Solar panels — made of a series of small semiconductors — convert direct sunlight particles into electrons and then into electricity. This electricity can be stored or delivered directly for usage and applications, such as electricity for manufacturing facilities, HVAC, lighting fixtures, and charging stations for electric vehicles.
Residential and commercial solar power plays an increasing role in the demands on distribution grids and the overall complexity of predicting fluctuating power needs. Power storage, consumer power generation, and automated home energy management systems are also impacting distribution and grid management. Optimization of grids requires increased data-based insight, along with improved manageability across legacy and modern systems. Robust embedded controllers or IoT gateway controllers such as those designed and manufactured by Axiomtek, integrated with software solutions based on the Intel® IoT Platform, help utilities and energy companies gather, filter, and analyze data from the edge to the cloud. This provides essential insight into usage patterns and identifies areas where grid performance can be optimized.
The customer, located in southern Taiwan, is one of the largest steel companies in Asia. Its annual production of crude steel reaches 10 million tons and exported to China, Japan and Southeast Asia. The customer was looking for an industrial gateway to build an energy monitoring system to manage its large-scale rooftop solar photovoltaic panels to ensure energy security and achieve real-time monitoring and historical system data management. The customer was in need of a ruggedized gateway powered by the Intel® Atom® processor to ensure continued operation and maintain a smooth communication signal for outdoor installations. In addition, wide range power input and power protection were required to meet the customer needs.
Axiomtek has proposed its ICO300, an intelligent IoT gateway built on the Intel® Atom® E3815/E3827 processor. It comes with two 1GbE ports, four RS-232/422/485 ports and one PCIe Mini Card slot for 4G modules. One SO-DIMM DDR3L-1333/1600 socket can provide system memory of up to 8GB. It also supports a wide operating temperature of -20°C to +70°C and wide operating voltage from 12 to 24 VDC. Moreover, its DIN-rail mount and compact design make the ICO300 particularly suitable for installation in customer’s electric boxes.
- Intel® Atom® E3815/E3827 processor (Bay Trail)
- Two 1GbE ports, four RS-232/422/485 ports, two USB 2.0 and 1 VGA
- Wide operating temperature from -20°C to +70°C
- Wide operating voltage 12 to 24 VDC
Axiomtek’s ICO embedded controllers can be programmed to prevent overcharging, monitor operational functions, communicate key data and status, and optimize energy use based on usage patterns and setting preferences.
In consideration of the hot weather in southern Taiwan, strong sunlight will be one of the main challenges for the system installation. Followed the professional advice from the PM and sales representative at Axiomtek, the ICO300 can withstand temperatures of +70°C, which makes it a perfect outdoor solution for our solar energy monitoring system. We are satisfied with the great service and quick response from the technical team, which helps us win this business. It is a very delightful cooperation experience for us.