Vladan Vučković, Simon Le Blond

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Inexpensive microcontrollers allow complex control methodologies for improving well-established technologies such as resistive lighting. In this paper, we present two constructions of a microprocessor controlled power regulator for resistive load of up to 2.5 kW and exemplify its use for the lamps in Tesla’s Fountain reconstruction project. These are universal power controllers and could be applied to a wide verity of non-inductive loads, but our primary intention was to construct a miniature light regulator with touch sensor for Tesla’s Fountain. The devices operate using the phase control of the power grid’s alternating current and controlled fade-in to increase lamp longevity. Extensive testing shows the device to operate successfully for 2400 hours of continuous error-free operation, to robustly handle high cycling stresses and increase bulb lifetimes by approximately a factor of 7-8. The microcontroller software can easily be adapted for controlling many non-inductive apparatus, like light bulbs or halogen lamps, as well as resistive heating. We also used advanced technologies from other multi-disciplinary areas to complete project.


AC voltage controllers, Microcontrollers, Power regulation, Phase control, Signal processing.

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