Systems are designed to help people function without the support of an electrical grid. Solar and wind power can be easily used to power, monitor and control systems in remote areas such as building sites, agricultural buildings, state borders and dangerous sections of roads, etc.
The Main Advantages
- OpenVPN - Encrypted Data Transfer
OpenVPN tool provides flexible VPN solutions to secure your data communications. VPN server software is deployed on the virtual server with one public address and can provide secure private connection to many remote off grid sites.
- LINUX - Long-Term Stable and Open System
Free and open-source software operating systems with an extremelly good stability. The user has free access to scripting languages, databases, and other freely available tools. This gives him great freedom when designing his own applications and programs
- LAN – IP Solutions with PoE+ Support
The LAN port allows the user to connect any Ethernet IoT device or IP camera as well as power from a PoE inkjet integrated in the MPPT charger. from a PoE + injector integrated directly into the MPPT charger.
- COM - Modbus Serial Interface
The MODBUS interface is used to monitor the charging status of the battery and during long-term unfavorable conditions, the connected PoE camera may be remotelly turned off. Other IO modules and sensors can be connected to the Modbus bus.
- GSM - Remote Access over 2G / 3G / 4G-LTE
Wherever remote access is needed to remote locations, a wireless connection via cellular networks is the ideal solution. Or it may used as redundant path for alarm transmission in accordance to security standards for high risk objects.
- FBD & LD - Graphic Programming Languages
In addition, the OFF-GRID system can run a program. Typical examples are: alarm systems for area monitoring, data collection from the weather stations, control of pumping water from wells. Everything can be programmed in intuitive graphical languages with hundreds of supported features.
- I & O - A Wide Range of Inputs and Outputs
The IPLOG-GAMA control system also includes IO modules with different types of digital and analog inputs and outputs. IO modules can be part of the control unit or are supplied as separate IO modules with Modbus interface.
How did it begin
The idea that brought me to develop the OFF-GRID system was to establish a vineyard in a remote place without the available electricity. The biggest challenge was in the development of the charger because we decided to connect the charger with PoE+ injector and Modbus communication for charger control and monitoring. We did not want to increase the charger size with a big passive cooler. That's why we first focused on maximizing the design efficiency and then we added a small fan controlled by a processor. The processor measures the charger temperature and activates the fan if it is too high. At the same time, the processor measures other operating variables such as charging current, battery voltage and current from PV panels etc. The control PLC stores measured values in the database and displayed online on the webpage if required. At the beginning of the 24/7 tests, we used PLC 2G / 3G connections, which we later replaced with the final version supporting the 4G-LTE network. A huge advantage of the PLC used, is the large variability of inputs and outputs. In this system we used, for example, alarm inputs to which we connected the MW sensors for guarding the vineyard and tamper for detection of the cabinet opening. In the event of an alarm, the PLC sends an SMS to the preset numbers and automatically turns on the PoE power to the camera. Through the VMS client on my mobile or PC, I can then remotely check the vineyard. Another task that the PLC performs is the automatic control of the duck door, and in the spring of 2019 the controlling of water pumping from the well.
Written by Tomas Metelka
Completed OFF-GRID system has met and exceeded the goals we set out before development began. The system is able to protect the remote object, while running control programs and securely providing the data to the remote users. The extreme summer heat and a series of storms also showed its high resistance to extreme weather.
Note for winemakers:
Česká Skalice, of course, does not belong to typical wine regions. Kuks is the closest wine-growing area and is located about 15 km away from Ceska Skalice.
Nevertheless, several tons of wine-grapes have been planted in Náchod and Trutnov in recent years. For my micro-vineyard
I chose the resistant varieties of Solaris and Cabernet Cortis, and saplings which were supplied by Bílovin a company from Velké Bílovice.
Energy Consumption of Used Equipment
||3G/2G PLC METEL - PLC model used during first tests (June)
||4G/3G/2G PLC METEL - PLC prepared for April 2018
||MPPT POE+ injector with:
- 2 inputs for PV panel / turbine,
- output for BATTERY
- temperature compensated charging.
High efficiency step-up converter with 93% efficiency at full load.
|Camera AXIS P142-LE
||Energy consumption includes IR light. - 4th July replaced by PTZ camera.
|PTZ camera AXIS P5512-E
||IEEE 802.3 af class.3 - installed 4th July
||sensor OPTEX 30 x 20 m
||sensor OPTEX 30 x 20 m + built-in ceiling detector
|* The values given are indicative.
Experiment Process Reports
|April - May 2017
||During this period, the main preparations were made, including the installation of a column, a lightning rod and grounding.
||Today, we first started the system include: PLC, PoE injector, camera and EVB charging module without protection.
|June 22 - 25
||The system successfully passed 65-hours of testing of the system operation without battery charging.
||We exchanged the provisional prototype of charger with a final MPPT charger module.
||We have a fully functional remote control of the system via SMS and transfer of records to the server.
||Average strength of the GSM signal is around -95 dBm. The PLC is usually connected to a 15km remote transmitter with 2G network.
The closest 2G/3G/4G transmitter (approx. 3 km) is unfortunatelly shaded by a forest.
||The fixed camera was replaced by a PTZ camera and the battery capacity increased to 60 Ah. In the event of an alarm, the control unit:
- rotates the camera over preset presets,
- archives images into storage,
- sending SMS.
||In the first half of September has come to our region a signifiicant cold front, clouds and heavy rainfall. Existing energy sources:
- solar panel Victron 80 Wp,
- turbine Rutland 504,
proved unsatisfactory. We were expecting this status through the ongoing evaluation of the data stored in the database and prepared for it:
1. During days with minimal energy increase, we tried to automatically shut down the system when the battery voltage dropped below 10V and rebooted.
2. By adding a second 80Wp panel and a more powerful turbine from Ista Breeze, we have strengthened our energy sources. The new turbine starts at a wind speed of 2.7 m / s.
Later, we plan to add two more 80Wp panels.
||yellow - voltage of the PV panel
green - IPLOG power supply voltage
blue - current from the PV panel
||The system is fully installed in terms of energy sources and includes:
- 1x turbne Ista Breeze with a diameter of 1m,
- 4x 80Wp panels.
The video captures wind turbine activity in the range of 2 - 7 m/s
||In the area where the system is installed, we must also expect a few weeks without sunny days from autumn to spring. That's why we put the system into standby mode in October. The camera now starts only in the event of an alarm or a command from a web interface on a mobile or PC. In the power-saving mode, the system's power consumption is around 3W. Therefore, you can fully charge the system battery even during cloudy days.
||Winter weather with temperatures around zero arrived at the turn of the year. In January, snow fell. The system is still powered by 99% of PV panels. the wind speed is only about 5 m / s, which is the minimum speed needed to produce energy.
In the second half of February, temperatures fell to -15 °C. The wind began to blow. The attached charts show:
- red line - periodically changing voltage from PV panels
- blue line - fluctuating turbine voltage
- green line - battery voltage
At the end of November 2018, we finished the experimental phase of development. The system is fully functional and ready for deployment. In the summer of 2018, another demo system was deployed in Portugal for construction site monitoring.
During the development, customers also have successfully tested the system in applications for:
- guarding national borders
- road traffic monitoring
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