ew 18: e13

Research Article

Design and Experimental Validation of a Compact Low-Cost Weather Station for Solar Photovoltaic Applications

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.2-12-2020.167290,
        author={Jose A. Salgado and Vitor Monteiro and J. G. Pinto and Joao L. Afonso and Jose A. Afonso},
        title={Design and Experimental Validation of a Compact Low-Cost Weather Station for Solar Photovoltaic Applications},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Energy Web: Online First},
        volume={},
        number={},
        publisher={EAI},
        journal_a={EW},
        year={2020},
        month={12},
        keywords={Weather Station, Solar Photovoltaic Modules, Maximum Power Point, Bluetooth Low Energy, Mobile App, Android},
        doi={10.4108/eai.2-12-2020.167290}
    }
    
  • Jose A. Salgado
    Vitor Monteiro
    J. G. Pinto
    Joao L. Afonso
    Jose A. Afonso
    Year: 2020
    Design and Experimental Validation of a Compact Low-Cost Weather Station for Solar Photovoltaic Applications
    EW
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.2-12-2020.167290
Jose A. Salgado1,*, Vitor Monteiro1, J. G. Pinto1, Joao L. Afonso1, Jose A. Afonso2
  • 1: ALGORITMI Research Centre, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
  • 2: CMEMS-UMinho Center, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portuga
*Contact email: jose.salgado@algoritmi.uminho.pt

Abstract

This paper presents a compact low-cost weather station specially dedicated to renewable energy applications based on solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The main objective of the weather station is to verify which technology of solar PV modules would be more suitable for the specific location where the weather station is installed. Therefore, the developed weather station includes three technologies of PV modules (polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and amorphous silicon), each one connected to a dedicated DC-DC power converter with a maximum power point control (MPPC) functionality, as well as a set of sensors (solar irradiance, temperature, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction) used to measure the local weather. The acquired data is processed and stored locally in the weather station and, when necessary, the user can download the data to an Android mobile device through a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless network connection using the developed mobile app, where the transferred data is stored in a SQLite database and can be visualized in graphs. Throughout the paper, the design of the developed weather station and the associated technologies are described, as well as the details of the mobile app. The developed system comprising the weather station and the mobile app was validated through a set of experimental tests ranging from the data acquisition to its visualization, as well as the achieved wireless data transfer performance.