Solar Road Energy Recovery
|Arabian Gulf Engineers|
|Team Name||Arabian Gulf Engineers|
|Duration||Summer 2016 - Fall 2016|
This project is to advance the use of free energy. The solar piezoelectric system is collecting two energy sources. The solar panel is connected next to the piezoelectric by printed circuit board. The energy is taken from the sun's rays through the solar panel and from the compression through the piezoelectric. Then the free energy is stored in a battery.
The Solar & Piezo Dual Charging project aims at charging a 12VDC Battery with the help of a Solar Panel and few piezoelectric transducers. With the help of Solar energy and footsteps on the transducer energy can be generated to charge the battery. The system smartly switches between these two energy sources and lets the battery to charge through the source which would provide adequate amount of power to charge the battery at any instant. A relay is used for the switching purpose. This power generating board is connected through wireless communication using Zigbee protocol to transfer charging information to another board that would monitor the process of charging. This board will have an LCD that will display the information related to charging to the user who wishes to monitor the charging process. Both side boards will have an ATmega family microcontroller for controlling purposes.
Concept and Design
Solar panels are devices that convert light into electricity. They are called "solar" panels because most of the time, the most powerful source of light available is the Sun, called Sol by astronomers. Some scientists call them photovoltaics which means, basically, "light-electricity."
A solar panel is a collection of solar cells. Lots of small solar cells spread over a large area can work together to provide enough power to be useful. The more light that hits a cell, the more electricity it produces, so spacecraft are usually designed with solar panels that can always be pointed at the Sun even as the rest of the body of the spacecraft moves around, much as a tank turret can be aimed independently of where the tank is going.
Solar Panel Dimensions: 13.2 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches
Piezoelectricity, also called the piezoelectric effect, is the ability of certain materials to generate an AC (alternating current) voltage when subjected to mechanical stress or vibration, or to vibrate when subjected to an AC voltage, or both. The most common piezoelectric material is quartz. Certain ceramics, Rochelle salts, and various other solids also exhibit this effect.
A piezoelectric transducer comprises a "crystal" sandwiched between two metal plates. When a sound wave strikes one or both of the plates, the plates vibrate. The crystal picks up this vibration, which it translates into a weak AC voltage. Therefore, an AC voltage arises between the two metal plates, with a waveform similar to that of the sound waves. Conversely, if an AC signal is applied to the plates, it causes the crystal to vibrate in sync with the signal voltage. As a result, the metal plates vibrate also, producing an acoustic disturbance.
The piezoelectric elements produce alternating current (AC) which need to be converted to direct current using a diode to make the current flow in one direction. Then store the voltage in a small capacitor. After that, transfer the voltage to the battery.
Switching between sources
The switch is controlled by a microcontroller where the switch will be temporary on the solar source. The switch is on the solar side until the time difference between the battery charge and the capacitor discharge reaches the ideal time range and then it switches to the piezoelectric source.