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Sensors 2015, 15(11), 27990-28004; doi:10.3390/s151127990

An Open Source Low-Cost Wireless Control System for a Forced Circulation Solar Plant

Construction Technologies Institute, National Research Council of Italy (ITC-CNR), Via Lombardia, 49, 20098 San Giuliano Milanese (MI), Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Davide Brunelli
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 29 October 2015 / Accepted: 30 October 2015 / Published: 5 November 2015
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Abstract

The article describes the design phase, development and practical application of a low-cost control system for a forced circulation solar plant in an outdoor test cell located near Milan. Such a system provides for the use of an electric pump for the circulation of heat transfer fluid connecting the solar thermal panel to the storage tank. The running plant temperatures are the fundamental parameter to evaluate the system performance such as proper operation, and the control and management system has to consider these parameters. A solar energy-powered wireless-based smart object was developed, able to monitor the running temperatures of a solar thermal system and aimed at moving beyond standard monitoring approaches to achieve a low-cost and customizable device, even in terms of installation in different environmental conditions. To this end, two types of communications were used: the first is a low-cost communication based on the ZigBee protocol used for control purposes, so that it can be customized according to specific needs, while the second is based on a Bluetooth protocol used for data display. View Full-Text
Keywords: DIY; Arduino; low-cost sensor; control system; solar panel; temperature monitoring; Zigbee; Xbee; Bluetooth; WSN; IoT; Open Source hardware; RES DIY; Arduino; low-cost sensor; control system; solar panel; temperature monitoring; Zigbee; Xbee; Bluetooth; WSN; IoT; Open Source hardware; RES
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Salamone, F.; Belussi, L.; Danza, L.; Ghellere, M.; Meroni, I. An Open Source Low-Cost Wireless Control System for a Forced Circulation Solar Plant. Sensors 2015, 15, 27990-28004.

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