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This paper describes recent work on the development of a wireless based remote monitoring system for renewable energy plants in Malawi. The main goal was to develop a cost effective data acquisition system that continuously presents remote energy yields and performance measures. A test bed comprising of a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant has been set up at Malavi Primary School and a central management system at Malawi Polytechnic. The project output gives direct access to generated electric power at the rural site through the use of wireless sensor boards and text message (SMS) transmission over cellular network. The SMS recipient at the central site houses an intelligent management system based on FrontlineSMS for hosting SMSs and publishing remote measurement trends over the Internet. Preliminary experimental results reveal that the performance of renewable energy systems in remote rural sites can be evaluated efficiently at low cost.
Date of Conference: 12-14 Dec. 2011