Renewable Energy

Project One – STEM Club
Automated solar panel sun tracking system
Research and development of a prototype system for solar panels to track the sun, increasing power output from each solar panel. Research, design and prototype a range of different design solutions. Once designs are prototyped each design is evaluated for effectiveness relative to static solar panels and other solutions currently available on the market.
Project Description

This project is designed to research the feasibility and sustainability of employing solar powered technologies as an energy source in households in Australia. This project focuses on using solar panels on an automated system, installed on the roofs of houses. This system will be intended to follow the path which yields maximum sunlight throughout the day, and to integrate it to a power storage system. The efficient automated system will be developed with a fixed-angle solar panel to allow for maximum energy retention and minimal power draw.

Research Deliverables
  • • Mechanical design and drawings for mounting/supporting automated systems
  • • Design of automatic control operations
  • • An industrial scale prototype of one automated mechanical system
  • • Evaluation of automatic control operations;
  • Project Two – STEM Club
    Smart Wind Turbines
    Research Outcomes
    A smart wind turbine and its supporting structures (prototype and proof-of-concept designs).
  • • Prototype and detailed proof-of-concept design of a smart wind turbine
  • • Prototype and detailed design of an optimized supporting system
  • • Automated system of smart wind turbine operation
  • Project Description

    Use of wind turbines for residential application is one of Australia’s main sources of renewable energy. However, at present, use of smart wind turbines to generate electricity efficiently is rare in Australia. Installing smart wind turbines on residential buildings has the potential to make a significant contribution to Australian government’s renewable energy targets.

    • 1) quiet operation, low noise, negligible vibration, environmental and social friendly;
    • 2) light weight, negligible impact on building roof-structures;
    • 3) few components, less maintenance and easy installation; and

    We aim to develop a smart wind energy system by addressing the above design considerations. Once this topic is successfully completed, two future research topics are planned:

    • 1) 3D modelling of wind resources (this will accurately predict the wind speed in any location); and
    • 2) Integrated design of traditional wind turbine into design of smart wind energy system.