, one absorbed unit of light results in two units of electricity via a multiplication process rather than resulting in one unit of electricity and heat as would occur in a conventional cell.”

Print-On Polymer Multiplies Solar Output – [Link]

30 Jan 2015


by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:

Microinverters provide an effective solution to solar-energy harvesting by providing power conversion at the individual panel level. The emergence of highly integrated MCUs offers an attractive approach to microinverter design, providing an option that reduces the cost of complexity which limited widespread adoption of microinverters in the past. Today, designers can build highly efficient microinverter designs using available MCUs from semiconductor manufacturers including Freescale Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Microchip Technology, Spansion, and Texas Instruments, among others.

Solar-energy-harvesting systems have continued to evolve away from traditional centralized solutions (Figure 1). Unlike systems based on a single central inverter or even multiple string inverters, microinverters convert power from a single panel. In turn, the AC power generated by microinverters on each panel is combined on the output to the load.

Integrated MCUs Enable Cost-Effective Microinverters for Solar Energy Designs – [Link]

16 Jan 2015


by Hanne Degans @ phys.org:

Nano-electronics research center imec announced today that it has improved its large area n-type PERT (passivated emitter, rear totally diffused) crystalline silicon (Si) solar cell on 6″ commercially available n-type Cz-Si wafers, now reaching a top conversion efficiency of 22.02 percent (calibrated at ISE CalLab). This is the highest efficiency achieved for this type of 2-side-contacted solar cell on an industrial large area wafer size.

Compared to p-type silicon solar cells, n-type cells do not suffer from light induced degradation and feature a higher tolerance to common metal impurities. As a result, n-type silicon solar cells are considered as promising alternatives to p-type solar cells for next generation highly efficient solar cells.

Large area industrial crystalline silicon n-PERT solar cell with 22 percent efficiency – [Link]





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