Online modules to introduce students to solar array control using neural nets

Vivek Sivaraman Narayanaswamy, Uday Shankar Shanthamallu, Abhinav Dixit, Sunil Rao, Raja Ayyanar, Cihan Tepedelenlioglu, Andreas S. Spanias, Mahesh K. Banavar, Sameeksha Katoch, Emma Pedersen, Photini Spanias, Pavan Turaga, Farib Khondoker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The growth in the field of machine learning (ML) can be attributed in part to the success of several algorithms such as neural networks as well as the availability of cloud computing resources. Recently, neural networks combined with signal processing analytics have found applications in renewable energy systems. With machine learning tools for solar array systems becoming popular, there is a need to train undergraduate students on these concepts and tools. In our undergraduate signal processing classes, we have developed self-contained modules to train students in this field. We specifically focused on developing modules with built-in software for applying neural nets (NN) to solar array systems where the NNs are used for solar panel fault detection and solar array connection topology optimization which are essentially ML classification tasks. We initially developed software modules in MATLAB and also developed these models on the user-friendly HTML-5 JavaDSP (JDSP) online simulation environment. J-DSP allows us to create and disseminate web-based laboratory exercises to train undergraduate students from different disciplines, in neural network applications. In this paper, we describe our efforts to enable students understand the properties of the main features of the data used, the types of ML algorithms that can be applied on solar energy systems, and the statistics of the overall results. The modules are injected in our undergraduate DSP class. The project outcomes are assessed using pre and post quizzes and student interviews.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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