1823 Embedded Hardware

There are two ways to communicate with DG systems from a remote location. The most common approach is to use a simple data acquisition unit such as an RTU for data collection and communication. Back-end applications periodically poll the remote data acquisition system and send command signals to initiate some action. This approach works well for static systems with a well defined hierarchical control structure. The decision-making intelligence of the system is centrally located, and the remote units simply serve as interfaces to transducers.

The second approach is to push significant decision-making capabilities to the remote units, allowing them to make local decisions based on information acquired from various parts of the system. This requires embedded microprocessor systems with significantly more hardware and software capabilities than simple data acquisition systems. The cost of microprocessors has been dropping fast, and functionality has been doubling every 18 months, making it possible to embed significant processing capabilities into remote hardware units that interface with generators. This makes it possible to design economical software solutions for managing distributed generation consistent with the demands imposed by an open market for distributed resources.

The embedded processor has to serve as the gateway between distributed assets and remote applications used by service providers. It also has to have sufficient intelligence to manage the assets in case remote communications fail or abnormal conditions are detected locally. Several hardware vendors currently offer products to meet this need.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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