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Department of Technology

Maximum Solar/Wind Energy Generating and Monitoring System

By: Seth Gross, Dr. Pecen, and Dr. Timmerman

Problem Definition:

The detailed interaction study of renewable energy based electrical power systems is a key element of many curricula in Engineering and Industrial Technology.

Project Goals:

This project was originally initiated by Steve Ernst, Tim Burrell, and Dr. Pecen in academic year of 1998-1999. Our project goal is to finish design and implementation of a wind/PV renewable energy generation unit at the University of Northern Iowa as an instructional resource for teaching electrical power system and renewable energy concepts.

Project Accomplishments:

The set-up now consists of a photo voltaic solar cell array, a mast mounted wind generator, lead-acid storage batteries, an inverter unit to convert DC power to AC power, electrical lighting loads, electrical heating loads, nonlinear loads, a computer interfaced with data acquisition system and LABVIEW monitoring software, surge arrester, solar tracker for the PV arrays, wind monitoring unit, Model 05103 Anemometer, several fuse and junction boxes and associated wiring, and test instruments for measuring voltages, currents, power factors, and harmonic contamination data throughout the system.  This hybrid solar-wind power generating system is extensively used to illustrate electrical concepts in hands-on laboratories and demonstrations in the Industrial Technology curriculum.

Wind PV Wind PV Wind solar power