This week both the design team and the EE team ordered different components to start developing our new version of the solar energy system. We ordered an LCD touchscreen and researched ways to connect and operate the touchscreen without having to buy any other processing components that would significantly raise our cost. This option, as opposed to our previous LED array, seems to be a promising user interface that will be easier to understand and has the capability of being updated as the user’s energy needs increase.
Some concerns that we currently have are whether we can successfully implement the LCD touchscreen without increasing cost and complexity. A limitation we might have is that the LCD could take all of the available ports in the Arduino, which we need for the power regulation of the system. Once we receive the screen, we will be testing whether there are other alternatives to join the LCD to the Arduino without using all the ports. Another concern we have is the complexity we might be adding while changing our main manufacturing process. We worked with laser cutters during our last quarter, but now we are pivoting to mills and CNC machines, and this transition might take some time for us to adjust.
These changes will allow us to meet the revised technical requirements that we defined at the beginning of our journey with this project. Specifically, the following requirements:
User Requirement --- > Technical Requirement
For next week, we are planning on testing and working with all of these components that we bought, and confirming that we are going in the right direction using an LCD touchscreen and modifying an outsourced electronic enclosure.
The EE team ordering LCD touchscreens while the sun was setting