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Solar Energy Measurement System

Solar Energy Measurement System

Basic concepts
Radiant energy travels in the form of electromagnetic waves.

These waves do not require molecules to propagate.

Different types of radiation are characterized by different wavelengths.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

DESCRIPTION
This is used to measure solar cell parameters through multiple sensor data
acquisition.

In this solar panel is used which keeps monitoring the sunlight.

Here different parameters of the solar panel like the light intensity, voltage,
current and the temperature are controlled.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Block diagram:

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Working of block diagram:


The microcontroller used here is PIC16F8 family.

The light intensity is monitored using an LDR sensor, voltage by voltage


divider principle, current by current sensor and temperature by the
temperature sensor.

All these data gets displayed on a 16X2 LCD interfaced to PIC


microcontroller.

The power supply consists of a step-down transformer 230/12V, which steps


drags the voltage to 12V AC. It is converted to DC using a bridge rectifier.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

The ripples are removed using a capacitive filter, and it is then regulated
to +5V using a voltage regulator 7805 that is essential for the operation of
the microcontroller and other circuits.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Why is the Measurement of Solar Radiation Important

Measuring the suns radiation output has a variety of useful purposes:

It allows for the development of solar energy devices, makes it possible for
doctors to issue advice about sun exposure, and permits scientists to
predict rates of future global warming on a grander scale.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

How to Measure Solar Energy?


There are two types of solar energy measurement, based on the kind of
energy:

Measuring Solar Thermal Energy


Measuring Solar Photovoltaic Energy

The power output is expressed by the amount of solar radiation that


reaches the absorbent surface be it a solar panel or solar collector.

The measurement of solar radiation is based on a rate of kilowatts per


square meter, represented as W/m2.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

The measurement standard for scientific data, designed for generating a


direct estimate of solar energy mainly, how much sunlight is hitting a
particular part of the Earth at any given time

Measurements taken for the purpose of energy production via solar panels
and another photovoltaic equipment is calculated in kilowatt-hours per
square meter, or kWh/m2, designed to represent the amount of energy being
generated by that sunlight.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Measuring Solar Thermal Energy


Solar thermal energy measured in British thermal units (Btu) per square foot of
collector space.

A Btu is about the amount of energy it takes to heat a pound of water from
39F to 40F.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Measuring Solar Photovoltaic Energy


Electricity measured in watts, i.e., with one thousand watts in a kilowatt.

Using one thousand watts of electricity in one hour is a kilowatt-hour (kWh),


the measurement on your utility bill

For solar panels, the measurement of kWh refers to the amount of energy
produced by the panel.

This measure can be represented as kWh per square meter of panel surface.

For example, it takes 38,000 BTUs to heat 80 gallons of cold water to 122
degrees. A solar hot water heating system with a rating of 30,500 Btu/day
rating will be able to provide 80 percent of the daily hot water needs.
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Solar Energy Measurement System

Solar Photovoltaic Energy

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Measurement Techniques
Several different tools can be used to measure kilowatts and kilowatt-hours
per square meter.

A Pyranometer is a device used to measure global solar radiation while a


Pyrheliometer measures direct radiation.

A Pyranometer comprises of a thermopile sensor with a black coating, which


absorbs all solar radiation, and a glass dome, which limits the spectral
response of the thermopile.

A Pyrheliometer works similarly but is designed with a solar tracker to keep


the device directly aimed at the sun for the duration of the measurement
being taken.
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Solar Energy Measurement System

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Hardware Requirements
PIC16F8 series MC
Solar Panel
LCD
Transformer
Diodes
Voltage Regulator
Resistors
Capacitor
LED

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Software Requirements
MPLAB & CCS C compiler
Language: Embedded C or Assembly

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Commercial and Scientific Use


Most of the tools used for the measurement of solar radiation are quite
expensive and is primarily used by meteorologists and other scientific
researchers.

Companies manufacturing solar panels and other forms of energy production


using sunlight may also employ the utilization of these products.

Actual solar radiation equipment is not often useful to the average person
interested in measuring sunlight intensity for gauging solar panel productivity.

Insolation tables, which specify the kilowatts per square meter recorded
annually in different areas, are found online.

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Solar Energy Measurement System

Future Scope:
The measurement of solar radiation is useful in much the same way that
records of rainfall are useful

it gives us information about our world with which to make informed


decisions.

For example, insolation tables can help people in different areas decided
whether solar panels are an appropriate alternative energy source. If there is not
enough solar radiation, they may opt instead for wind power.

Such data may also be useful when it comes to deciding how much sunscreen
to wear, or for physicians looking to study rates of skin cancer in relation to
rates of solar radiation exposure.
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Solar Energy Measurement System

Conclusion:
Although the technicality and special equipment required for the
measurement of solar radiation may make it difficult for the layman to
understand, there are many practical uses for this data.

Ultimately, as with many scientific measurements, the collection methods


are less important for laymen than the results but these, when interpreted
and translated by the scientific community, can serve a variety of purposes.

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