Performance evaluation of Photovoltaic Panels by a Proposed Automated System Based on Microcontrollers
In this paper, an automated test setup for PV panels using LabVIEW and several microcontrollers (µCs) based embedded systems has been designed, tested, and implemented. This PV testing system has been characterized as fully automated and the only human intervention required is to install the PV panel and to set the required testing conditions. Several PV panels were evaluated and tested, the obtained results showed a high degree of accuracy and conformity with several testing schemes that have been carried out numerically, manually and manufacturer specifications. The designed system is characterized by a high-performance standard with accuracy, precision, and resolution (9 mV / 1.8 mA) that is good enough to test any PV panel of 12 V and 24 V rating. This system can test and calculate the maximum power point for any PV panel operating at any given working condition by applying different amounts of solar irradiance from 0 W/m2 to 1000 W/m2 to simulate the amount of solar irradiation at any time and everywhere on earth. This system also mimics the environment temperature by providing ambient temperature ranged from 0 °C to 50 °C to simulate the variation of weather around the year.
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