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Development of Low-cost Remote Online Laboratory for Photovoltaic Cell and Module Characterization

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Energy Conversion and Conservation Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


Sandip Das Kennesaw State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Sandip Das is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Kennesaw State University (KSU). Dr. Das received his Ph.D. and M.E. in Electrical Engineering from University of South Carolina, Columbia. He earned his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST, Shibpur, India). His current research interests include photovoltaic solar cells for sustainable and renewable energy generation, semiconductor thin-films and nanocrystals for photonic and optoelectronic devices, hybrid piezo and triboelectric energy harvesting devices, applied electronics for measurement and instrumentation, and development of technology enhanced teaching tools and pedagogical framework for improved engineering education. Dr. Das has published more than 20 research articles in international journals and conference proceedings. He has designed and developed various hands-on teaching and learning tools for electrical engineering students. Dr. Das has lead several research projects as a Principal Investigator and has been funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research, Office of the Vice President for Research at KSU, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is also currently leading a project for the development of open access electronics laboratory materials, funded by the Board of Regents, University System of GA.

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Laboratory experiments are an essential component of engineering education. In recent years, significant interest and shift of paradigm from in-class to online teaching is observed which although offers many benefits but poses a great challenge to integrate lab experiments into online courses and degree programs. Internet-based laboratories are a potential solution to address this challenge and to meet required course level outcomes for distant learning students. This paper discusses the design and development of a novel low-cost remote laboratory system and associated experiments designed for introductory level as well as advanced learners of photovoltaics and renewable energy courses. The hardware setup consists of an integrated source-measure unit, LED array illumination system, and interconnection electronics controlled by an embedded Python program running on a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Measurement multiplexing approach allows multiple users to access the system and perform real-time experiments at the same time. The system communicates to a remote computer through google APIs and therefore can work under any wifi network environment without the necessity of hosting a local server. Users can remotely access the system, perform experiments and acquire experimental data through a graphical user interface developed using Microsoft Visual C# .Net platform. The user-end program is made freely available to students. The paper will detail the hardware design, software components, experiment details and share student experience.

Das, S. (2019, June), Development of Low-cost Remote Online Laboratory for Photovoltaic Cell and Module Characterization Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32657

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