Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular as a renewable energy source, and accurately measuring their parameters is crucial for monitoring and optimizing their performance. In this article, we will delve into the world of solar panel parameter measurement systems. We will explore the different components and sensors used to measure voltage, current, power, temperature, and light intensity. Additionally, we will discuss the role of a PIC microcontroller and its built-in analog-to-digital converter in obtaining these measurements. Whether you are a solar panel enthusiast or simply curious about the technology behind it, this article will provide you with valuable insights into the measurement process. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of solar panel parameter measurement systems!
The block diagram above displays a solar panel measurement system. The system utilizes a voltage divider to measure voltage, incorporating a polar and non-polar capacitor to mitigate rapid voltage fluctuations during measurement. It employs a difference amplifier to measure current, utilizing a shunt resistor for signal conditioning and conversion of current into voltage. To measure the voltage of the solar panel, an LM35 temperature sensor is utilized. The system also employs a light-dependent resistor to measure light intensity. Power can be calculated by multiplying the measured current and voltage.
The PIC microcontroller connects sensors to four ADC channels, as illustrated in the block diagram above. The following section will explain how these sensors work, and the circuit diagrams for all of these sensors are depicted below.
Voltage Sensor Circuit Diagram
There are many ways to sense voltage. But in this project, we can easily measure the voltage of a solar panel using a voltage divider. Two capacitors are connected in parallel to the voltage measurement resistor to avoid voltage fluctuations and prevent harmonics from entering the ADC of the PIC microcontroller. I have already posted an article on how to measure AC voltage using a PIC microcontroller. You can also check out this article by clicking on the link below:
Circuit diagram of a voltage sensor is shown below:
According to the voltage sensor formula, for a solar panel of 24 volts, the values of the voltage divider resistors are R2 = 10K and R4 = 2K. The reason I have used a voltage divider is because the maximum input voltage to the Analog to Digital Converter can never be greater than 5 volts. However, I calculated these resistor values according to 4 volts to increase the accuracy of the measurement and to ensure the protection of the ADC in case of greater voltage fluctuation.
Note: DC voltage source is used instead of solar panel in Proteus just for simulation purpose. Because solar panel simulation is not available in Proteus.
Current Sensor Circuit Diagram
Below is a circuit diagram of a current measurement circuit. I have used a differential amplifier to amplify the voltage appearing across the shunt resistor. Since the current value may vary at different times, generating different voltages across the shunt resistor, it is not possible to use a voltage divider as we do not know the current values.
I have already posted an article on how to measure AC current using a differential amplifier. You can check the following article to understand how the above circuit is working.
Temperature Sensor Circuit Diagram
The Circuit Diagram of a temperature sensor is shown below. To learn more about the temperature sensor and its details, please read the following articles:
- Digital temperature sensor using PIC microcontroller
- Wireless temperature sensor using PIC microcontroller and gsm
Light Sensor Circuit Diagram
Light dependent resistor is used to measure the intensity of light. LDR is a light-controlled variable resistor. The resistance of LDR changes with the change in the intensity of light. The greater the intensity of light, the lower the resistance will be, and the lower the intensity of light, the greater the resistance will be. The change in resistance can be easily measured by converting it into voltage form as shown in the circuit diagram below.
In the above circuit, a non-polar 100nF capacitor is used to prevent voltage fluctuations.
You can easily calculate the output power of a solar panel by multiplying the voltage and current outputs of the solar panel. This calculation is possible because a solar panel functions as a DC voltage source, where the voltage and current remain in phase. This simplifies the power relationship to a straightforward multiplication of the voltage and current. You can perform these calculations with the assistance of an algorithm or program.
Solar Panel Parameters Measurement Circuit Diagram
A complete circuit diagram of solar panel voltage measurement is shown below. You can easily write code for this circuit using the ADC of a PIC microcontroller and an LCD display for digital display of these values.
The circuit diagram consists of several components and sensors connected to a PIC microcontroller, which is responsible for measuring and processing the analog values obtained from the sensors. Overall, this circuit diagram illustrates the connections and components involved in measuring the parameters of a solar panel using a PIC microcontroller and corresponding sensors. It provides a visual representation of the system for better understanding and implementation.
If you want to purchase the complete circuit diagram and code for this project, please comment on this post with your email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
In conclusion, solar panel parameter measurement systems play a vital role in monitoring and optimizing the performance of solar panels. By accurately measuring parameters such as voltage, current, power, temperature, and light intensity, these systems provide valuable insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of renewable energy generation. The use of a PIC microcontroller and its built-in analog-to-digital converter simplifies the measurement process and ensures precise readings. Whether you are a solar panel enthusiast or simply curious about the technology behind it, understanding the world of solar panel parameter measurement systems opens up a fascinating realm of renewable energy exploration. Take a dive into this captivating field and unlock the full potential of solar power!
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