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operations, functional simulations, translate or map operations, time constraints simulation, or to generate bit-stream files that will be uploaded on the FPGA processor-based framework. In this way the manufacturing plant will form a high performance smart

Open access

Solar energy systems have emerged over the last decades as the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy resources available worldwide. Solar trackers are devices specially developed to enhance the energy efficiency of solar energy systems. This paper presents the design and implementation stages of a reconfigurable hardware technology-based two-axis solar tracker platform, specially conceived to improve the energy efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) panels. The main module of this platform is the NI MyRIO ready-to-use development system built upon a high-performance Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processor that controls the entire solar tracker unit. Optimal tracking of the sun movement and obtaining the maximal energy efficiency rate is achieved by simultaneous real-time controlling both the captured sunlight intensity and PV cell temperature magnitudes. In this way, a robust and versatile positioning system has been developed that performs a high precision and accurate tracking pathway. All the control algorithms are implemented there under the LabView graphical programming software toolkit. The final solution boosts in a useful and modularized tracking system that looks useful in a wide range of applications both in industrial and domestic project sites with different power scales.

Open access

configuration This is a redundant topology based on Spartan-3E Starter Kit ready-to-use manufacturer boards. The main hardware resources and features of such a development board are as follows: a Xilinx XC3S500E Spartan-3E FPGA processor with 232 user I

Open access


A net zero-energy building (NZEB) is considered as a resident or commercial building where the energy needs are covered by using locally available renewable energy sources and technologies. Various types of heat pumps are widely used energy conversion systems for NZEB strategies implementation. This paper is focused on the development of a novel LabView-based model for an air-source heat pump system that absorbs heat from outside air and releases it inside the building as domestic hot water supply or room's space heating by using hot water-filled fan-coils. In the first research steps the mathematical background of the considered heat pump system has been developed. Then the LabView-based software implementation of the air-source heat pump and entire heating circuit model is unfolded and presented. The result is a versatile and powerful graphical software toolkit, suitable to simulate the complex heating, ventilation and air-conditioning processes in net-zero energy buildings and to perform energy balance performance evaluations. Beside the elaborated mathematical models, a concrete software implementation example and measurement data is provided in the paper. Last but not least, the proposed original model offers a feasible solution for future developments and research in NZEB applications modeling and simulation purposes.

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In an attempt to devise a model which more closely imitates cellular biology a three-dimensional (3D) artificial organism model developed upon a two-layer coarse-fine-grid network model is proposed in this paper. The strength of this original approach is that it endeavors to capture the complexity of both the cellular networks as well as that of the biological cell itself, by implementing the internal biological phenomena of an organism into a 3D two different network topology hardware layer. In essence, this model not only keeps the full advantages of previously created 2D models that enable the implementation of similar self-replicating or selfrepairing abilities akin to those expressed by its cellular equivalents in nature, but there the inherent need of artificial cell structures to fulfill the entire role of a biological cell in the network is also expressed. Computer-aided simulation results prove that this kind of 3D coarse-fine-grid approach is well feasible physically therefore the model has been implemented into a computing platform made of custom reconfigurable Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processors.

Open access