Prof. Dr. Raşit TURAN
Bilateral Cooperation Program with Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF)
This project aims to facilitate the sustainable and profitable production of vegetables by applying internet of things (IoT), big data and 5G communication technologies to photovoltaic (solar energy)integrated, next generation smart green houses. The project addresses the Qatar National Research Strategy pillars of “energy and environment” and “computer science and ICT” by addressing current technology gaps in the research priority areas of Additive manufacturing: “6. Laser processing, surface property manipulation;” ICT in manufacturing: “1. Big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence; 2. Industrial Internet of Things; 5. Predictive maintenance” with application to the industrial sector of “5. Food and Agriculture,” “7. Energy (included renewable energy),” and “12. IT, Telecom, Electrical and Electronics Industry.” To achieve the goals of the project, a team of four institutions has been assembled to address the core areas of IOT, anomaly detection, photovoltaics, and next generation greenhouse design. An IoT architecture will be implemented, at one side, collecting sensor data from smart greenhouse and forward it to cloud based centralized servers to extract semantic results. Network slicing technique introduced with upcoming 5G technology will be applied to ensure reliable, cheap and secure communication between sensor control systems and cloud based IoT servers. On the other side, new and innovative approaches will be implemented at cell and module fabrication level. At the cell level, laser based material processing will be used to make a new type of solar cell with improved optical properties that will lead to higher efficiency. The surface of solar cells will be textured by using a laser system that has already been proven at METU GUNAM facilities. Such a texturing approach will bring an additive and smart approach to the cell manufacturing process and have a potential to be scaled up to large scale manufacturing. At the module level, fabricated solar cells will be assembled into modules according to the needs for green house applications. For this purpose, laser cutting process will be employed to fabricate cells with desired geometry. Integration of these modules into a green house structure will also be a major development on the module side. Another aspect of the project is the development of a smart system to monitor and control energy produced on photovoltaic arrays powering greenhouse. Photovoltaic panel data collected from the sensors are sent cloud based IoT system to detect faulty cells and take immediate corrective actions and perform maintenance activities to increase the reliability and efficiency of solar panels. Another work will be conducted on cell surface by texturing the surface of Si solar cell by laser so that we obtain so called “black Silicon” that reduces the reflection from the surface almost to zero. In this way optical gain will be very high. On the other hand, laser texturing will damage the surface degrading the electrical performance. This issue will be studied in detail and optimized for best condition. An efficiency exceeding 21% will be reached in this way A three layer IoT architecture will be proposed to collect all agricultural, utility based and facility related sensor data in addition to data originated from PV panel sensors. Proposed architecture makes greenhouses fully automated and remotely controllable to provide the following features: machine learning based anomaly detection on the edge side to keep productivity of the greenhouse at certain level, data analytics regarding energy flow of renewable energy collected by PV panels, optimization of PV power under different shading conditions by comparing electrical info gathered from PV and meteorological data received from online sources, remote detection of faults and ability to collect data for predictive maintenance purposes.
Project members are planning to conduct pilot trials on a real greenhouse located at Doha and IoT platform located in Istanbul to demonstrate the integration between sensors on greenhouse and IoT/Big Data system processing data received through 5G based communication techniques.