LoRa is a wireless network solution that emerged in the field of IoT. It is a low-power and wide-area network with low power consumption and a long transmission range. In this project, the developer Pradeep is going to explain how to build a LoRa-powered solar power monitoring system with the help of cellular IoT. The data from the photovoltaic solar panel is sensed and collected from sensors and transmitted using LoRa modules. Further, the data is uploaded to a Qubitro cloud portal via Blues Wireless cellular IoT notecards in the base station. Using Qubitro API we can monitor and analyze the solar PV system performance.
Solar data monitoring is crucial nowadays because solar energy is a major source of renewable power, and it will become even more important in the future.
Solar energy is an excellent choice for alternative power because it is eco-friendly, affordable, and renewable. However, we need to use it smartly to optimize its benefits. LoRa-enabled systems can help us monitor and conserve our resources. Here is the field test picture and data dashboard.
To monitor the solar PV cells, here pradeep uses a Gravity I2C Wattmeter sensor. Through this, we can monitor the generated voltage and consumed power and also the load current. Also, we need to monitor the solar light intensity and the temperature to analyze the generated voltage vs solar environment status. For this, Pradeep has used the BH1750 Light Intensity sensor and Grove Temperature and Humidity sensor.
Now, we are ready with the sensing unit. Next, let’s design a system that can collect the sensor data and transfer it via LoRa. To design this system, Pradeep has used Seeed Studio Fusion PCB Assembly service.
Moreover, we can connect all those sensors with Xiao RP2040 and transfer them via Wio-E5 Module. That’s all about the sender node. Next, we have to build a receiver to receive the data from our sender node and then publish it to the cloud. Here Pradeep also going to use the same PCB design with Blues Note Card and Notecarriers. Xiao + Wio-E5 PCB will receive the data from the sender, and it will transfer the data via Blues Cellular Notecard. Finally, we can use Qubitro and Qubitro API to share and visualize our solar PV data.
On the receiver side connect the Blues Wireless notecard with the XIAO RP2040 using the I2C port. And the Wio E5 is already connected by using the UART port. The receiver node will receive the data via LoRa and transfer the data to the cloud by using the Blues Notecard.
What challenges did the Solar PV Monitoring System face, and how did Seeed Fusion help them solve it?
This is Pradeep’s first PCB design ever and he was very anxious about the result, but everything went smoothly with the help of the Seeed Fusion team. He was highly impressed with Seeed’s Fusion PCBA service, which provides a seamless and professional experience for their Agile PCB manufacturing and assembly needs.
“They really assisted me a lot with my design and fabrication. Then on the software side, I had some issues since this was my first LoRa project and I got direct support from Seeed and we had a very long chat on that. Finally all is good. Special thanks to Amanda Sun and Meng Na for all the technical and commercial support.
The PCBA service was amazing, I would give it 6 out of 5. The PCB quality and the assembly were flawless. Seeed Fusion has a lot of components in its open library. The ordering process was very simple. Just upload the Gerber and choose the quantity of the PCBs, that’s it. I got all my fabrication status from customer service, so it was really a pleasure to work with Seeed.”
We strive for this project to ignite inspiration within you, motivating further exploration in the realm of solar energy. If you possess project ideas that have not yet been transformed into tangible realities, we eagerly recommend Seeed Fusion as your comprehensive solution for agile manufacturing and hardware customization. By leveraging this exceptional service, you can expedite your product development process, paving the way for a swift entry into the market.
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