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The Alternative Energy System
James Williamson and Jeremy Tresenriter
Advisor: Mr. Steven Gutschlag

The Alternative Energy System project, started last year by Mr. Eric Alig, is a hybrid alternative energy system. A hybrid alternative energy system supplies constant DC or AC power to a load by managing the voltage input of two or more renewable, independent DC or AC power sources and one secondary energy storage unit used as a backup power supply. The system being designed is intended to use a wind generator and solar cell as the renewable sources, and a rechargeable battery bank as the secondary power source for use when the renewable sources fail to provide sufficient power to the load.

The system incorporates several power electronics concepts such as switched DC-DC voltage conversion, switched DC-DC voltage regulation, battery charging, and snubber circuit design for switching transistor protection. Both analog and digital hardware technologies were utilized in this system. The analog subsystems included push-pull amplification, optical isolation, and the previously mentioned power electronics concepts. All digital hardware subsystems were implemented with a microprocessor. The microprocessor was responsible for the PWM output used to control the power transistors, as well as interpreting the analog-to digital signals being received from the system for the purpose of monitoring and controlling the voltage and current levels in the system.

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