In the current era, energy is an important part of economic development and research. One effective form of energy is derived from wind turbines. These turbines convert wind (kinetic) energy into usable electricity. As a renewable source, it may be a sustainable method for energy conversion. However, wind turbines require 1: lots of space and 2: lots of resources to construct. Turbines also tend to be less efficient than other energy sources. This factors negatively impact the viability of wind turbine usage in a practical setting (i.e., urbanized areas). We have investigated the concept of multiple-microturbine system; turbines that can generate energy within a smaller area. A developed system was prototyped, consisting of the turbines, battery charging system, and wireless monitoring using ESP32 and Blynk App. We primarily measured the efficiency of the power generation of the microturbine wind panel arrangement and found through detailed analysis. The results show that there are two distinct cases: the first case demonstrating that the number of turbines improves efficiency, the second case demonstrating that the number of turbines reduces efficiency. Overall, this work is hoped to provide additional insights for building practical micro wind turbine farms.
Traditional wind turbines are known as HAWTs (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines) - the wind blows towards horizontal blades. The wind generates lift on the blades, pushing the blade upward, which spins a generator to generate electricity. In application, HAWTs further require weathervanes and computers to harvest wind effectively.
The alternative blade style is the VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbines). VAWTs are less expensive, quieter, and are viable for small-scale applications as they can be positioned closer together. As a result, they can be more practical than HAWTS. This is the drive behind this investigation.
For this project, a prototype microturbine wind farm was created. This project incorporates the IOT using an ESP32 and an Applet (IFTTT) to record the electrical output via an INA219 sensor module. Alongside this, there is an LCD that displays the readings for offline usage.
ESP32 and Sensor Setup
Code uploaded to the ESP32
The voltage, current, and power are taken from the INA219 sensor module. Each set of numbers is sent to the IFTTT Webhook Service to record the data on a Google spreadsheet. The voltage, current, and power were also displayed on a 16 x 2 LCD, allowing data to be displayed offline as well.
Discussion, Conclusion and Future Work
The turbine behavior is inconsistent, energy production is limited, and there are evident weaknesses from this procedure that negatively impacted the results.
When testing multiple turbines, a common occurrence was when a turbine(s) stopped spinning because of the home fan limitation. As a result, the power/output (efficiency) decreases when the number of turbines increases in series. This indicates the reason for the inconsistent (non-linear) power and current results. However, the evidence does demonstrate that the application of microturbines can be effective provided the wind is suitable enough.
Future work includes developing a more effective circuit that can store the little energy produced to charge batteries, better blade design, better blade position (so it spins along the axis), and better testing environment.
This project is about one renewable source of energy, a wind power which captured through a turbine that convert wind energy into usable electricity.
Developing a Mechanical Wave Energy Harvester
This project is about wind energy technology that is worth investing research and time in purpose of finding a promising renewable energy.
Synthesis of Nanofibers from Chitosan and Alginate
In this work, Rayner and his mentors work explores ways to fabricate chitosan into threads.
3D-Printed Open-Ended Sound Diffuser Design for Noise Pollution Mitigation
In this work, Edelline and her mentors took the inspiration from a breakthrough work reported in the literature and developed their own designs of a sound diffuser.
Creating a Prototype of Microturbine Wind Panel