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Controlling and monitoring solar energy production in the smart grid using heterogeneous dual core MCU

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3 Author(s)
Bhardwaj, M. ; C2000 Syst. & Applic. Group, Texas Instrum. Inc., Houston, TX, USA ; Bharathi, S. ; Akin, B.

Energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind are gaining interest as the world's power demands increase and non-renewable resources deplete. Solar energy nodes vary in power ratings from 100-200W micro inverter, 2-3 KW multi string inverter and Mega watts Central Inverters. With the renewable content growing as a percentage of the total utility power, increased control and monitoring of the power produced, irrespective of the power ratings, is desired. Control and communication pose unique challenges on system designs with these energy nodes. This paper discusses the design of a smart grid-enabled renewable energy node using a heterogeneous dual core microcontroller. Real-time control of extracting the energy from the renewable source is done on one core and the Ethernet server is run on the other core. Hardware design for the energy node to extract maximum power from the solar panel is discussed along with communication interface. Software design and integration challenges for control and communication are presented and the solution using dual core microcontroller illustrated.

Published in:

Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC), 2012 Twenty-Seventh Annual IEEE

Date of Conference:

5-9 Feb. 2012

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