Computer Controlled Thermal Solar Energy Basic unit
This unit is a system that transforms solar energy into usable thermal energy. It uses the thermosiphon system to heat water or the traditional pumping system. In both cases, the absorbed thermal energy is given by the simulated solar radiation; in our case, it is done using a panel with powerful luminous sources.
The unit basically is formed by:
- Thermal solar panel.
- Solar simulator.
- Pumping system.
- Temperature sensors.
- Flow sensor.
- Valves set to work in thermosiphon mode or pumping mode.
The solar panel is made of polycarbonate. It is mounted on a metallic structure with a conduct for the thermal fluid. It has been developed taking into account the geometrical shape of the absorbing surface in order to obtain the highest output levels possible.
The tank satisfies the established technical standards, both in its construction and in its equipment. The hot water outlet is through an overflow placed at the top of the tank. The lamps present radiation features that are similar to those of the sun.
This unit makes it possible to simulate two different functioning modes: the thermosiphon mode, the water runs due to the temperature differences, that is to say, without pump; and the pumping mode.
5 Temperature sensors allow to know the temperature at different points of the unit. A flowmeter and a flow sensor allow to know the water flow that is running through the pump and, therefore, through the collector. The unit has every pipe and connection for an optimal operation.
This Computer Controlled Unit is supplied with the EDIBON Computer Control System (SCADA), and includes: The unit itself + a Control Interface Box + a Data Acquisition Board + Computer Control, Data Acquisition and Data Management Software Packages, for controlling the process and all parameters involved in the process.
With this unit there are several options and possibilities:
- Main items: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- Optional items: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Let us describe first the main items (1 to 6):
1. MINI-EESTC. Unit:
Unit mounted on a metallic structure with wheels for its mobility.
Main metallic elements of steel.
Diagram in the front panel with similar distribution to the elements in the real unit.
Solar panel (thermal solar collector):
Solar panel, made of polycarbonate, with polypropylene pipes.
Pipes (already set) to connect the panel and the tank.
Temperature sensors, “J“ type.
Tank of 30 l.
Aluminum structure with adjustable height.
2 Solar spectrum lamps of 300W each one.
Lamps intensity control from the computer (PC).
Computer controlled pump, flow: 0-2 l./min.
5 Temperature sensors, type “J“, at different points of the unit.
The unit includes two “Venetian” type blinds to reduce a direct visual contact
with the lamps and to reduce the direct contact with the solar panel when the
unit is working.
The complete unit includes as well:
Advanced Real-Time SCADA.
Open Control + Multicontrol + Real-Time Control.
Specialized EDIBON Control Software based on Labview.
National Instruments Data Acquisition board (250 KS/s , kilo samples per second).
Calibration exercises, which are included, teach the user how to calibrate a sensor and the
importance of checking the accuracy of the sensors before taking measurements.
Projector and/or electronic whiteboard compatibility allows the unit to be explained and
demonstrated to an entire class at one time.
Capable of doing applied research, real industrial simulation, training courses, etc.
Remote operation and control by the user and remote control for EDIBON technical support, are
Totally safe, utilizing 4 safety systems (Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic & Software).
Designed and manufactured under several quality standards.
Optional CAL software helps the user perform calculations and comprehend the results.
This unit has been designed for future expansion and integration. A common expansion is the
EDIBON Scada-Net (ESN) System which enables multiple students to simultaneously operate
many units in a network.
2. MINI-EESTC/CIB. Control Interface Box:
The Control Interface Box is part of the SCADA system.
Control interface box with process diagram in the front panel and with the same distribution that the
different elements located in the unit, for an easy understanding by the student.
All sensors, with their respective signals, are properly manipulated from -10V. to +10V. computer output.
Sensors connectors in the interface have different pines numbers (from 2 to 16), to avoid connection errors.
Single cable between the control interface box and computer.
The unit control elements are permanently computer controlled, without necessity of changes or
connections during the whole process test procedure.
Simultaneous visualization in the computer of all parameters involved in the process.
Calibration of all sensors involved in the process.
Real time curves representation about system responses.
Storage of all the process data and results in a file.
Graphic representation, in real time, of all the process/system responses.
All the actuators’ values can be changed at any time from the keyboard allowing the analysis about
curves and responses of the whole process.
All the actuators and sensors values and their responses are displayed on only one screen in the computer.
Shield and filtered signals to avoid external interferences.
Real time computer control with flexibility of modifications from the computer keyboard of the
parameters, at any moment during the process.
Real time computer control for pumps, compressors, heating elements, control valves, etc.
Real time computer control for parameters involved in the process simultaneously.
Open control allowing modifications, at any moment and in real time, of parameters involved in the
Three safety levels, one mechanical in the unit, another electronic in the control interface and the
third one in the control software.The unit includes two “Venetian” type blinds to reduce a direct visual
contact with the lamps and to reduce the direct contact with the solar panel when the unit is working.
3. DAB. Data Acquisition Board:
The Data Acquisition board is part of the SCADA system.
PCI Express Data acquisition board (National Instruments) to be placed in a computer slot. Bus PCI
Number of channels=16 single-ended or 8 differential.
Resolution=16 bits, 1 in 65536.
Sampling rate up to: 250 KS/s (kilo samples per second).
Input range (V)= 10 V.
Data transfers=DMA, interrupts, programmed I/0. DMA channels=6.
Number of channels=2.
Resolution=16 bits, 1 in 65536.
Maximum output rate up to: 900 KS/s.
Output range(V)= 10 V.
Data transfers=DMA, interrupts, programmed I/0.
Number of channels=24 inputs/outputs.
D0 or DI Sample Clock frequency: 0 to 100 MHz.
Timing: Number of Counter/timers=4.
Resolution: Counter/timers: 32 bits.
4. MINI-EESTC/CCSOF. Computer Control +Data Acquisition+Data Management Software:
The three softwares are part of the SCADA system.
Compatible with actual Windows operating systems.
Graphic and intuitive simulation of the process in screen.
Compatible with the industry standards.
Registration and visualization of all process variables in an automatic and simultaneous way.
Flexible, open and multicontrol software, developed with actual windows graphic systems, acting
simultaneously on all process parameters.
Management, processing, comparison and storage of data.
Sampling velocity up to 250 KS/s (kilo samples per second).
Calibration system for the sensors involved in the process.
It allows the registration of the alarms state and the graphic representation in real time.
Comparative analysis of the obtained data, after the process and modification of the conditions during the
Open software, allowing the teacher to modify texts, instructions. Teacher’s and student’s
passwords to facilitate the teacher’s control on the student, and allowing the access to different work levels.
This unit allows the 30 students of the classroom to visualize simultaneously all the results and the
manipulation of the unit, during the process, by using a projector or an electronic whiteboard.
5. Cables and Accessories, for normal operation.
6. Manuals: This unit is supplied with 8 manuals: Required Services, Assembly and Installation, Interface and Control Software, Starting-up, Safety, Maintenance, Calibration & Practices Manuals.
*References 1 to 6 are the main items: MINI-EESTC + MINI-EESTC/CIB + DAB + MINI-EESTC/CCSOF + Cables and Accessories +
Manuals are included in the minimum supply for enabling normal and full operation.
TENDER SPECIFICATIONS (for optional items)
a) Industrial configuration
7 PLC. Industrial Control using PLC (it includes PLC-PI Module plus PLC-SOF Control Software):
-PLC-PI. PLC Module:
Circuit diagram in the module front panel.
Digital inputs(X) and Digital outputs (Y) block: 16 Digital inputs. 14 Digital outputs.
Analog inputs block: 16 Analog inputs.
Analog outputs block: 4 Analog outputs.
High-speed scan of 0.32 msec. Program capacity of 32 Ksteps. High-speed counter. Multi-point PID control.
Digital inputs/outputs and analog inputs/outputs Panasonic modules.
-MINI-EESTC/PLC-SOF. PLC Control Software.
For this particular unit, always included with PLC supply.
Practices to be done with PLC-PI:
1.- Control of the MINI-EESTC unit process through the control interface box without the computer.
2.- Visualization of all the sensors values used in the MINI-EESTC unit process.
3.- Calibration of all sensors included in the MINI-EESTC unit process.
4.- Hand on of all the actuators involved in the MINI-EESTC unit process.
5.- Realization of different experiments, in automatic way, without having in front the unit. (This experiment can be decided previously).
6.- Simulation of outside actions, in the cases hardware elements do not exist. (Example: test of complementary tanks, complementary industrial environment to the process to be studied, etc).
7.- PLC hardware general use and manipulation.
8.- PLC process application for MINI-EESTC unit.
9.- PLC structure.
10.- PLC inputs and outputs configuration.
11.- PLC configuration possibilities.
12.- PLC programming languages.
13.- PLC different programming standard languages.
14.- New configuration and development of new process.
15.- Hand on an established process.
16.- To visualize and see the results and to make comparisons with the MINI-EESTC unit process.
17.- Possibility of creating new process in relation with the MINI-EESTC unit.
18.- PLC Programming exercises.
19.- Own PLC applications in accordance with teacher and student requirements.
b) Technical and Vocational Education configuration
8 MINI-EESTC/CAI. Computer Aided Instruction Software System.
This complete software package consists of an Instructor Software (INS/ SOF) totally integrated with the Student Software (MINI-EESTC/SOF).
-INS/SOF. Classroom Management Software (Instructor Software):
The Instructor can:
Organize Students by Classes and Groups.
Create easily new entries or delete them.
Create data bases with student information.
Analyze results and make statistical comparisons.
Generate and print reports.
Detect student’s progress and difficulties.
- MINI-EESTC/SOF. Computer Aided Instruction Software (Student Software):
It explains how to use the unit, run the experiments and what to do at any moment.
This Software contains:
9 MINI-EESTC/FSS. Faults Simulation System.
Faults Simulation System (FSS) is a Software package that simulates several faults in any EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit.
The "FAULTS" mode consists on causing several faults in the unit normal operation. The student must find them and solve them.
There are several kinds of faults that can be grouped in the following sections:
Faults affecting the sensors measurement:
- An incorrect calibration is applied to them.
Faults affecting the actuators:
- Actuators channels interchange at any time during the program execution.
- Response reduction of an actuator.
Faults in the controls execution:
- Inversion of the performance in ON/OFF controls.
- Reduction or increase of the calculated total response.
- The action of some controls is annulled.
- Several on/off faults can be included.
c) Higher Education and/or Technical and Vocational Education configuration
10 MINI-EESTC/CAL. Computer Aided Learning Software (Results Calculation and Analysis).
This Computer Aided Learning Software (CAL) is a Windows based software, simple and very easy to use.
CAL is a class assistant that helps in doing the necessary calculations to extract the right conclusions from data obtained during the experimental practices.
CAL computes the value of all the variables involved and performs the calculations.
It allows to plot and print the results. Within the plotting options, any variable can be represented against any other.
Different plotting displays.
It has a wide range of information, such as constant values, unit conversion factors and integral and derivative tables.
d) Multipost Expansions options
11 Mini ESN. EDIBON Mini Scada-Net System.
EDIBON Mini Scada-Net System allows up to 30 students to work with a Teaching Unit in any laboratory, simultaneously.
The Mini ESN system consists on the adaptation of any EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit with SCADA integrated in a local network.
This system allows to view/control the unit remotely, from any computer integrated in the local net (in the classroom), through the main computer connected to the unit.
-It allows up to 30 students to work simultaneously with the EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit with SCADA, connected in a local net.
-Open Control + Multicontrol + Real Time Control + Multi Student Post.
-Instructor controls and explains to all students at the same time.
-Any user/student can work doing "real time" control/multicontrol and visualisation.
-Instructor can see in the computer what any user/student is doing in the unit.
-Continuous communication between the instructor and all the users/students connected.
-It allows an easier and quicker understanding.
-This system allows you can save time and cost.
-Future expansions with more EDIBON Units.
The system basically will consist of:
This system is used with a Computer Controlled Unit.
-Unit-Control Interface adaptation.
-Unit Software adaptation.
-Mini ESN Software to control the whole system.
-Cables and accessories required for a normal operation.