By Altera Technical Staffpldesignline.com (September 24, 2008)Abstract
Solar panels are typically in fixed positions. They're limited in their energy-generating ability because they cannot consistently take full advantage of maximum sunlight. For more effective solar energy systems, the solar panels should be able to align with sunlight as it changes during a given day and from season to season. This article examines the design advantages of creating an intelligent solar tracking system using an embedded processor and an FPGA in a system-on-a-chip (SOC) architecture.Introduction
Solar energy is becoming increasingly attractive as we grapple with global climate changes. However, while solar energy is free, non-polluting, and inexhaustible, solar panels are traditionally fixed. As such, they cannot take advantage of maximum sunlight as weather conditions and seasons change. This article describes an FPGA- and embedded processor-based system-on-a-chip (SOC) implementation of a prototypical solar-tracking electricity generation system that improves the efficiency of solar panels by allowing them to align with the sun's movements.
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