5kW Solar Array Simulator
A solar array simulator (SAS, Chroma 62050H-600S) is a programmable DC power supply that is also able to simulate the current-voltage (I-V) curve of a photovoltaic (PV) module. The SAS is able to deliver a maximum output power of up to 5kW, with voltages and currents up to 600V and 8.5A respectively. Operation is realized either via the front panel or remote control via GPIB/Ethernet/USB/RS-232/RS-485 connection and can then be controlled via a LabView interface. Of particular interest to us is the use of SAS to enable experiments to be conducted under a range of solar conditions (sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy).
PV-Powered Water Treatment System
This represents sixth in a series of PV-powered membrane filtration systems, being targeted for deployment in remote and arid areas in developing countries where there is a lack of clean drinking water. The system is based on a helical rotor pump and a wide range of ultra-filtration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes can be implemented within the system. The performance of the system is monitored via in situ sensors for pressure, flow, conductivity and temperature that are connected to a datalogging system that is controlled via LabView. In addition, we are also developing novel energy buffering concepts as well as robust control algorithms for the system.
LED Illumination Systems for Photocatalysis
Two LED-based illumination systems are available for photocatalysis experiments. The high-power LEDs range from the UV through all visible wavelengths with optical power up to 2.5W and are controlled via a high-current (10A) driver that also enables the output to be modulated (square-wave, sine-wave, etc) and computer controlled via LabView. The power densities over a 2.5 cm-diameter area are similar to what is achieved with sunlight.