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SETIT 2005

3rd International Conference: Sciences of Electronic, Technologies of Information and Telecommunications MARCH 27-31, 2005 TUNISIA

CONVERGING LENS SOLAR CONCENTRATOR AND THEIR POSITION CONTROL USING A MICROPROCESSOR FOR INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC ENERGY CONVERSION
Srinivasulu Avireni
Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, Faculty of Technology, Kigali Institute of Science, Technology and Management, Kigali, Rwanda.

Abstract : The paper explains the principle of using a converging lens as solar concentrator. Experiments have been
carried out to reveal the effectiveness of such concentrator for increasing the output of solar cells. A novel arrangement consisting of a Solar Panel along with Lens Panel, where an array of converging lenses were fitted is proposed for focusing sunlight on respective solar cells. A microprocessor-based scheme is also proposed for controlling the position of Lens Panel such that temperature of the focused sunlight on solar cells should not exceed typically around 50C. Key words: Solar concentrators, Solar Energy conversion, Photovoltaic cells, Microprocessor based systems.

1 Introduction
Average daily solar insolation in Africa and India is 2 the highest, i.e. 5.5 KWh/m /day in comparison with 2 3.5 KWh/m /day in Europe and the USA [1]. A portion of this solar energy may be converted into D.C electricity by Solar Photovoltaic System, which is one of the simple and clean energy conversions. Conversion of solar energy to electrical energy is done by solar cells. Solar cell is basically a p junction -n device [2,3] and commercially available cells are usually made with approximately 10 cm diameter. Solar radiation incident on the surface of the cell produces voltage between the terminals extended from p and n type materials. The open circuit voltage of a single crystal silicon solar cell at full illumination is approximately 0.5V. When load is connected to the circuit, the current through the load is directly proportional to the intensity of solar insolation.

The energy of one photon is related to the frequency by

Wp
where

= hf =

hc

W p = Photon energy (J)


= = 6.63 x 10-34 J s (known as Planks frequency (s -1 ) = Velocity of light (ms -1 )

h
constant) f

= Wavelength (m)

2 Converging Lens Solar Concentrator for Photovoltaic Energy Conversion


Sunlight contains electromagnetic waves ranging from 0.001m to 100 m.

Fig. 1 shows the energy carried by a single photon at various wavelengths. When dealing with typical sources and detectors of light, it is impractical to consider the discrete nature of the radiation. Instead we deal with the so-called macroscopic properties that result from the collective behavior of a vast number of photons moving together [4].

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-1

-1 1.24 X 10

-2 2.48 X 10

0.001

0.005

0.1

0.5

10

0.01

0.05

50

Ultraviolet

Wave length(micro m.)

Visible

Fig. 1. The energy of photon varies inversely with the wavelength of EM radiation.

Principal axis

P
Fig. 2.

The general energy principles involve a description of the net energy of the radiation as it propagates through a region of space. When the total fraction of incident sunlight transmits through the lens, the variation of sunlight intensity with wavelength must be considered. The solar flux, i.e. energy per unit area per unit time is [5],

where TnJ is the transmissivity and ( Y)n is the serration width. By summing over all serrations

Infrared

the total n

fraction SE of incident solar energy transmitted is

= H ( ) d
0

H ( )
J J

SE =

T
n J n J

nJ

J (Y ) n
J n

where, HJ( ) is the solar intensity at wavelength .


Defining

(Y ) T
n J nJ

J J , the weighting factor is

SE =

J =

H J ( ) J

H J ( ) J H J ( ) J
J

2 L

J (Y ) n

Where Lw is the lens width. Convex lens converges a set of incident rays falling on its aperture from a distant object to its focal point P as shown in Fig. 2. We consider here only thin lens, hence displacement of the light ray is negligible. Thus, for thin lenses, the ray through the optical center of the lens is a straight line [6]. If the distant object is sun, then sunrays converge to the point P. If you place Photovoltaic cell at the point P, the numbers of photons fall on this point raises, which in turn increases the output voltage of the Photovoltaic cell. The intensity of the sunrays falling at the point P can be controlled by moving the lens forward or backward.

The fraction of incident solar flux transmitted through one serration, the nth is obtained by summing contribution from all wavelength intervals within the solar spectrum is

T n (Y ) =

T
J

nJ

J (Y ) n

(Y )n

= J TnJ (Y )
J

100

-2 1.24 X 10

Photon Energy(eV) 1.24 X 10

2.48 X 10

1.24 X 10

2.48 X 10

1.24 X 10

1.24

2.48 X 10

2.48

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3 Experiments to study the effect of convergence lens as solar concentrator Experiment have been performed to study the effect of the convergence lens as solar concentrator by using a glass lens (diameter: 4.4 cm, focal le ngth: 8 cm) and a Photovoltaic cell (size: 3mm x 1.5 mm). The experimental arrangement is schematically shown in Fig. 3. When sunrays are focused to increase the intensity of light, temperature also increases at the focal point as sunlight contains infrared rays. Temperature of sunlight is low in the morning, gradually increases at midday and will decrease when evening approaches. Most of the commercially available Photovoltaic cells have maximum temperature rating of 70C. If the temperature of the focused sunlight

crosses above 70C, the Photovoltaic cells may damage. To avoid such critical situation, the amount of focusing of sunlight should be controlled by moving the lens away from or near to the Photovoltaic cells. Observations were taken in the aforesaid experiment by keeping the lens at different positions so that focusing effect of sunlight falls on the Photovoltaic cell can be varied. These observations are plotted in Fig. 4 It is evident from the curve (Fig. 4(a)) that when the distance between the lens and the Photovoltaic cell approaches near to the focal length of the lens, the cell output increases and it will be maximum at Focal point. It is also clear from the curve (Fig. 4(b)) that temperature at the focal point increases when the lens approaches near to the focal point of the lens.

O/P
Sun Lens
Fig. 3. Experimental arrangement

PV Cell

Output Voltage (Volts)

0.62 0.6 0.58 0.56 0.54 0.52 0.5 0.48 0 5 6 8 Distance of Lens from the PV Cell (cm)
(a)

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Temperature on the PV Cell (Deg.C)

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 5 6 8 Distance of Lens from the PV Cell (cm)


(b) Fig. 4 (a). Distance of Lens from PV Cell Vs Output Voltage (b). Distance of Lens from PV Cell Vs Temperature on PV Cell

4 A Scheme for Automatic Control of the Position of Lens Panel over Solar Panel
The schematic diagram of the Solar Panel and the proposed Lens Panel mo unted over Solar Panel are shown in Fig. 5(a) and Fig. 5(b) respectively. The Lens Panel can be motor driven for controlling the

amount of focusing of sunlight on respective Solar cells. The functional block diagram of a proposed microprocessor based control system is depicted in Fig. 6. Software for such a system may be written in assembly language and the proposed flow chart is given in Fig. 7.

Solar Panel

(a)

Solar Panel

Lens Panel

Lens
(b) Fig. 5. (a) Schematic of the Solar Panel (b) Schematic of the Proposed Solar Panel with Lens Panel

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RAM

EPROM

MICROPROCESSOR

ADDRESS BUS

DATA BUS INTERRUPT

PA
STARD CONVERSION

ADC

AMPLIFIER

TEMPERATURE SENSOR

8255 C0
C1

END OF CONVERSION

PB

DAC

AMPLIFIER

DC MOTOR

TO THE LENS PANEL FOR ITS POSITION CONTROL

Fig. 6. Functional Block diagram of the proposed P based position control system

START

END OF CONVERSION (INTERRUPT)

INITIALIZATION OF 8255

PUSH PSW AND OTHR REGISTER CONTENTS

FROM Co START CONVERSION OF ADC READ ADC OUTPUT

WAIT FOR END OF CONVERSION OF ADC

CONTROL ALGORITHM FOR GENERATING MANIPULATED OUTPUT

SEND MANIPULATED OUTPUT THROUGH PORT-B TO DAC

END

Fig. 7. Proposed flowchart for controlling the position of Lens Panel

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5 Conclusion
The effectiveness of using converging lenses as solar concentrators has been experimentally verified. A solar panel together with a Lens panel, where an array of converging lenses was fitted for focusing sunlight on respective solar cells were proposed. Care should be taken while concentrating sunlight on the solar cells, because the temperature of the focused sun light should not exceed the maximum temperature rating of the solar cells. To avoid such situation and to safeguard solar cells, a microprocessor based position control of Lens Panel has been proposed.

Professor in Communication Technology Department, Defence University Engineering College, Ethiopia. At present on lien to Department of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, Kigali Institute of Science, Technology, and Management, Kigali, Rwanda. He is a life member of I.S.T.E. He published papers both in national and international journals; his main research areas are Optoelectronics, Optical communications, and Electronic Instrumentation.

References
1. Mukharjee M.K., Solar Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Journal of the institute of engineers (India), vol 78, May 1997, p.1-5 Martin.A.Green, Solar Cells, Prentice-Hall Inc, 1982 Wolf.M.,Historical development of Solar cells, IEEE Press, Editor C.E.Backus, New York, 1976 Curtis D. Johnson, Process C ontrol Instrumentation Technology, Printice Hall, 1977. p. 254-280 Leon.J.Hastings, Steve L.Allums, and Ronald M.Cosby, An analytical and experimental evaluation of the planocylindrical Fresnel lens solar concentrator, Solar collectors, Joint Conference American section, International solar energy society and solar energy society of Canada, Winnipeg, vol 2, August 1976, p. 275-290 Robert.L.Weber, Kenneth V Manning, Marsh W White, George A Weygend, College physics, TMH Publications, New Delhi, 1992

2. 3. 4. 5.

6.

********* Srinivasulu Avireni was born in Andhra Pradesh, India, in 1963. He received the B.Tech degree in Electronics and Communication Engg, from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India in 1986, M.E, degree in Power Electronics Engineering from Gulbarga University, Gulbarga, India in 1991, and M.S, degree in Software Systems from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India in 1998. From 1987 to 1989 was in Electronics and Communication Engineering Department, Guru Nanak Dev Polytechnic, Bidar. In October 1991 he joined the K.S.R.M.College of Engineering, Cuddapah, as Lecturer in the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, and from 1995 onwards he is an Associate Professor in the same institute. From 1999 to 2003, he was an Assistant