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Infinity wind turbine project for Student Design Competition 2013

Contact Information

University: University of Douala

Team Members (with year of graduation): (1) MEDJO NDZIE Stefan A, (2) MELONE DE MOUBANDJE T, (3) BOUHOM YOUBI T.

Faculty Advisers: Germain Blaise NDZIE

Email Address:

Submission Language : English

Project Information

Title: Infinity wind turbine project



Rural people in our countries are facing electrical problems because the rate of return is lower. The consequence is that those inhabitants, who can’t access to electricity, are either using a generating set to produce it or are just living like that without electricity.

As our objective is to satisfy the needs of rural population in economic solution, we want to develop a horizontal axis wind turbine with a power of 500 W, cheaper as possible, that will produce electricity for every rural home light.

This project has a great impact on the standard of living of rural people. The energy produce by the wind turbine could use it:

- For lighting;

- For water pumping for irrigation;

- For telecommunications systems alimentations;

Project introduction


The point 1 is the wind turbine. The second point is the house and the third point is the front panel of the wind turbine data acquisition application. In the house, there will be an electric circuit, where we could connect the NI myDaq which will also be connected to the computer. After using it for design and the construction for data acquisitions, the Ni myDaq and the computer could be used for maintenance in rural zones.

Design Methodology


In order to build our wind turbine, we have planned these phases:

Phase 1: Wind turbine design.

This is the phase where we will have to design our wind turbine.

- Testing site choice:

First, we will have to select a site where wind conditions are ideal (no trees, a wind speed average of 5 m/s) and where we can test it later. Douala cost can be a great site.

- Size evaluation:

Secondly, we will have to calculate the various dimensions of our aero generator (blades, generator, battery, etc.).

- Simulation:

Using CAD software, we will simulate our project to wind conditions.

- Data acquisition:

Finally, in this step, we will explain how every wind turbine component will be connected in order to get data.

Phase 2: Wind turbine construction.

- Material inventory:

After designing our wind turbine, we will check off for material (alternator, bolts, electric wire, batteries, etc.).

- Wind turbine construction:

We will build the wind turbine using the material we just bought.

Phase 3: Wind turbine performances evaluation.

- Wind turbine test:

We will have to test our aero generator to evaluate the power coefficient of its rotor and its efficiency, to plot charts to follow its evolution (power produced, intensity, voltage, etc.).

- Wind turbine presentation.


Design Architecture

Our wind turbine is made up of two parts:

- The wind turbine;

- The data acquisition system.

The wind turbine produces a certain quantity of electricity which is transmitted to the data acquisition system which displays its characteristics.



Functional Description

5.1. The wind turbine.

A wind turbine works the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind like a fan, wind turbines use wind to generate electricity. So we can say that a wind turbine is a device that kinetic energy from wind into mechanical energy. If you want to produce electricity, you have to connect this mechanical energy to a device called generator (alternator).

A wind turbine is made up of:

- Blades: we made them with aluminum sheet in order to resist to corrosion)

- A rotor

- A nacelle

- A generator contained in the nacelle which is directly connected to the rotor.

5.2. The data acquisition system.

The electricity produced by the wind turbine is transmitted to the NI myDAQ and the computer, in order to display its characteristics in the VI.



(3) Intensity


6. Results and Discussion.

6.1. Results.

The VI sends the current parameter’s value in three files:







6.2. Discussion.

In general, with LabVIEW and the NI myDAQ, we didn’t care about developing an application in order to read the serial port. We were just focusing on building an efficient wind turbine.

On the order hand, we faced many problems. Concerning the wind turbine, we faced the problem of low produced power. We solved this problem by using blades a little bit longer. We also had the problem of retrieving data like intensity, voltage and power. We implemented a solution in a loop that open the right file and write the current parameter’s value.

This project shows to Cameroonians that it is possible to produce electricity using wind energy. After increasing its sizes, it could be used as electricity generator in rural areas. Talking about commercialization, we can’t plan it now because we firstly have to define, build and test the good size one corresponding

to common needs.

7. Conclusion.

In conclusion, the participation to this contest enables us to use LabVIEW and NI myDAQ to ameliorate our project. It points up some problems you can see when reading the output files (lower power and intensity). We are planning to build a bigger wind turbine with a more powerful generator. For this step, we will also have to build a gear box to increase the speed of low-speed shaft before the alternator. Finally, we will finish our anemometer in order to evaluate our wind turbine efficiency.