How to Make a Cleaner Planet with Your FPGA

Greetings FPGA fans! Today’s post takes power generation and conservation to another level! We all know that Solar Panels are an excellent source of non-conventional power. But if the panel is not facing the sun the power generation is never optimum. The sun changes its position continuously and a static solar panel can only generate optimum power for a short window of time when it directly faces the sun. But what if the solar panel too changed its position with respect to the sun? Then we would have a case where the panel generates optimum power for more than 8 hours which is a lot more compared to just the 1-2 hours it does when it is static!

Today’s project aims at making a dynamic solar panel with FPGA. This Dynamic Solar Panel changes its position according to the Sun’s position by making use of a comparator that compares voltage values periodically and rotates the panel. The hardware required for this project are 2 Bidirectional Parallax servo motors, a 9V DC Solar Panel, a FPGA, a Breadboard, A 3D Printed frame and 3 100 Ohm resistors.

The Project basically involves the use of an FSM designed by the author. The design steps have been explained in detail from steps 2 – 8. Any FPGA with sufficient inputs and outputs can be used for this project but the code shared by the author has been programmed for the Basys 3. So unless you’re feeling really adventurous, it would be best to follow what the author has done!

The program has been done in VHDL (.vhd) and is available here. It has been arranged into different modules and each module corresponds to one of the design steps from 2 – 8. The program is pretty easy to follow and improvising it to suit another FPGA board should be easy if you know VHDL.

The wiring has been shared in step 10. The author has used a 3D printed frame whose schematic has been shared in step 11. However if you plan on building your own frame from wood or cardboard, you can refer the sketches.

Let’ build a cleaner planet having fun!

By nickthequik

Fitting 3D prints on Eagle boards


Using a electronic design to mesh your mechanical design can be quite a difficult task. 3D printers come to the rescue to facilitate this process, especially when using an Eagle to design a PCB.

In the following post, the designer used several LEDs to build a clock which worked fine but there was a slight light leakage around his custom made 7 segment numbers. More information on this project in the link below.


3D Printed eyeglasses, VR lenses


Google Glass, Oculus Rift, head mounted displays are becoming a reality and the number of their users is on the rise. But have you ever heard of lenses made with a 3D printer? Well, all that was required is: a  CAD model, a 3D printer, and silicone mold material! Are they operational? Yes sir! An iPhone can even be attached to a homemade head mounted display (once again) to view 3D videos and images!