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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 393045, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/393045
Research Article

Design of a Plant Leaf Area Meter Using PV Cell and Embedded Microcontroller

1Ege University, Ege Higher Vocational School Control and Automation Technology Department, Bornova, 35100 İzmir, Turkey
2Ege University, Ege Higher Vocational School, Department of Electronics Technology, Bornova, 35100 İzmir, Turkey

Received 2 June 2013; Accepted 6 November 2013

Academic Editor: Aiguo Xu

Copyright © 2013 Dilşad Engin and Mustafa Engin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper presents the development of a solar cell based simple and practical leaf area meter. The system has a silicon solar module which is composed of 6 series connected cells, a light source, and a parabolic reflector with opal glass for diffusing the light. Partial shading effect on PV cell’s voltage and current are evaluated with different geometrical shapes for testing the performance of the model, and the resulting equations for voltage and current changes with respect to measured areas are obtained. The measured current has a good correlation: for regularly shaped leaves and for irregularly shaped ones. The resulting voltage and current measurements are then fed to an ARM Cortex M3 core 32-bit LM3S1968 microcontroller via a voltage and current measuring unit. The calculated leaf areas from the obtained area-current relations are shown on an OLED graphics display. The whole system is easy to use and user-friendly. The leaf area measurements are confirmed by comparing the results with measurements of grid counting method.