Table of Contents

Preface iii

Audience iv

Educator Resources v

Foreign Translations vi

Special Contributors vi

Chapter 1: Setting Up for the Experiments 1

What is Energy? 1

About the Experiments in this Book 9

Activity #1 : Building a Software Foundation and Superstructure 11

Activity #2: Programming the StampPlot Graphical Plotting Software Interface 18

Activity #3: Testing the StampPlot Graphical Plotting Software Interface 25

Activity #4: Build, Program and Test the 4-Channel A/D Converter 26

Chapter 2: Experiment #1, Programmable Battery Charger 43

How NiCad Rechargeable Batteries Work 44

Activity #1 : Checking the Battery Voltage 48

Activity #2: Building the Programmable Battery Charger 50

Activity #3: Programming the Battery Charger 56

Activity #4: Discharging the Batteries 67

Activity #5: Charging the Batteries 71

Activity #6: Replaying the Charge Cycle 77

Activity #7: Detecting the End of Charge 80

Summary and Applications 80

Chapter 3: Experiment #2, Dueling Solar Cells 83

How Solar Cells Work 83

Activity #1 : Building the Dueling Solar Cells 88

Activity #2: Programming the Dueling Solar Cells 91

Activity #3: How the Dueling Solar Cells Work 98

Summary and Applications 105

Chapter 4: Experiment #3, Solar Cell Sun Tracker 109

Real World Sun-Tracking Solar Arrays 109

Activity #1 : Shielding the Solar Panels 116

Activity #2: Centering the Servo 119

Activity #3: Adding the Servo 122

Activity #4: Programming the Sun Tracker 126

Activity #5: How the Sun Tracker Works 130

Summary and Applications 134

Chapter 5: Experiment #4, Half and Full Wave Rectification 139

Activity #1: The Principles of Half Wave Rectification 141

Activity #2: Assembling the three-phase AC Alternator 142

Activity #3: Building the Half Wave Rectifier 148

Activity #4: Programming the Half Wave Rectifier 150

Activity #5: How the Half Wave Rectifier Program Works 152

Activity #6: Full Wave Rectifier Operation 162

Activity #7: Building the Full Wave Rectifier Circuit 164

Summary and Applications 170

Real World Power Supply Design 171

Power Electronic Systems 176

Chapter 6: Experiment #5, Three-Phase AC Alternator 179

Understanding Three-Phase Power 179

Activity #1: Building the Three-Phase Wye Circuit 190

Activity #2: Programming the Three-Phase AC Alternator 196

Activity #3: How the Three-Phase AC Alternator Program Works 201

Summary and Applications 221

Three-Phase Power in the Real World 222

Generating Electricity using Wind Power 224

Appendix A: LearnOnLine's REEL Power Project 235

Appendix B: Source Code Listing 239

Appendix C: Programming StampPlot Pro 251

Appendix D: Parts Listing 285

Appendix E: Resistor Color Code 289

Index 295

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