We are building a monitoring station for a solar installation. The idea of this monitoring station is to monitor, store & transport data like Temperature, Humidity, Voltage, Current, Luminous intensity etc over the internet.
The monitoring station will be built using a BBB, additionally the build will require a powered USB hub, USB Flash Drive, an Internet USB dongle ,radiation sensor, VI measurements, temperature & humidity sensor. We are basically using this setup to pick-up,store and transmit data from the sensors. The monitoring station has to source power from a 24V battery bank connected to the Solar Panels & Load. The voltage levels at the battery bank would vary with the load and solar radiation. We needed a power supply to supply us 5V while the input voltage varied.
We used IPS5V7-40 module in this project as this module is able to handle the voltage swing. The IPS5V7-40 module has a wide input range of 7 – 40VDC and a regulated output of 5VDC. The IPS5V7-40 module is able to source about 3A current.
In this exercise we will connect the BBB to a battery to emulate the field conditions. In this exercise we are powering the system by a 12V battery, while the field voltage will be in the range of 24V. To build and test this project you need about 1 meter of red and black wires each with at least 1mm thick conductor, 2 Crock Clips Red & Black and the usual paraphernalia like the USB hub, Flash drive etc.
Connecting the battery, IPS5V7-40 module the Beaglebone Black is fairly easy and straightforward. First cut the wires to the required length, insert the wires into the terminal connectors and screw them securely. Try to keep the wire length from output to the minimum required, Make sure you power the input side of IPS5V7-40 module with the battery and the output 5V side to the BBB. In our case we also powered the USB Hub(optional) from IPS5V7-40 module 5V output.
Connect the Flash drive, wireless mouse-keyboard(optional), HDMI monitor (optional) to the BBB and the jig is ready. Connect the IPS5V7-40 power module to the battery, (make sure to get the polarity right) and the BBB started to blink. The system worked just fine and the test successful. We will cover the monitoring and reading of the sensors in a later article.