Planning of mobile complete set for a rural wind generator

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Planning of mobile complete set for a rural wind generator Abstract The aim of this thesis is to alleviate the chronic lack of electricity supply in the rural South African areas by designing a portable wind generator kit. An extensive assessment on the rural village of Ga-Rampuru, in Limpopo Province, was conducted, to investigate the present needs, as well as the availability of resources both human and material that would be needed to construct and assemble the system. From the inventory of recyclable materials found during the investigation the author was more inclined to suggest the design of a wind turbine that could be assembled and maintained by the local artisans. A two pole permanent magnet synchronous generator was designed using standard commercial magnets, which

were later replaced by recyclable loudspeaker magnets that were found in the village. This was done to compare the output of the generator in both cases. All the designs were modelled in FEMM, a software package, to estimate the induced voltage and flux of the generators. Using standard commercial magnets the simulated voltage and flux levels were 9.4, 5.1, 3.6V and 0.0489, 0.0186, 0.0175 Wb, respectively. Assuming a generator current rating of 1 amp this would yield 36 watts at the estimated average wind speed of 4 meters per second. Then when these were substituted with recycled speaker magnets the generator yielded a voltage of 3.5V and a flux of 0.0171Wb. The estimated output power of the recycled generator was estimated to be 10.5W. This compared well with the power output

from the commercial magnets generators. From these preliminary results it is quite apparent that a viable generator can be designed from the recyclable magnetic components. The same design procedure as outlined in this thesis can be used to design larger recycled generators with larger outputs. The design of this wind turbine will obviously have a wide range of positive developmental benefits on the community of Ga-Rampuru. The next stage was practical construction to validate of the simulation results. This however could not be realised in time. Chapter 1. Introduction 1.1 The subject of the report The aim of this thesis is to design a simple wind generator kit that can be easily assembled and installed by rural artisans. The kit will use recyclable materials that are found in

the rural areas to ensure a cost effective and environmentally sustainable solution. 1.2 Background to research and investigation of rural electrification “Electricity brings immeasurable benefits to human life. With electricity, comes lighting and the ability to extend the daylight hours, to study and to improve education. With electricity come cooling and heating and the ability to store food and cooking. At its extended level, electricity facilitates communications, transportation and production and paves the way for the eradication of poverty, industrialisation and ultimately the growth of our country’s economy”.[3] Electricity is a basic necessity and access to it has a wide range of positive developmental benefits for communities [1], yet, in 2001 2.8 million South

African households still had no access to electricity [2]. The majority of these households are poor and live in remote places which are located far from the central business districts and the country’s electricity grid. And this makes it very expensive to connect them to the country’s electricity grid. As a national initiative to improve the quality of life in South Africa, National Electrification Programme (NEP) aims to provide universal access to all South Africans by 2012 [4]. Hence, this has lead to the investigation of other safe, cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative methods of electrifying rural areas in South Africa. Renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, are the fastest growing alternative means of providing a reasonable amount of