A blog of interesting technical advances.

January 26, 2010

Senior Design

For senior design my group and I will be creating a solar efficiency monitoring station. While we are still in the planing stages of this design, I have some ideas floating around my head. The basic elements of the system are a measurement system, a logging system, and a reporting system. As most of the group already has experience with the Arduino, we think this is the best platform for doing our measurements. The Arduino is really inexpensive and has all the ADC we would need for connecting up to the sensors that we are looking to buy. The language is a very simple C++ based language complete with a serial communication library. The serial communication library is great because this makes it very easy to communicate with a standard PC or plug computer. We will probably go the plug computer route as it is alot cheaper($99 vs $150 Atom minitx). The specific plug computer we are looking at is called the Sheeva Plug. It has an ethernet and usb connection, plus it has a 1.2 GHz processor and 512 MB of ram. This should be plenty for running the logging daemon and uploading the data to an SQL server somewhere, or even running the SQL server and web server locally if the sys admin at the school would allow it. It will be an interesting few weeks and we will see just how far we can get on this project.

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