A Solar & Wind Powered Outdoor
The mission of the 2004-2005 Wind Solar Team is to
design and build a prototype of an outdoor lighting
system that is powered solely by wind and solar
energy. The team will test the prototype for a minimum
of one week and evaluate the system performance.
The prototype will be safe and easy to modify.
Over the last decade, public works projects have shown a greater interest in utilizing “green” power for their small load applications than in years passed. This has included the addition of solar panels to area lights and blinking warning lights. Wind power has seen increased usage in large scale power production with the construction of wind farms composed of large horizontal axis wind turbines. Vertical axis turbines have seen limited development for small scale applications.
Each source of power, wind and solar, has its own benefits and limitations. Solar power is dependable and predictable. Wind power, rising cubically with wind speed, is capable of high outputs at unpredictable times. Solar power operates on a cycle following the daylight hours, while a wind turbine is capable of producing power at any hour.
The Wind Solar Project Team designed an area light during the 2004-2005 academic year that incorporated both of these “green” energy sources. The purpose of the project is to utilize the advantages of each and evaluate their contributions to the system as a whole. The core concept for this system was first detailed by Dr. P. Venkataraman and Dr. E. Hensel in a proposal to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Over the course of six months, a prototype system was researched, designed, fabricated, and installed. Preliminary data was taken to characterize system performance. In this data, consistent solar power production and measurement was observed. Voltage was produced and measured from the generator. Current measurements necessary to calculate power delivery were inconclusive and disregarded. General trends in rotor response to wind speed were observed