A Photovoltaic (PV) Array Monitoring Simulator

Shwetang Peshin, Andreas Spanias, Jongmin Lee, David Ramirez, Henry C. Braun, Cihan Tepedelenlioglu, Mahesh Banavar, and Devarajan Srinivansan


Solar energy monitoring, PV array simulator, Remote control of solar array topologies, LABVIEW, Arduino, Sensors


Utility scale solar energy is generated by photovoltaic (PV) cell arrays, which are often deployed in remote areas. We consider a PV array monitoring system where smart sensors are attached to the PV modules and transmit data to a monitoring station through wireless links. These smart monitoring devices may be used for fault detection and management of connection topologies. In this paper, we describe a compact hardware simulator of the smart PV array monitoring system. The voltage, current, irradiance, and temperature of each PV module are monitored and the status of each panel along with all data is transmitted to a mobile device. LABVIEW and Arduino board programs have been developed to display and visualize the monitoring data from all sensors. All data is saved on servers and mobile devices and desktops can easily access analytics from anywhere. In the paper, we simulate and demonstrate various PV array conditions including shading, faults, and loading.

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