Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Source Code v0.1.6 released

Today I posted source version 0.1.6 for the SERC (Controller) source code.  The remote source is unchanged, and there has been no additions to the config.h include files.  See the above Source resource tab to download the new code.

The reason for this release is to bring the DC Generators core regulation functions back in step with changes which have been made in the stand alone Arduino Alternator Regulator source.  These mainly focus on the core mange_alt() function and include:
  1. Expansion of P&D engine to include 'I' factor, now a full PID capable engine.
  2. Improved field PWM error summing to prevent one factor from overwhelming others when regulation is close to its goal (esp Voltage)
  3. Adjusted pull-back factors, to lessen the dramatic pull down associated with common load-dumps
Some other bugs have been corrected, see the change log for more details.  Along with the above core changes, I have also adjusted the default PID tuning values - based in feedback from others and trials on Viking Star. The original values were developed with a small-frame alternator, and turned out to provide insufficient sensitivity when a larger alternator was used - esp in conjunction with a high acceptance rage battery such as AGM or perhaps LiFeP04 technology.

Over the coming months  I hope more can be learned about the core regulation engine, and perhaps further refinements can be made to the PID tuning.  Given the common code base between the DC Generator and the stand alone Alternator Regulator there is opportunity for all to help in any future adjustments.

There had been no changes to the configuration.h file, so if you have already edited a copy of that to match your system - just download the core .INO source file and team it up with your edited config.h file.  That way you will get the new code, and retain your individual customization.

A final note:   Over the past few days I have completed a changeover to the newest Arduino IDE release v1.6.0   This release of source was tested using the new IDE, and going forward will continue to keep largely in step with the RELEASED (non beta) versions of the Arduino IDE.  I suspect the DC generator source will work OK with the prior IDE released (1.0.5, or 1.0.6), but have not been actively using those for about a week now.

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