San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.120.1 - 25.120.12
A Wireless Sensor Node Powered by Solar Harvester as a Senior Design ProjectThe projects are a valuable component of the science and engineering education. The designexperience develops the students’ lifelong learning skills, self-evaluations, self-discovery, andpeer instruction in the design’s creation, critique, and justification. Students learn to understandthe manufacturer data sheets, application notes, and technical manuals. The experience, whichwould be difficult to complete individually, gives the students a sense of satisfaction and theaccomplishment that is often lacking in many engineering courses, using traditional teachingapproaches. Furthermore, the design experience motivates student learning and develops skillsrequired in industry. The use of computer software packages for simulation and modeling toverify concepts and compare the results, giving the students additional skills necessary in thepresent day industrial settings. This paper discusses the development of a student projectinvolving a number of final year undergraduate students at our engineering technology program.We are proposing a simple, low cost wireless sensor network (WSN) with inherently longoperation lifetime, developed based on low cost sensor nodes. The sensor node is powered by asolar power system. This proposed sensing platform has the potential to be used as distributedsensing device to deploy in high density to give high spatial and high temporal water qualitydata. The proposed WSN is designed for monitoring a coastal shallow water marineenvironment. It is composed of several sensor nodes or buoys. These sensor nodes takeoceanographic data and send them to the sink node using wireless communication. Thedescription of this system, the system characteristics, performances, the buoy prototype and theuser application are presented in details. Various aspects of the educational experience areexamined such as the educational goals of the project, project organization, and outcomes.Innovative educational approaches are described such as brainstorming session and discussionwith students of high-level choices described by a decision tree, component selections,simulations and system performance and characteristics computation. In the second part of thepaper the design solution that was adopted is described in details. The adopted design solutionincludes: power electronics circuitry (DC-DC converter design and test), maximum power pointtracking (MPPT) algorithms, control strategies, battery and super-capacitor selection as energybuffers, and overall system performances. Different MPPT and charging algorithms wereanalyzed and evaluated for their effectiveness in solar energy conversion system, as well as thecontrol algorithms and implementation to maximize the power output. The project is a goodexample of multi-disciplinary cooperation as well as providing valuable hands-on experience. Inaddition to providing useful lessons in teamwork and project management, the project willprovide a working demonstration wireless sensor network and solar energy system. The goal ofthe design project is to explore and enhance students understanding of the fundamentalengineering principles, power circuit simulation capability and hands- on demonstration ofsystem prototyping..
Belu, R. G., & Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Periverzov, D. T. (2012, June), A Wireless Sensor Node Powered by Solar Harvester for Marine Environment Monitoring as a Senior Design Project Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/20880
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