Applied Sciences (Dec 2020)

Electrical and Meteorological Data Acquisition System of a Commercial and Domestic Microgrid for Monitoring PV Parameters

  • Edson L. Meyer,
  • Oliver O. Apeh,
  • Ochuko K. Overen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 24
p. 9092


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This paper centers on the design and installation of a robust photovoltaic (PV)-based microgrid data acquisition system (DAS) that can monitor different PV systems simultaneously. The PV-based microgrid consists of three solar systems: off-grid, hybrid and grid-assisted systems, each with 3.8 kWp located at SolarWatt park, Fort Hare Institute of Technology (FHIT), South Africa. The designed DAS is achieved by assembling and connecting a set of sensors to measure and log electrical and meteorological parameters from each of the three power plants. Meteorological parameters use a CR1000 datalogger while the electrical output parameters use a DT80 data logger. Calibration was done by voltage signal conditioning which helps to reduce errors initiated by analogue signals. The designed DAS mainly assist in assessing the potential of solar energy of the microgrid power plant considering the energy needed in the remote community. Besides, the simultaneous monitoring of the three systems ensures that the outdoor operating conditions are the same while comparing the logged data. A variable day and a week, data were used to verify the reliability of the system. The back of the array temperature was observed to be 42.7 °C when solar irradiance was 1246 W/m2. The ambient temperature and relative humidity were obtained at 21.3 °C and 63.3%, respectively. The PV current in all three systems increases with the solar irradiance and is highest around midday. The results obtained show that the designed DAS is of great interest in PV system developments.