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ERIC Number: EJ1162318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
Design of a Solar Tracking Interactive Kiosk
Greene, Nathaniel R.; Brunskill, Jeffrey C.
Physics Education, v52 n1 Article 015022 Jan 2017
A two-axis solar tracker and its interactive kiosk were designed by an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty. The objective was to develop a publicly accessible kiosk that would facilitate the study of energy usage and production on campus. Tracking is accomplished by an open-loop algorithm, microcontroller, and ham radio rotator. Solar panel output is monitored in real time and displayed to the public with lights and digits that can be read by the casual passersby. While maximum power point tracking is the most accurate means of quantifying the output power of a photovoltaic panel, simplicity and design constraints dictated the use of short-circuit current as a proxy for power. A touchscreen display allows kiosk visitors to compare two solar panels, an automatic tracker that faces the sun, and an identical panel whose elevation and azimuth can be controlled with a virtual joystick. This project was a capstone experience for students in physics/engineering, computer science, and instructional technology. We discuss technical challenges and design choices, as well as the educational goals of the kiosk.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A