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Chapter: University of California - Irvine
Primary Contact(s): Liam McCarthy
Primary Contact(s) email(s): firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Status: In-progress
Project Start: Fall 2022
Project Type: Energy (Solar/Wind)
Spatial Scope: City/Community
Majors Represented: Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical
Years Represented: 2nd Year Undergrad, 3rd Year Undergrad
Estimated Project Cost: 106
Community Partners: N/A
Project Description & Impact:
Our objective is to create a wind turbine that is capable of harnessing the energy of passing highway traffic. The value of this project is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by harnessing an existing source of energy – traffic – to produce electricity.
With Orange County, California, and the world at large, facing growing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and an increasing gap between energy needs and demand, the production of energy in unorthodox and renewable ways is a pivotal step in creating a secure future. The familiar “flex alerts,” increases in cost per kWh during high-demand hours, and other concerns about the stability and sustainability of our grid point to a need for innovation in the area of energy production. Additionally, this source of energy, if proven to have a meaningful impact on the grid, would produce energy at peak hours of demand the most (from 4:00 to 9:00 PM), when both traffic and energy demand are at their respective peaks.
The need this project would address is clear: the ongoing demand for energy, particularly in metropolitan areas where traffic is also heavy.
The goal of this project is to research, design, and produce a functioning prototype of a roadside wind turbine that will harness the energy of fluctuating high and low pressure air systems along highways and output usable electricity.
Project Completion Plan:
The work starts with initial research to understand how wind turbines function and the parts that would be found in a typical wind turbine. After the research was complete, researching what materials we would need to create and what materials we needed to buy to have the parts we needed to construct the project. After determining the materials, conceptualization of the parts of the wind turbine will begin where the design of the parts of the wind turbine as well as the design of the wind turbine as a whole. This process will also include the design of the electrical components of the wind turbine and how it will fit into the wind turbine itself. Then we will run simulations with different designs to determine which of them will be the most effective and practical to create. If everyone goes smoothly we can manufacture the parts and create a physical wind turbine prototype to test in the real world. We can provide a prototype and the schematics of the design as deliverables of the project.
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