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Vol: 58(72) No: 2 / June 2013        

Solar Energy Distance Laboratory using LabVIEW Remote Panels and Web Services
Pavol Bauer
Delft University of Technology, Electrical Sustainable Energy, 2628CD Delft, The Netherlands, phone: (+31) (0)15 27 84654, e-mail: P.Bauer@tudelft.nl
Raul Ciprian Ionel
Politehnica University of Timisoara, Department of Measurements and Optical Electronics, Bd. V. Parvan 2, 300223 Timisoara, Romania, phone: (+40) (0)723619912, e-mail: raul.ionel@etc.upt.ro

Keywords: PV Experiments, Distance Laboratory, Remote Panels, Web Services, Technical Approach Evaluation

This paper discusses two distance-learning approaches, which have been used for the study of solar energy experiments. The LabVIEW Remote Panels and the LabVIEW Web Services supported a collection consisting of three applications dealing with electrical characteristics and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) of a Photovoltaic (PV) module. The first application presents the study of I-V/P-V Characteristics of the Module under different irradiances. The second experiment deals with the study of a Step Down (Buck) MPPT Converter. Finally, the third experiment proposes a solution for remote programming of the MPPT algorithm. Since distance laboratory experiments have become a widely spread tool in the educational sector, an evaluation of two remote communication technologies has been discussed with the purpose of emphasizing encountered advantages and disadvantages. In this particular case, the proposed experiments require synchronized instrumentation control and monitoring. Consequently, there are several factors which need to be considered when deciding which solution is more reliable. In either case, the user will benefit from accurate measurement results and achieve the proposed learning objectives. The experimental setup was tested in a laboratory at the TU Delft. Results and conclusions demonstrate that for applications having higher complexity, the Remote Panels solution should be adopted.

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