Faculty Publications


Design and implementation of a 12 kW wind-solar distributed power and instrumentation system as an educational testbed for Electrical Engineering Technology students

Document Type



Renewable energy, Solar-wind hybrid power station, Wind Energy Management

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Proceedings - International Symposium: Modern Electric Power Systems, MEPS'10


The main objective of this paper is to report and present design and implementation of a 12 kW solar-wind hybrid power station and associated wireless sensors and LabView based monitoring instrumentation systems to provide a teaching and research facility on renewable energy areas for students and faculty members in Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) programs at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). This new ongoing project requires to purchase a 10 kW Bergey Excel-S wind turbine with a Power Sink II utility intertie module (208 V/240V AC, 60 Hz), eight BP SX175B 175W solar PhotoVoltaic (PV) panels, and related power and instrumentation/data acquisition hardware. A 100 ft long wind tower to house the new wind turbine is available at UNI campus. Furthermore, the electricity generated by this power station will be used as a renewable energy input for a smart grid based green house educational demonstration project to aid the teaching and research on smart grid and energy efficiency issues. 330:038 Introduction to Electrical Power/Machinery, 330:166 Adv Electrical Power Systems, 330:059/159 Wind Energy Applications in Iowa, 330:059/159 (2) Solar Energy Applications and Issues, and 330:186 Wind Energy Management are the classes that will use this proposed testbed. There are also workshops planned for the area Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teachers as well as local farmers' education and training on wind and solar power systems. Previous workshops organized by UNI Continuing and Distance Education have been very successful. The hybrid unit contains two complete generating plants, a wind-turbine system and a PV solar-cell plant. These sources are connected and synchronized in parallel to the UNI power grid as part of laboratory activities on wind-solar hybrid power systems and grid-tie interactions. The proposed project is part of a program initiative to improve our laboratory facilities to better reflect on the current and future renewable energy technologies. The proposed testbed will allow students to be educated and trained in the utilization of real-time electrical power systems and additionally will allow them to gain valuable hand-on experience in setting up a real-time data acquisition system specifically in grid-tied wind-solar power systems. Since Iowa's solar energy resources are higher in summer, this will provide an excellent complement to the load demand when summers are not windy. © 2011 Institute of Electrical Power.

Original Publication Date


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