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The remote laboratory is based on a system of realtime communications that uses an engine that controls a photovoltaic panel and a computer that manages communication between the remote user and the local computer application. It consists of a communications card on the parallel port in order to use an old computer and thus minimize costs and avoid programming a pic, because this is not the goal of the course. The software was developed for that card from Visual Basic. The students who were going to do the course weren't programmers and this software, even though simple, has more than enough power for this application. The peripheral device is basically a relay board. Two relays make the engine, which drives the photovoltaic panel, turn to the left, and the other two make it turn to the right. The left side is matched to the east one and the right side to the west one; the panel is bent with a fixed position depending on the latitude. In the east-west scan the south is included, which is the position in which the photovoltaic panel would be fixed in case an immobile installation was intended. To get a real-time feedback there are two webcams. One of them shows the movement of the photovoltaic panel and the other one displays the voltage and electric current supplied by the generator. Viewing voltage and current and taking into account the time, the energy can be calculated. It is possible to obtain radiation diagrams at distance and verify the data obtained with the the data published. After developing the local system, the focus of the issue was that the system was operational at distance . We used the Windows Server operating system and a remote desktop program. The operating system controls access to the different users of the application. Each user enters his/her username and password. This way each student has his own desktop and practices. The remote desktop allows remote connection to the Internet. We used the free app TeamViewer for remote access to the sy- tem without having to go into the router configurations. This is necessary because in many cases the local IP number is not public. This solution made possible that the remote control application was operating from the network.
Date of Conference: 29-31 Oct. 2012