An Open Source LoRa Based, Low-Cost IoT Platform for Renewable Energy Generation Unit Monitoring and Supervisory Control

Ndukwe, Cherechi and Iqbal, Tariq and Khan, Jahangir (2022) An Open Source LoRa Based, Low-Cost IoT Platform for Renewable Energy Generation Unit Monitoring and Supervisory Control. Journal of Energy and Power Technology, 4 (1). ISSN 2690-1692

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SCADA provides real-time system monitoring by constant communication and data exchange between various system devices to achieve data visualization and logging. Presently, in industrial systems, commercial SCADA systems are being used for data monitoring and control. These systems can be expensive, and as such can only be afforded by select industries. Even at these costs, the commercial SCADA systems face some challenges, which include interoperability and scalability issues. Research has shown that these problems can be solved by the introduction of low-cost materials and open-source software to achieve data monitoring for all levels of processes. This paper proposes an open source, low-cost Internet of Things (IoT)-based SCADA system that employs the IoT architecture for SCADA functions. The proposed system is an improvement to the existing IoT solutions by eliminating cloud based IoT platforms and introducing a single machine system. This solution increases the robustness of the system while reducing costs. The proposed system prototype consists of voltage and current sensors, Arduino Uno microcontroller and Raspberry Pi. The sensors acquire data from the monitored unit. The Arduino Uno receives the data and processes them for transmission to the Raspberry Pi using the LoRa communication technology. At the Raspberry Pi, the local Chirpstack platform processes the data and displays the measured data using the Grafana dashboard for real-time data monitoring, and the data is stored in an InfluxDB database. For system validation purposes, the prototype is designed, developed, and set up to monitor the panel voltage, current and battery voltage of a solar photovoltaic system. The results obtained from the experimental set-up are compared with the test data from physical digital multimeters. The system presented in this paper is a low-cost, open source, scalable and interoperable system. This, therefore, makes the proposed SCADA system an alternative for commercial SCADA systems, especially for select applications. The system proposed in this paper can be deployed to large industrial systems with appropriate upgrades and customization. The main contribution of this research is the design and development of a SCADA system that performs all the functions of a proprietary SCADA system at a very low-cost with scalable and interoperability features which are the main limitations of the traditional SCADA systems.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 15598
Keywords: Internet of things, LoRa, open source, renewable energy systems, SCADA
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: 17 February 2022
Date Type: Publication
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
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