Date of Award

6-2013

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Dale Dolan

Abstract

This thesis presents the topic of various monitoring and data-logging tools for stand-alone and grid-tied photovoltaic systems. The first part of this report describes the research, testing, and installation of a monitoring system for a stand-alone photovoltaic system created by students of California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo for the 2005 Solar Decathlon. Analysis of the real-time data of the Solar Decathlon House resulted in the discovery of issues within the software of the monitoring system and within the battery bank of the photovoltaic system. The second part of this report gives a detailed description of possible monitoring systems for three different types of grid-tied photovoltaic systems that a possible upcoming project by Cal Poly students could use. System analysis, component analysis, and cost analysis are provided for each proposed grid-tied system. It is concluded that a monitoring system can be chosen only after the full design of the grid-tied system because of the various advantages and disadvantages of each type of photovoltaic system.

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