We're at the last day of the Heat is On Challenge.
Here is the initial block diagram of my project:
I've implemented all of the hardware elements with the exception of only implementing a single temperature sensor and changing the sensor type to an 18B20 probe. Unfortunately, I haven't deployed the unit to my rooftop solar array yet because I am still testing and tweaking the design.
SPEC Final Hardware:
Not much interesting in watching data accumulate, so you just get a video of me talking.....
Please reference previous blogs for design details.
I am reasonably happy with the outcome although I know that it is only the beginning. At least now I have a method of direct feedback of the environment of my solar array. Only time will tell how useful this information will be. I would like to eventually get to the point that I could accurately estimate how much total power I should be getting from the array (by using the irradiance and panel temperature). I'll probably be surprised at how hot the panels are getting. That's something that I had never considered before.
I need to incorporate some power management in the firmware (at the very least stop transmitting when the irradiance is low). I'll need to implement that before I deploy the unit. There were rainy periods last winter where the array would not even generate 1kWh for the full day.
I also realize that my printed PLA case is not rugged enough to survive an extended period on the roof. I think what I have will allow me enough time to evaluate the design. When I rev the design I'll try to find an outdoor electrical box that is more rugged. I'll need to stay with plastic since I'm using WiFi.