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Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1794; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081794

A Compact Energy Harvesting System for Outdoor Wireless Sensor Nodes Based on a Low-Cost In Situ Photovoltaic Panel Characterization-Modelling Unit

Group of Electronic Design (GDE), Aragón Institute for Engineering Research (I3A), Departamento de Ingeniería Electrónica y Comunicaciones, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, Zaragoza 50009, Spain
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Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2017)
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Abstract

This paper presents a low-cost high-efficiency solar energy harvesting system to power outdoor wireless sensor nodes. It is based on a Voltage Open Circuit (VOC) algorithm that estimates the open-circuit voltage by means of a multilayer perceptron neural network model trained using local experimental characterization data, which are acquired through a novel low cost characterization system incorporated into the deployed node. Both units—characterization and modelling—are controlled by the same low-cost microcontroller, providing a complete solution which can be understood as a virtual pilot cell, with identical characteristics to those of the specific small solar cell installed on the sensor node, that besides allows an easy adaptation to changes in the actual environmental conditions, panel aging, etc. Experimental comparison to a classical pilot panel based VOC algorithm show better efficiency under the same tested conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: maximum power point tracking; solar panel; artificial neural network; PV modelling; energy harvesting; wireless sensor network; cyber-physical systems maximum power point tracking; solar panel; artificial neural network; PV modelling; energy harvesting; wireless sensor network; cyber-physical systems
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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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Antolín, D.; Medrano, N.; Calvo, B.; Martínez, P.A. A Compact Energy Harvesting System for Outdoor Wireless Sensor Nodes Based on a Low-Cost In Situ Photovoltaic Panel Characterization-Modelling Unit. Sensors 2017, 17, 1794.

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