Tag Archives: Photovoltaic

Energy-harvesting power management ICs for wireless sensor nodes

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by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Cypress Semiconductor has introduced what it believes to be the lowest-available-power PMICs that enable an integrated module size of 1 cm² for solar-powered wireless sensor node (WSN) designs.

Intended to manage solar-powered wireless sensors for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, these parts are said to be the lowest-power, single-chip Energy Harvesting PMICs, and can be used with solar cells as small as 1 cm². Cypress offers a complete, battery-free energy harvesting solution that pairs the S6AE101A PMIC, the first device in the new family, with the EZ-BLE PRoC module for Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, along with supporting software, in a $49 kit.

Energy-harvesting power management ICs for wireless sensor nodes – [Link]

Large area industrial crystalline silicon n-PERT solar cell with a record 22.5 percent efficiency

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@ phys.org:

Nano-electronics research center imec announced today at Intersolar Europe, a new efficiency record for its large area n-type PERT (passivated emitter, rear totally diffused) crystalline silicon (Cz-Si) solar cell, now reaching 22.5 percent (calibrated at ISE CalLab). It is the highest efficiency achieved for a two-side-contacted solar cell processed on six inch commercially available n-type Cz-Si wafers without the use of passivated contacts.

N-type silicon solar cells are considered as promising alternatives to p-type solar cells for next generation highly efficient solar cells thanks to their ability to withstand light-induced degradation and to their higher tolerance to common metal impurities.

Large area industrial crystalline silicon n-PERT solar cell with a record 22.5 percent efficiency – [Link]

Logging harvested solar power using $15 Scorpion Board

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by Pieter:

It’s undeniable that South Africa is experiencing a critical electricity crisis. On the positive side, it’s forcing us to conserve and consider alternative sources of energy. My mom sponsored our household with a cheap Chinese solar panel with battery pack and LED lights to use during load shedding (we live in Cape Town zone 6 and you can find the schedule here).

This made me wonder: how much solar power does this system harvest in one day? Enter my handy $15 Scorpion Board. I built a cheap current sensor board (using a Diodes ZXCT1051 low side current sensor IC).

Logging harvested solar power using $15 Scorpion Board – [Link]

See-through solar concentrator harvests energy from sunlight

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by Amy Norcross @ edn.com:

A team of Michigan State University (MSU) researchers has created a transparent solar concentrator able to turn any window (or other sheet of glass, such as the screen for a smartphone) into a photovoltaic solar cell. What makes this development different? The panel is truly transparent.

Earlier attempts at building transparent solar cells resulted in panels with tinted glass and/or compromised visibility. Lead researcher Richard Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU, says, “No one wants to sit behind colored glass. It makes for a very colorful environment, like working in a disco.”

See-through solar concentrator harvests energy from sunlight – [Link]

Solar self-rechargeable Battery

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This is a prototype model Battery (type C ) for electronic devices. The battery has the ability to be recharged by the sun and don’t need any battery charger. It is necessary for climbers, explorers, soldiers, free camping and general for humans who attempt in areas without infrastructure electricity. The standard can also be applied to other types of batteries and the current technology allows their development with much greater energy capacity.

Specifications of the prototype:

  • Battery 1.2v 700 mAh
  • Solar cell 1.5v 70mA

Solar self-rechargeable Battery – [Link]

120A Solar BMS charger LiFePO4,Li-ion OffGrid,RV with WiFi

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The NEW Solar BMS charger for LiFePO4 or any other Li-ion battery and used for OffGrid House, RV or boats, with wireless datalogging.

 Solar BMS (Solar Battery Management System)is a solar charge controller designed to replace the Lead Acid solar charge controllers most people use today in Offgrid, RV, Boats and multiple other applications with 12V and 24V systems. Solar BMS can be used with 3 up to 8 Lithium cells (any type) or supercapacitors. The new SBMS100 will have multiple improvements over the first generation SBMS4080 see further for details.

120A Solar BMS charger LiFePO4, Li-ion OffGrid,RV with WiFi – [Link]

A basic Arduino Solar PV Monitor

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by retrotext.blogspot.co.uk:

I have just recently had solar pv installed, mainly to future proof my energy costs, I do not expect it to be like drilling for oil in my back garden, however the return looks to be encouraging.

The install gives you another single unit meter, from this you will see the total amount the panels produce, but that is about it.

I wanted to know how much the production was as it was happening, I discovered the light blinks on the front of the meter will flash 1000 times for each kWh of electricity which passes through. The rate of the flashing of the LED tells you how much power is currently passing through the meter.

A basic Arduino Solar PV Monitor – [Link]

Specialized ICs, PV Cells Enable Energy Harvesting from Indoor Lighting

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by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:

Indoor lighting offers a convenient energy source for many applications but lacks the high-power levels of solar energy. In fact, indoor lighting energy-harvesting systems face a number of challenges that differ subtlety from those encountered in solar-energy harvesting. Nevertheless, engineers can quickly implement energy-harvesting designs using a variety of components and specialized devices from manufacturers including Cymbet, IXYS, Linear Technology, Panasonic, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments, among others.

Specialized ICs, PV Cells Enable Energy Harvesting from Indoor Lighting – [Link]

Arduino MPPT Solar Charge Controller v3

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by deba168 @ instructables.com:

Welcome to my solar charge controller tutorials series.I have posted two version of my PWM charge controller.If you are new to this please refer my earlier tutorial for understanding the basics of charge controller.

This instructable will cover a project build for a Arduino based Solar MPPT charge controller.

Now a days the most advance solar charge controller available in the market is Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT).The MPPT controller is more sophisticated and more expensive.It has several advantages over the earlier charge controller.It is 30 to 40 % more efficient at low temperature.

But making a MPPT charge controller is little bit complex in compare to PWM charge controller.It require some basic knowledge of power electronics. I put a lot of effort to make it simple, so that any one can understand it easily.If you are aware about the basics of MPPT charge controller then skip the first few steps.

Arduino MPPT Solar Charge Controller v3 – [Link]

Print-On Polymer Multiplies Solar Output

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Photovoltaic cells output boosted with carbon. R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:

PORTLAND, Ore. — Scientists have demonstrated a doubling of the number of electrons produced by carbon-based photovoltaic polymer potentially doubling the efficiency of any solar cell. The process called “singlet fission” produces “identical twin” electrons from a single photon, instead of the normal one, dramatically boosting the theoretical maximum output of solar cells. Instead of loosing energy to heat, an extra electron is produced by the process of applying a polymer solution to an existing solar cell.

“One of the challenges in improving the efficiency of solar cells is that a portion of the absorbed light energy is lost as heat,” lead scientist at Brookhaven National Labs, Matt Sfeir, told EE Times. “In singlet fission, one absorbed unit of light results in two units of electricity via a multiplication process rather than resulting in one unit of electricity and heat as would occur in a conventional cell.”

Print-On Polymer Multiplies Solar Output – [Link]