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RPI REU Students Design Solar Radiation Measurement Devices


Courtland Brown and Lueray Gustin from Tuskegee University joined CURENT ERC in the summer Research for Undergraduate Student (REU) program. They worked with graduate students Nicholas Barry and Max Liehr. Their project was to design a solar radiation measurement device. In the course of their project, they designed, constructed and tested five low-cost solar radiation meters using Arduino and Raspberry Pi microcomputers. The Raspberry Pi based meter will conduct a yearlong study of solar radiation at RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in order to develop a seasonally accurate insolation model. These models will serve as the input data for power system stability and analysis projects. This meter automatically logs information to an online shared drive for analysis. The other four Arduino based meters are used to capture information on solar panel alignment optimization and the impact of cloud transients, and to simulate solar insolation over a large solar plant. 

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L to R: Lueray Gustin III, Courtland Brown

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L to R: Courtland Brown, Lueray Gustin III