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Power Gnome ... never generate kilowatts of power alone. State University of NY at Buffalo EE: 494 Capstone Design Spinelli, Yore. Fri. May 04, 2007: Final. Mandate for design. UB Green under Walter Simpson are developing a solar powered exhibition trailer.

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Power gnome never generate kilowatts of power alone

Power Gnome... never generate kilowatts of power alone.

State University of NY

at Buffalo

EE: 494

Capstone Design

Spinelli, Yore

Fri. May 04, 2007: Final


Mandate for design

Mandate for design

  • UB Green under Walter Simpson are developing a solar powered exhibition trailer.

    • Specification: April 30th 2007

    • Construction: Fall 2007

  • Photovoltaic power production to reach 2.8 kilowatts / hour

    • Consumption will vary

  • But how do we keep track of it all…..?


  • The power gnome

    …. The POWER GNOME!

    • A autonomous datacenter that monitors:

      • PV array voltage

      • the main power bus voltage

      • PV array current output

      • Charge controller output current

      • Main power bus output current


    Pv trailer power layout

    PV Trailer Power Layout


    Characteristics

    Characteristics

    • Real-time oscillo-graph display

    • Automatic time/date stamped logging

      • Open format/Excel readable

    • Practical Validation of PV power production


    Education

    Education

    • ‘How Efficient Am I?’ template

      • Visitor estimation of home power use and potential savings

    • PV Sizer

      • Allow visitor psudo-design of PV system

    • PSPICE

      • Visitor demo of EE design software


    Entertainment

    Entertainment

    • Spool Multimedia playlist to PV trailer PA system

    • Queue conservation and environment action videos

      • Able to display a 640x480 video and maintain normal operations


    State of charge monitor

    State of Charge Monitor

    • Sample half-rail voltage

      • 60% depth of discharge, audible alarm

      • 80% depth of discharge, cut off all power

        • Obviously, also disables power to the Gnome, but reserve monitor continues to function

    • Final product has built in Hysteresis (relay pull-in vs. drop-out)

      • Power returns at 40% depth of discharge


    Bringing the gnome to life

    Bringing the Gnome to Life

    • PV environment dictates  extreme low power

      • VIA C3 Eden embedded microprocessor @ 11 watts

        • Carbon Neutral item @ Pentium III / Gen 1 P4 performance

      • Complete item nominal @ 34 watts


    Design highlights

    Design Highlights

    • Current flow measurements @ the mV level

      • Utilize operational amplifiers to ramp into a 0 to 5 volt working range .

      • Inverting Differential design implemented for PV panel output current & charge controller output current.


    Design sensory drivers

    Design: Sensory Drivers


    Design state of charge monitor

    Design: State of Charge Monitor


    Programming highlights

    Programming Highlights

    • MS-Dos Batch configuration of bootup, system maintenance, etc.

    • Modified initialization files for ‘Tracer DAQ’.

      • Autolaunch with predefined trace configuration and logging parameters.

      • How-To guide for ‘quick-n-easy’ startup.


    Known issues

    Known Issues:

    • [1] - Tracer DAQ suffers buffer overflow

      - Solutions:

      a- MCC SDK

      b- further analysis of initialization routine to rectify issue.

      ** Gnome will be ready for practical use after this is addressed.


    Demonstration

    Demonstration

    • Startup

    • Real-time display

    • Log system

    • How Efficient am I?

    • PV Sizer (region 695 = WNY)

    • State of Charge Monitor


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