Enhancing Virtual Real-Time Monitoring of Photovoltaic Power Systems Based on the Internet of Things

Ghedhan Boubakr, Fengshou Gu, Laith Farhan, Andrew Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Solar power systems have been growing globally to replace fossil fuel-based energy and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). In addition to panel efficiency deterioration and contamination, the produced power of photovoltaic (PV) systems is intermittent due to the dependency on weather conditions, causing reliability and resiliency issues. Monitoring system parameters can help in predicting faults in time for corrective action to be taken or preventive maintenance to be applied. However, classical monitoring approaches have two main problems: neither local nor centralized monitoring support distributed PV power systems nor provide remote access capability. Therefore, this paper presents an appraisal of a remote monitoring system of PV power generation stations by utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) and a state-of-the-art tool for virtual supervision. The proposed system allows real-time measurements of all PV system parameters, including surrounding weather conditions, which are then available at the remote control center to check and track the PV power system. The proposed technique is composed of a set of cost-effective devices and algorithms, including a PV power conditioning unit (PCU); a sensor board for measuring the variables that influence PV energy production such as irradiance and temperature, using a communication module based on Wi-Fi for data transmission; and a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller for enhancing the efficiency of the PV system. For validating the proposed system, different common scenarios of PV panel conditions including different shading circumstances were considered. The results show that accurate, real-time monitoring with remote access capabilities can provide timely information for predicting and diagnosing the system condition to ensure continued stable power generation and management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2469
Number of pages16
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2022

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