Boosting inverter power output: Case study - Solar system
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The solar system consists of an inverter whose size is determined by the Photovoltaic array maximum power. In order to raise the power out from the inverter, it is recommended to increase the battery array and solar panels. This method is not cost effective. The main objective for this project is to raise power from the inverter output in order to meet the desired current demand without increasing battery array and solar panels. Other objectives include: To develop a circuit that will boost power from an inverter system in order to meet the needs of the client’s sudden current requirements without shutting down the inverter system. To formulate a cost effective means of achieving maximum power output from an inverter system and also to enable clients monitor the operating conditions of the system. The boosting unit is composed of a High voltage (step-up) transformer. This increases current by a very high factor. It also consists of a toroid (step down) transformer which steps down the current. In order to raise current while keeping the voltage constant, we customized the toroid transformer through manually winding copper wires to the iron core. To regulate the power output, we added a charge regulator at the output to the loads. This helps to protect the loads against excess current by filtering it to the desired value. We also included a current sensor to measure the current through the output connecting to the loads and displays its value on the LCD screen. This was achieved by using a microcontroller. We first connected two bulbs of 100w each in series directly to an inverter rated 100w. The inverter showed a fault by lighting red and bulbs were lighted dimly. The current displayed on LCD screen was 0.33Amps and the voltage measured by the multi-meter was 240V. After connecting the boosting unit to the output of an inverter, the bulbs lighted brightly and the inverter remained in normal operation. Current displayed was 0.56Amps and the voltage remained 240V. The above results imply that current increased and voltage remained constant, therefore power was boosted to meet the required demand. We recommend house hold users of the solar system to connect the boosting unit to the output of the inverter in case they want to add more loads other than increasing battery array and solar panels.