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Open AccessArticle

Microcontroller-Based Strategies for the Incorporation of Solar to Domestic Electricity

1
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology, University of Johannesburg, 2000 Johannesburg, South Africa
2
IEEE Computer Society, 2059 Johannesburg, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(14), 2811; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12142811
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
Microcontrollers have been largely used in applications that include reducing power consumption. Microcontroller development tools are now readily available. Many countries are faced with energy challenges such as lack of enough power capacity and growth in energy demand. It is therefore important to introduce innovative methods to reduce reliance on national grid energy and to supplement this source of energy with alternative methods. In this study, the microcontroller is used to monitor the energy consumed by household equipment and then decide, based on the power demand and available solar energy, the type of energy source to be used. In this research, a special circuit was also designed to control geyser power and align it to the capacity of the renewable energy source. This geyser control circuit includes a Dallas temperature sensor and a triode for alternating current (TRIAC) circuit that is included to control output current drawn from a low power, renewable energy source. Alternatively, two heating elements may be used instead of the TRIAC circuit. The first heating element is powered by solar to maintain the water temperature and to save energy. The second heating element is powered by national grid power and is used for the initial heating, and therefore saves water heating time. The strategy used was by adding a programmed microcontroller-based control circuit and a low power element or one current controlled element to a geyser whereby Photovoltaic (PV) energy was used to save the energy geysers consume from the domestic electricity source when they are not in use. A microcontroller, current sensor, battery level sensor, and relay board was used to incorporate solar-based renewable energy to the commercial energy supply. View Full-Text
Keywords: incorporation of solar; microcontrollers for solar; solar to domestic electricity; photovoltaics incorporation of solar; microcontrollers for solar; solar to domestic electricity; photovoltaics
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Mabunda, N.E.; Joseph, M.K. Microcontroller-Based Strategies for the Incorporation of Solar to Domestic Electricity. Energies 2019, 12, 2811.

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