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Fuzzy Logic Approach to Enhance Energy Conversion in Solar Powere...

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Fuzzy Logic Approach to Enhance Energy Conversion in Solar Powered Vehicles

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The mounting demands for fossil fuels, the ensuing global energy crisis, the inadequacy and limitations of solar vehicle to answer the needs of the hour is where the roots of the paper takes origin. The idea of solar vehicles as a potential solution is acknowledged, and enhancing the vehicle to match the performance of the conventional vehicles is the challenge that researches are trying to outwit.

Conventional photovoltaic technology is based on harnessing the sun’s rays within a flat substrate, typically comprised by single or poly-crystalline silicon material. This arrangement is easy to design and manufacture; the only problem is that the efficacy of this technology relies on its position relative to the sun. Traditional but expensive solutions to this challenge involve motorized frames that follow the sun’s path throughout the day, requiring energy and maintenance in order to work properly. The paper proposes the idea of implementing fuzzy logic and fuzzy set approach as a potential solution to this need.

A microcontroller controlled fuzzy logic system is implemented to maintain the solar panel of the vehicle in motion at the MPP (Maximum Power Point) used in conjunction with a mechanical tracking at any point of time. A solar sensor is employed to return the co-ordinates of the sun’s position in terms of two angle co-ordinates, which constitutes the input to the system fuzzy control system. These input variables are mapped into “fuzzy sets”, sets of membership functions. Fuzzification is henceforth carried out and the micro-controller programmed with the fuzzy rules solves the problem for the current state of input and the output it defuzzified and passed on to the mechanical system to alter the solar panel appropriately, ensuring that the solar panel is at the best position so as to harness maximum solar energy possible.

Result of this simulation is compared to that of a static solar panel on the solar vehicle. The results show that the fuzzy...

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