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

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Engin D. , Engin M.

ADVANCES IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, vol.2013, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2013
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1155/2013/393045


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: R-2 > 0.99 for regularly shaped leaves and R-2 > 0.95 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.