Optimization of Solar Energy Harvesting While Powering Wireless Methane Sensor from Renewable Energy Sources

Innovation technologies in aerospace activities


Аuthors

Saba A. *, Thanh P. C.**

Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), 4, Volokolamskoe shosse, Moscow, А-80, GSP-3, 125993, Russia

*e-mail: akbarisaba@gmail.com
**e-mail: thanhphongkshk@gmail.com

Abstract

Recently, there has been growing research interest in the application of wireless sensor networks (WSN) for monitoring of gas concentration at industrial facilities and in urban areas. Methane monitoring is one of the areas where WSNs can be used. In the absence of grid power, the operation of wireless methane sensors is determined by the capacity of their onboard batteries. The battery replacement or charging procedure can become a limiting factor for wireless sensor networks consisting of a large number of nodes or those located in difficult to access areas, such as networks used in some oil and gas projects. In this work, a hybrid power supply based on renewable energy sources is developed to increase the autonomous operation time of wireless methane sensors. The power supply converts solar and wind energy into electrical energy stored in supercapacitors. This paper describes two algorithms allowing increase the efficiency of supercapacitors charging in hybrid power supplies. The first one is a maximum power point tracking technique (MPPT) by finding what maximum power from solar panel can be achieved. According to the algorithm, maximum power point tracking is performed by changing the discharge time and comparing the output power of the solar panel before and after these changes. Load balancing mechanism ceases in case of obtaining a maximum power point. Rebalancing is performed by periodically changing the inductor discharge time. The second algorithm provides an efficient switching mechanism for supercapacitor charging. Both algorithms are applied to a power supply, which harvests solar and wind energy and is used for powering an autonomous wireless methane sensor.

Keywords:

wireless methane sensor, hybrid power supply based on renewable energy sources, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm, supercapacitor charging switching mechanism

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