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University of Malaya Installs Hybrid Solar-Wind Outdoor Lighting

Posted on the 28 May 2014 by Dailyfusion @dailyfusion
An innovative idea to provide outdoor lighting using wind-solar hybrid renewable energy sourcesAn innovative idea to provide outdoor lighting using wind-solar hybrid renewable energy sources. (Credit: Reseacrh SEA)

An innovative hybrid solar-wind outdoor lighting system powered by a shroud-augmented wind turbine and a solar panel was installed in the KL campus of University of Malaya (UM).

This hybrid solar-wind lighting system is a compact design that integrates a vertical-axis-wind-turbine (VAWT) with the novel omni-direction-guide-vane (ODGV), solar panel and LED lighting system. Consisting of several guide vanes, the ODGV is carefully designed and placed to surround the VAWT for wind power augmentation where the oncoming wind is guided through the ODGV. This will create a Venturi effect that increases the wind speed before the wind-stream interacts with the turbine blades.

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The Venturi effect is the reduction in fluid pressure that results when a fluid flows through a constricted section of pipe. The Venturi effect is named after Giovanni Battista Venturi, an Italian physicist. The Venturi effect is a jet effect; as with a funnel the velocity of the fluid increases as the cross sectional area decreases, with the static pressure correspondingly decreasing. According to the laws governing fluid dynamics, a fluid’s velocity must increase as it passes through a constriction to satisfy the principle of continuity, while its pressure must decrease to satisfy the principle of conservation of mechanical energy.

Furthermore, the design of the ODGV that shrouds the wind turbine rotor provides a safer and more secure environment for maintenance workers and the public. Ultimately, the ODGV overcomes the low wind speed challenge in the tropics by guiding and increasing the speed of the wind from all directions radially through the guide-vanes before entering the VAWT at center portion. To harness power from the sun, a photovoltaic panel is mounted on the top surface of the ODGV for solar energy generation. The green energy generated from this wind-solar hybrid system is utilized to power the outdoor lighting system.

The team led by Dr. Chong Wen Tong was awarded a Pre-commercialized Prototype Fund to develop and install thehybrid solar-wind lighting system at suitable locations in the campus. The fund was provided by UM via UM Center of Innovation and Commercialization (UMCIC). The first unit was installed next to the outdoor gymnasium, opposite 1st Residential College. This unit will serve as the first full-scale trial and as a showcase unit of the product. Improvements on the design and features will be included in the next units. For the commercialization of this product, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between UM and a private company, Master Shanghai Turnparts Sdn. Bhd. (MSTSB). MSTSB has provided great assistance in enhancing the product. The second unit of the product is currently in the final stages of fabrication and testing.

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