The technical objective of this project is to demonstrate that the wind and solar energy of a site can be exploited for small-scale electric energy generation by means of a "stand-alone" integrated generating system using a wind-turbine driven generator, a PV array and a single dc-to-dc power electronic interface between the generating units and the utility circuit.
Innovative components will be designed and tested :
* a gearless PM axial-flux wind generator
* a 10 kW double-input single output d.c.-to-d.c. power electronic interface.
A 10 kW rated power pilot plant (5 kW wind power and 5 kW PV power) will be designed and built in the south of Italy.
In one sense the wind and solar energy have complementary characteristics. Sunny days are generally characterized by a poor wind activity, whereas wind speeds above the average are observed often during cloudy days and the night. The use of both the solar and wind resources of a site to generate power results thereby is an improvement of the average availability of energy, and in a significant number of cases the needs of electricity users located in rural areas can be met by means of small-size power plants which use wind and photovoltaic energy together with a limited amount of energy storage. Hence, such an approach suggests the development of integrated generating systems, which consist basically of a wind generator and a photovoltaic array operating in the same power circuit. Both these generating units feed a power conditioner, which is devoted to control suitably the power flow and supply the battery system.
This project uses an innovative configuration for such stand-alone power plants : a wind-turbine-driven axial-flux PM generator and a photovoltaic array as power generating units. The wind generator supplies a three-phase diode rectifier, and altogether this system produces a variable d.c. output power which depends on the wind speed and the turbine rotor speed. The photovoltaic array is made of a large number of solar cells connected in series and parallel, and this d.c. generator delivers a variable output power depending on the sunlight intensity and the cell temperature. Both generators supply a double-input single-output power electronics interface, which connects the generating units to the utility circuit and operates in order to achieve the best exploitation of the two renewable sources.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
DH1 3LE Durham
M60 1QD Manchester