VDAS TE4 - Experiment


An apparatus to allow investigations and demonstrations into the operation and performance of a high efficiency photovoltaic cell array and battery storage system.

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Students can investigate how well a photovoltaic cell array and battery storage system works.

It uses a commercially available solar panel made from high efficiency cells. The solar panel is on a wheeled, lightweight frame that allows adjustment of panel angle, relative to the sun. A solarimeter on the frame measures incident radiation.

The panel recharges a choice of two batteries through a charge controller. The charge controller recharges the battery at the correct rate of charge without damage to the battery. The frame holds a high performance deep cycling battery in a storage box.

The equipment also includes a second lower rated battery. This allows students to examine the charge and discharge cycle of the system in a typical laboratory session. A control module contains the charge controller. The control module has digital displays and shows the panel and battery storage performance. It has indicators to show when the charge controller is in float mode and load cut mode. It also has two power outputs. Output 1 allows direct connection of external loads to the solar array, for direct load experiments. Output 2 allows connection through the charge controller to show how it works with a load and a battery.

A separate loading unit includes:

  • A variable resistive load to show battery performance.
  • An inverter to show practical conversion to AC voltages.
  • Four switchable lamps to show a practical application.

The equipment works with TecQuipment’s Versatile Data Acquisition System (VDAS-B, not included). TecQuipment’s Versatile Data Acquisition System allows accurate real-time data capture, monitoring, display, calculation and charting of all the important readings on a computer.

Learning outcomes

  • Performance of the solar panel
  • Demonstration of float mode
  • Demonstration of load cut
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