Control of a drain-back system of solar thermal collectors with microcontroller

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Supervisor:
Kiss Domokos
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

In my thesis work I had to solve a given industrial problem. I carried out the development of the control for the drain-back type solar collector system developed by the Direct-Line Ltd. My first task was to become familiar with the operational principle of the new system, because the control logic can be derived from the requirements posed towards the operation. The fact, that the system has a completely new operational principle compared to the classical ones I had to carry out a control, which is not yet available on the market. The realization of the control was a relatively complex engineering task, since the process contains the planning, the implementation and the testing steps for the hardware and the software, too.

As in the introduction explained, I have chosen this topic, because I am fond of regenerative energy sources. I am glad, that I had the possibility to get insight into a technology harvesting solar energy.

In the 2nd chapter I give an overview of the characteristics and the operational principle of the drain-back type solar collector system to control, which serve as basis for the planning of the control.

The applied sensors and actuators applied in the system, such as the features of the microcontroller family I chose are described in chapter 3.

Chapter 4 contains the fitting of the elements and the circuit diagram realized according to that.

After reviewing the hardware in chapter 5 I give a detailed description of the program that I wrote. The circuit diagram, the plan of the printed circuit board and the source code can be found in the attachment of the work and on the attached CD.

The closing chapters contain the results of the tests carried out for the control, the experiences gained while realizing the task and finally further development possibilities of the system and the control, which is directly effected by modifications on the system.

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