Design of a Prototype Wind Energy & Load Compensation System
Team Member(s): Elizabeth Cherry, Alan Newbold, John Vuong Semester: Spring 2012
In the past few years, green technology has been on the rise. Now, there is a solution for customers with windy days and high energy bills. A wind power system with load compensation is the perfect product for customers who have spacious land and high wind speeds. The times of increased utility bills are over. This project will induce the development of wind energy for residential and small businesses that are experiencing high energy costs. The final product was a prototype for a dual hybrid power system that used wind energy to supply power to a resistive dump load and energy from the electric utility to supply power to an inductive dump load. The wind turbine generator in the power system was constructed from scratch. During operation, the power generated by the wind turbine generator filtered for ripples by two 40mF capacitors and fed into the three-phase to single-phase converter, which was composed of an external rectifier kit and a power inverter. The switching of the power MOSFETs in the power inverter is controlled by gate voltage signals generated by the Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller. These gate voltage signals were created based on bipolar sinusoidal pulse width modulation. Afterward, the Arduino Uno microcontroller monitored the single-phase AC voltage from the converter to the resistive dump load, and then, the Arduino Uno microcontroller signaled the HC11 microcontroller to implement the power factor correction process if the power from the three-phase to single-phase converter does not meet the minimum load voltage requirement. The voltage and current waveforms from the inductive dump load were captured and corrected by the use of capacitor banks. This implementation increased the power factor from 0.602 to 0.97.