Solar Interact

The goal of this project is to create an educational exhibit related to the positive impacts of using solar energy over electrical energy. It also features an interactive game where a user attempts to generate more energy than a solar panel through a hand crank. Not only is this exhibit educational, but it will also provide a service in the form of an interactive map of UCSD's Price Center, and allow three engineering disciplines to gain hands on experience in one project.

The teams
Structural: Responsible for CAD based structure of the exhibit.
Electrical: Responsible for power measurement, generation and device communication with Arduino.
Data and Monitoring: Responsible for front end Android interactive UI.

The exhibit contains a user interactive Android table that contains an interactive map of UCSD's Price Center. This has been implented with the help of the GoogleMaps API. This allows a user a navigate the building on all floors and see what services are currently open and how to navigate them thereby helping several new students and individuals who normally get lost inside the massive building. The other feature is a game that displays a real-time line graph that shows hand cranked energy versus the solar panel in watts. This power output is done through Bluetooth implemented back end communication between the tablet and the Arduino containing a Bluetooth module where the Arduino directly receives the power output to transfer to the tablet. The power is translated by a decoder connected to the hand crank. The Arduino receives the generated watts. The 3D printed Giesel library also lights up via the Arduino comparing solar and user-generated energy via the hand crank and decoder.

The final result is an embedded system containing an Arduino receiving watt data from a decoder and solar panel, an Android app implemented with Bluetooth sockets and a static mac address to send and receive data from the Arduino, LED's controlled by the Arduino, and an embedded software acting as a protocol for the Arduino to send data throughout the exhibit (LED's, tablet, solar panel, and decoder).

Google Maps fragment used for Price Center

Graph display for power output

Arduino kit used for power communication with tablet

Bluetooth tutorial
Graphview interface
Google Maps for Android development
Solar Interact roadblocks blog post

© Copyright 2018 Jeremy Cruz