The Design and Implementation of a Solar Tracking Generating Power System

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1 The Design and Implementation o a Solar Tracking Generating Power System Y. J. Huang, Member, IAENG, T. C. Kuo, Member, IAENG, C. Y. Chen, C. H. Chang, P. C. Wu, and T. H. Wu Abstract A solar tracking generating power system is designed and implemented. A tracking mechanism is integrated with an expert controller, sensors and input/output interace, that it can increase the energy generation eiciency o solar cells. In order to track the sun, cadmium sulide light sensitive resistors are used. To achieve optimal solar tracking, a uzzy algorithm is developed and implemented. A ield programmable gate array is applied to design the controller so that the solar cells always ace the sun in most o the day time. Index Terms solar tracking, two-axis tracking, ield programmable gate array, uzzy control. I. INTRODUCTION The green energy also called the regeneration energy, has gained much attention nowadays. Green energy can be recycled, much like solar energy, water power, wind power, biomass energy, terrestrial heat, temperature dierence o sea, sea waves, morning and evening tides, etc [1, 2]. Among these, solar energy is the most powerul resource that can be used to generate power. So ar the eiciency o generating power rom solar energy is relatively low. Thus, increasing the eiciency o generating power o solar energy is very important. In the past, solar cells have been hooked with ixed elevating angles. They do not track the sun and thereore, the eiciency o power generation is low. For example, the elevating angle o a solar cell or the largest volume o illumination in daytime is 23. in southern Taiwan. Since the ixed-type solar panel can not obtain the optimal solar energy, the transormation eiciency o solar energy is limited. Many scholars have proposed dierent methods or tracking the sun [3-9]. Many dierent light source sensors, light intensity sensors, intelligent vision techniques, and CCD equipments were applied to compute the absorbed time o the sun radiation in everyday or measuring the volume o solar energy. So ar the majority o solar cell panels worldwide are hooked with ixed angles. Thus, it is clear that the method o tracking the sun is a technique worthy o being developed. In this paper, the main goal is to design and implement a Manuscript received October 23, The authors would like to thank National Science Council, Taiwan, or supporting this work under Contracts NSC E MY2 and NSC E MY2. Y. J. Huang is with the Department o Electrical Engineering, Yuan-Ze University, Chungli, Taiwan, ROC. (phone: ; ax: ; T. C. Kuo is with the Department o Electrical Engineering, Ching Yun University, Chungli, Taiwan, ROC. C. Y. Chen, C. H. Chang, P. C. Wu, and T. H. Wu are with the Department o Electrical Engineering, Yuan-Ze University, Chungli, Taiwan, ROC. solar tracking control system using ield programmable gate array (FPGA). The CdS light sensitive resistors are used. Feedback signals are delivered to the assigned chip through an A/D converter. A uzzy controller was developed and implemented on the FPGA platorm. A Cyclone II chip o the Altera Company is adopted as the control kernel. Finally, a comparison between the tracking system and the ixed system is made. From the experimental results, the proposed tracking system is veriied more eiciently in generating energy than the ixed system. II. SOLAR CELL DESCRIPTION The solar cell is composed o the semiconductors o the P-N junctions [10-11]. It can convert light into electric energy. Thereore we can assume that electricity produced using sunlight shining on the solar cell can be used like common electricity. The equivalent circuit o the solar cell is shown in Fig. 1. The current supply I ph represents the electric current generated rom the sun beaming on the solar cell. R j is the non-linear impedance o the P-N junction. D j is a P-N junction diode, R sh and R s represent the equivalent lineup with the interior o the materials and connecting resistances in series. Usually in general analysis, R sh is large, and the value o R s is small. Thereore in order to simpliy the process o analysis, one can ignore R sh and R s. The symbol R o represents the external load. I and V represent the output current and the voltage o the solar cell, respectively. From the equivalent circuit, and based on the characteristics o the P-N junction, (1) presents the connection between the output current I and the output voltage V : q V I = n p I ph n p I sat exp 1], (1) kta ns where n p represents the parallel integer o the solar cell; n s represents the series connected integer o the solar cell; q 19 represents the contained electricity in an electro ( Columbic); k is the Boltzmann constant 23 ( J / K ); T is the temperature o the solar cell (absolute temperature K ); and A is the ideal actor o the solar cell ( A = 1 ~ ). The current I sat in (1) represents the reversion saturation current o the solar power. Further, I sat can be determined by using the ollowing ormula:

2 R s I R j I ph R sh V RO D j Fig. 1. Solar cell equivalent circuit. Fig. 3. Sketch o the two-axis array solar cells. Fig. 2. System architecture o the solar tracking system. 3 T qegap 1 1 I sat = I rr exp, (2) Tr ka Tr T where T r represents the reerence temperature o the solar cell; I rr is the reversion saturation current at the time when the solar cell reaches its temperature T r ; and E Gap is the energy needed or crossing the energy band gap or the semiconductor materials. (the crystalline E Gap 1. 1eV ). From the study we are able to know that when the temperature is ixed, the stronger the sunlight is, and the higher the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current are. Here we can see the obvious eects o illumination on the short-circuit current, rather than the open-circuit current. Thereore the solar cell can provide higher output rate as the sunlight becomes stronger, i.e. solar cell acing the sun. III. ARCHITECTURE OF SYSTEM HARDWARE The system architecture o the proposed solar tracking control system using FPGA is shown in Fig. 2. A eedback signal is produced rom the CdS light sensitive resistors since the sun shines and is inputted to the FPGA through an analog/digital converter. Then, the controller in the chip delivers an output, the corresponding PWM signals, to drive the stepping motors. Thus, the directions o the two dimensional solar platorm can be tuned to achieve optimal control, respectively. There are three modes in the controller as ollows: (1) Balancing mode To set the initial position o the solar platorm, we use mercury switches or balancing position. The goal is to set boundary problems around or preventing too large elevating angles, which may make the solar panels crash the mechanism platorm, and thus damage$ the motors and the platorm. Fig. 4. Flow diagram o the tracking control. (2) Automatic mode The tracking light sensors are based the intensity o light reception o the CdS light sensitive resistors. The sensors can deliver dierent signals to the FPGA controller through an analog/digital converter according to the dierent sunlight intensity. The NiosII CPU is the main control kernel. By tuning the two-dimensional solar platorm, the optimal eiciency o generating power can be achieved. (3) Manual mode

3 Avalon Bus Fig.. System architecture with FPGA. When the tracking control system is in a trouble or a maintaining process, the manual mode o the system can be chosen. Then, engineers can tune the position o the solar panel arbitrarily and overhaul it. The array solar tracking system architecture contains two motors to drive the platorm, conducting an approximate hemispheroidal three-dimensional rotation on the array solar generating power system as shown in Fig. 3. The two motors are decoupled, i.e., the rotation angle o one motor does not inluence that o the other motor, reducing control problems. This implementation minimizes the system s power consumption during operation and increases eiciency and the total amount o electricity generated. The low chart o the tracking is shown in Fig. 4. The system architecture with FPGA Nios II is shown in Fig.. There are two important advantages in the array type mechanism as ollows: (1) High eiciency o light-electricity transormation. Since the array solar tracking mechanism has a unction o rotating in three-dimensions, the array solar tracking mechanism can track the sun in real time. Thereore, the system has high eiciency o light-electricity transormation and has an advantage o large production. (2) The mechanism is simple and saves power. The two rotating dimensions o the array solar tracking mechanism are controlled by the two independent driving sources, which do not have the coupling problem and bear the weight o the other driving source. At the same time, the rotating inertia o the rotating panels can be reduced. The tracking device is composed o our same CdS (Cadmium Sulide) light sensitive resistors, which detect light intensity rom eastern, western, southern, and northern directions, respectively. In every direction, there is a CdS light sensitive resistor with an elevation angle 4 o to ace a light source. The our sensors are separated into two groups. One uses two CdS light sensitive resistors to be an eastward-westward direction sensor or comparing the light intensity o eastward and westward directions. When the eastward-westward direction sensor receives dierent light intensity, the system will obtain the signal according to the output voltages o the eastward-westward direction sensors. A voltage type analog/digital converter (ADC0804) can read dierent output voltages o the sensor and decide which direction has larger light intensity than the other direction. Then, the system will drive the stepping motors to make the solar panel turn to the decided direction. When the output voltages o the eastward-westward direction sensor are equal, i.e., the dierence between the outputs o the eastwardwestward direction sensors is zero, then the motor voltage is also zero. This means that the tracking process is completed in the eastward-westward direction. The southern-northern direction sensors are analyzed by the same methodology to track the sun in the southern-northern direction. e Fig. 6. Block diagram o the uzzy control. IV. FUZZY CONTROLLER DESIGN The uzzy sets concept was proposed by Zadeh in 196 [12-14]. The uzzy algorithm can make human knowledge into the rule base to control a plant with linguistic descriptions. It relies on expert experience instead o mathematical models. The advantages o uzzy control include good popularization, high aults tolerance, and suitability or nonlinear control systems. A uzzy controller design has our parts: uzziication, control rule base, uzzy inerence, and deuzziication. The block diagram o the uzzy control system is shown in Fig. 6. At irst, the sun light illuminates the CdS light sensitive resistor o the solar tracking device. Then, a eedback analog signal will be produced and transormed into a digital signal through an analog/digital converter. When the voltage in the eastward-westward direction or the southward-northward direction is dierent, the dierences will be delivered into the uzzy controller. Then, the uzzy controller produces pulses to motor drivers and the motor drivers produce PWM signals to control step motors or tuning desired angles. Note that i the dierences o sensors are zero, i.e., the sun is vertical to the solar panel, the uzzy controller does not work. Since the sun moves very slowly, high speed rotation o the solar tracking device is not necessary. By uzzy control, some advantages such as reducing consumption power o step motors and ast and smooth ixed position can be achieved. Thereore, the uzzy control algorithm has enough ability to complete this goal. Since the corresponding CdS light sensitive resistors can operate independently, they can be seen as independently controlled. For one motor control, the error o output voltages o corresponding sensors can be set as input variables. The rotation time o the stepping motors or clockwise and counterclockwise are output variables. The membership unctions are shown in Figs. 7 and 8. Five uzzy control rules are used, as shown in the ollowing. Rule1: I e is PB, thenu is PB. Rule 2 : I Rule 3: I Rule 4 : I Rule : I e is PS, then U e is ZE, thenu e is NB, then U e is NS, thenu is PS. is ZE. is NB. is NS. In this paper, product inerence is applied or uzzy inerence. The center o gravity method is adopted or

4 Fig. 7. Input membership unction o the uzzy control system. e Fig. 9. The proposed solar tracking system placed by a large-scale ixed angle type system. Fig. 8. Output membership unction o the uzzy control system. deuzziication to achieve a practical operation value. The deuzziication is shown in (3). Uˆ i i i 1 = = w 1r1 + w2r2 + w3r3 + w4r4 + = w r (3) i= 1 w r w i U This deuzziication method is implemented by digital circuits. V. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS This experiment applies our solar cell panels. Every two panels are connected in series as a set. There are our panels; this means there will be two sets. Then, we connect these two sets in a parallel coniguration. Solar cell array can be composed o many small sets by both series and parallel connections. When sets are in a series connection, the output DC voltage o the solar generating power system will be raised. While sets are in a parallel connection, the output DC current o the solar generating power system will be raised. Thereore, series and parallel connections can be used as is suitable to produce desired output DC voltage and current. Since solar cells are diicult to be produced, every solar cell panel has its own characteristics. In addition, environmental actors such as dust, clouds, etc., may cause dierent voltages and currents in dierent sets. Another problem is that some sets may be loads or other sets. In this case, the temperature o a set will rise because o power consumption. When the internal temperature o a solar cell panel is over 8 C ~100 C, the set will be damaged. Furthermore, all voltage will be applied in the set, when there are some broken sets in the solar cell array. Thereore, a bypass diode is included in a parallel connection to a set to solve this problem. kj(w-s) Fixed and Tracking solar 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 1:00 1:30 Time Fixed Tracking Fig. 10. The power generation comparison o ixed angle type and tracking systems The experimental data o the solar generating power system are measured outdoors as shown in Fig. 9. We select the roo o the third building in Yuan Ze University as the outdoor place. Each battery is 12 volt and 7Ah, so we combine two batteries together as the power supply which is 24 volt and 14Ah. Fig. 10 shows that the eiciency with solar tracking methodology is 6.7 percent higher than with ixed angle. VI. CONCLUSION This paper presents a solar tracking power generation system. The tracking controller based on the uzzy algorithm is designed and implemented on FPGA with a NiosII embedded system. Set up on the solar tracking system, the CdS light sensitivity resistors are used to determine the solar light intensity. The proposed solar tracking power generation system can track the sun light automatically. Thus, the eiciency o solar energy generation can be increased. Experimental work has been carried out careully. The result shows that higher generating power eiciency is indeed achieved using the solar tracking system. The proposed method is veriied to be highly beneicial or the solar power generation. REFERENCES [1] S. R. Bull, Renewable energy today and tomorrow, IEEE Proc., vol. 89, no. 8, pp , 2001.

5 [2] S. Rahman, Green power: what is it and where can we ind it? IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, vol. 1, no. 1, pp , [3] D. A. Pritchard, Sun tracking by peak power positioning or photovoltaic concentrator arrays, IEEE Contr. Syst. Mag., vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 2-8, [4] A. Konar and A. K. Mandal, Microprocessor based automatic sun tracker, IEE Proc. Sci., Meas. Technol., vol. 138, no. 4, pp , [] B. Koyuncu and K. Balasubramanian, A microprocessor controlled automatic sun tracker, IEEE Trans. Consumer Electron., vol. 37, no. 4, pp , [6] J. D. Garrison, A program or calculation o solar energy collection by ixed and tracking collectors, Sol. Energy, vol. 72, no. 4, pp , [7] P. P. Popat Autonomous, low-cost, automatic window covering system or daylighting Applications, Renew. Energ., vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 146, [8] M. Berenguel, F. R. Rubio, A. Valverde, P. J. Lara, M. R. Arahal, E. F. Camacho, and M. López, An artiicial vision-based control system or automatic heliostat positioning oset correction in a central receiver solar power plant, Sol. Energy, vol. 76, no., pp.63-7, [9] J. Wen and T. F. Smith, Absorption o solar energy in a room, Sol. Energy, vol. 72, no. 4, pp , [10] T. F. Wu, Y. K. Chen, and C. H. Chang, Power Provision and Illumination o Solar Light, Chuan Hwa Science & Technology Book CO., LTD, [11] C. C. Chuang, Solar Energy Engineering-Solar Cells, Chuan Hwa Science & Technology Book CO., LTD, [12] L. A. Zadeh, Fuzzy sets, Inorm. and Contr., vol. 8, pp , 196. [13] L. A. Zadeh, Fuzzy Algorithms, Inorm. and Contr., vol. 12, pp , [14] E. H. Mamdani, Application o uzzy algorithms or control o a simple dynamic plant, in Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., vol. 121, pp , 1974.

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