Solar energy systems have emerged over the last decades as the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy resources available worldwide. Solar trackers are devices specially developed to enhance the energy efficiency of solar energy systems. This paper presents the design and implementation stages of a reconfigurable hardware technology-based...two-axis solar tracker platform, specially conceived to improve the energy efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) panels. The main module of this platform is the NI-MyRIO ready-to-use development system built upon a high-performance Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processor that controls the entire solar tracker unit. Optimal tracking of the sun movement and obtaining the maximal energy efficiency rate is achieved by simultaneous real-time controlling both the captured sunlight intensity and PV cell temperature magnitudes. In this way, a robust and versatile positioning system has been developed that performs a high precision and accurate tracking pathway. All the control algorithms are implemented there under the LabView graphical programming software toolkit. The final solution boosts in a useful and modularized tracking system that looks useful in a wide range of applications both in industrial and domestic project sites with different power scales.
Due to the rapid depletion of traditional fossil energy resources the optimal utilization of renewable resources such as the solar energy becomes a leading task in power engineering. In recent years photovoltaic energy-linked technologies has reached major advances in order to achieve improved energy efficiency conversion rates. In this endeavo...r, a huge amount of high quality research effort is dedicated worldwide. This paper is focused to present the design and implementation steps of a LabView -based toolkit aimed to modeling and simulates solar photovoltaic (PV) cells in a wide range of operation conditions. By using its well known mathematical model, it has been conceived a versatile and user-friendly simulator well suitable to study and evaluate energy efficiency conversion processes. In order to maximize the energy conversion efficiency the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm has been implemented. The virtual instrument (VI) developed in the graphical programming language allows fast and convenient monitoring of PV cell output magnitudes and plots the I-U and P-U diagrams under different operation conditions. These curves have been compared then with the diagrams provided by the PV module manufacturer. The obtained results are in good agreement with the manufacturer’s catalogue data.
Due to the continuously increasing demand for more comfortable residential or commercial buildings in the last decades the researches in the so called “intelligent buildings” topic has emerged as one of the most challenging and high ranked engineering task. Consumers also require a higher level of security, supervision, and control of the b...uildings according to a large scale of user needs. These expectations face building automation and supervising system developers with a challenging problem, difficult to approach with classical methods or strategies. Therefore, this paper is focused to outline novel facilities and solutions offered by the current level microelectronic technologies in building automation. In the first step of this endeavor the benefits and advantages of the reconfigurable hardware systems is highlighted and outlined. Then a concrete building automation and supervising system implementation in hardware reconfigurable technology is presented and detailed. The main unit of this system has been built upon a Genesys Virtex-5 FPGA-based development board, as a high speed, parallel, and distributed computing reconfigurable unit. The software modules for building supervising and monitoring purposes embed last generation MicroBlaze technology which allows fast and convenient implementation of sophisticated control algorithms. The result of the entire development is a powerful and versatile system representing a well suitable solution for the most sophisticated and demanding customer needs in building supervising and monitoring applications.
As it is well known, an accurate knowledge of solar photovoltaic (PV) cell parameters from experimental data is of major importance for estimate their performances and to implement high energetic efficiency PV plants. In the last decade several solar cell models, respectively a high amount of software toolkits have been developed to evaluate th...eir electrical behavior and performances. This paper is focused to introduce a LabView graphical programming language based solution to conveniently modeling, simulate, and evaluate solar PV cells energetic efficiency. By using their well known electrical equivalent circuits a fast and accurate PV simulator has been designed and implemented for research and energetic efficiency studies. The simulation models used has been validated through comparison of the obtained characteristics with the ones given by the manufacturers of PV panels. The computer-aided simulation results carried out are in a good agreement with the manufacturer’s catalogue data and the LabView-based program can serve as a very useful toolkit for engineers or researchers who require an accurate PV simulator and evaluate the performances of any photovoltaic module.
Modern mechatronics embeds sophisticated control systems to meet increased performance and safety requirements. Timely fault detection is a critical requirement especially in safety-critical mechatronic applications, where a minor fault can evolve to catastrophic situations. In such cases it looks a high demand for more reliable, safety and fau...lt-tolerant mechatronic systems development. The alternative to overcome all these bottlenecks was inspired from the biological world. By adapting the remarkable surviving and self-healing abilities of living entities it is possible to develop novel hardware systems suitable to fulfill in all the most demanding high reliability operation criteria’s and requirements. The paper presents a biologicallyinspired computing system based on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) network developed for high reliability mechatronic applications. By choosing a design strategy relying on a multi-cellular concept which outlines the versatility of biologically inspired technologies, task allocation or reliability problems can be solved with high efficiency. Real-time simulations prove that by implementing methods that imitate biological processes, high performance fault-tolerant and selfhealing hardware architectures can be experimented and tested. The benefits of this approach are also confirmed by experiments performed on a laboratory-prototype hardware platform. The results underline that techniques which imitate bio-inspired strategies can offer viable solutions in high reliability mechatronic systems development.
It is well known that store elements such as liquid tanks, water reservoirs, or gas containers, are basic elements in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems development and implementation. In a wide range of applications they serve as efficient energy storage elements by capturing heat energy amount in hot water form. This pap...er presents a LabView graphical software-based energy-flow model development for store elements in HVAC systems. In the first research steps the mathematical background describing the energy-flow processes in the considered store element (water tank) it is presented and discussed. Then an original software model has been designed and implemented to simulate the ongoing energy-flow processes. The result of the above mentioned research efforts is a powerful and versatile software toolkit (virtual instrument) well suitable to modeling and simulate complex energy-flow processes in HVAC systems embedding various types of store elements. Beside the elaborated mathematical model concrete software simulation examples and measurement data are also provided in the paper. Not at least, the proposed original model offers a feasible solution for future developments and research in HVAC systems software modeling and simulation purposes.
According to a general rule definition, the intelligent space (iSpace) is defined as a location (or space) provided with electronic sensor networks that enable the considered environment with intelligent behaviors. As a result, the considered space will be able to perceive stimulus around them and to understand events that happen its near surro...unding. Cyber-physical systems (CPSs) are building blocks in Industry 4.0 that links digital technology and the physical environment in an industrial context. They combine intelligent physical objects and systems on a high level of functions integration. This paper emphasizes the main idea that intelligent spaces may be also modeled as complex cyber-physical systems, as well. This approach has been developed by discussing the theoretical basis of both the iSpaces and CPSs, respectively unfolding a short comparison between their basic behaviors. As a concrete example, the CPS model of a given iSpace framework is presented and discussed widely in the paper. This model has been experimented by using a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processor-based ready-to-use development systems and software technologies that handles reconfigurable hardware technology. The implementation proves that the developed CPS model is well feasible and expresses in all the main behaviors and functions of iSpaces. It is also mentioned that the actual stage of the technological development terms and scientific areas related to iSpaces and CPSs overlaps. In fact, this is not surprising at all by considering nowadays evidence that iSpaces are widely present and shared components in modern manufactory processes that are an inherent part of Industry 4.0 vision and reality.
As is well known mechatronic systems currently being designed and developed are often difficult multidisciplinary undertakings. Based on the intrinsic coupling of different implementation technologies, efficient design of mechatronic systems is of primordial importance for development of next generation industrial products. This paper is focuse...d to current and future technological trends aimed to improve the design and implementation processes of mechatronic systems in an increasingly harsh industrial environment. Special attention is dedicated to introduction of the two-level platform-based reconfigurable technology approach. This strategy efficiently combines major advantages of both the hardware and software platform-based development trends in modern mecatronic systems. In order to support the unfolded theoretical arguments a last generation and versatile mechatronic system development is presented and discussed in the paper. The mentioned trends can be used as rough orientation for future mechatronic systems research and implementation activities.