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 The 'Roadkill' Unit 

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A Much-Needed Test Setup for Software Updates

At Smartflower Solar, the only existing test bed used to verify software compatibility was at the manufacturing plant they contracted to, based in Hungary.

 

This caused many issues because updates to the main software that runs each Smartflower unit was locally based and therefore could not be easily tested and verified for errors on a simulated 'active' unit.

Pictured: the finished test bed complete with the control box, various motors for dual-axis tracking, encoder, tilt sensor, proximity sensors, sensor flags, wind sensor, and fan (to simulate wind).

I was tasked with recreating the Hungary-based test bed. This consisted of creating a BOM and collecting materials around the warehouse to completely rebuild a control box, using SolidWorks Sheet Metal to design several parts, and making changes as needed so that the assembly was calibrated correctly.

Pictured: the control box, fit with a power supply, IO board, relay module, master switch, AC/DC converter, and cabling.

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Press '>>' and select 'Presentation Mode' to view and click through part drawings.

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