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An Idea Of Connecting Solar Panels With The Tower Of A Wind Turbine Where The Blades Of The Turbine And The Solar Panels Are Both Made From Singled-walled Carbon Nanotubes

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By
SHREYA GANGULY
CAMELLIA SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY

Abstract
It is known to all that both solar and wind power are beneficial in building up a sustainable lifestyle. Wind turbines are specifically designed to convert wind energy into electrical energy; A solar panel is a set of solar photovoltaic modules electrically connected and mounted on a supporting structure. A photovoltaic module is a packaged, connected assembly of solar cells. The solar module can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential application. The idea is to connect solar panels (made from carbon nanotubes) to the tower of a wind turbine. In order to get maximum exposure to the sun, the height of the wind turbine has to be increased. Therefore, the wind blades are made of carbon nanotubes which are lightweight material providing good strengths.

Keywords: polyurethere, carbon nanotubes, solar panel, wind turbine, tripod

The wind blade:
For fulfilling the above mentioned purpose, the wind turbine has to be increased in height such that the solar panels mounted on the tower of the turbine can get maximum exposure to the sunlight. For satisfying this purpose the wind blades has to be light weight yet strong also keeping in mind that the larger the surface area through which the turbine can extract the wind energy, the more power can be captured. To fulfill these criteria a new composite material made from a polyurethane base reinforced with single-walled carbon nanotubes that is lighter and eight times tougher than glass fibers can be used to make wind turbine blades.

Polyurethane (PUR and PU) is a polymer composed of a chain of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links. While most polyurethanes are thermosetting polymers that do not melt when heated, thermoplastic polyurethanes are also available.

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Polyurethane polymers are formed by reacting an isocyanate with a polyol. Both the isocyanates and polyols used to make polyurethanes contain on average two or more functional groups per molecule.

The tower:
It can be made of tubular steel structure. It is called tapered tubular towers because they gradually narrows towards the top. To construct a tower, fan-shaped plate segments are cut from rectangular parent steel plates and roll-formed and welded into cone sections.

The solar panel construction using singled-walled carbon nanotubes:
One of the promising applications of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) is their use in solar panels, due to their strong UV/Vis-NIR absorption characteristics. Research has shown that they can provide a sizeable increase in efficiency, even at their current unoptimized state. Solar cells developed at the New Jersey Institute of Technology use a carbon nanotube complex, formed by a mixture of carbon nanotubes and carbon buckyballs (known as fullerenes) to form snake-like structures. Buckyballs trap electrons, but they can’t make electrons flow. Add sunlight to excite the polymers, and the buckyballs will grab the electrons. Nanotubes, behaving like copper wires, will then be able to make the electrons or current flow. These solar panels are mounted on the towers of the wind turbines.

The foundation:
I have thought of using tripod foundation which will provide good stability to the structure.
Tri- or tetrapod

A tripod foundation consists of a monopile divided at its bottom into a frame of steel rods. This is attached to the sea bed with piles of smaller diameter (compared to a monopile foundation or a suction bucket foundation). It can be used at greater depths than the gravity base and monopile foundation

Monopile
A monopile is a steel pipe pile of up to six meters in diameter with a wall thickness of 150 mm. Depending on seabed conditions, the pile is plunged far down by pile-driving or drilling, or the piles are grounded into sockets that have been drilled into rock. Compared to the gravity base foundation, the monopile has minimal and localized environmental impacts. The technique is relatively simple and does not usually require any pre-processing of the seabed

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Conclusion
The idea is to combine solar and wind power such that generation of power becomes more economical. The use of carbon naotubes multiplies the idea by two. The excellent mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of carbon nanotubes trigger its use in building such huge structures.

References:
[1]Worldsteel.org the tower line no.7
[2[Single walled and multi walled carbon nanotubes , Mukul kumar, Yoshinori Ando, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Meijo University, Shiogamaguchi 1-501,Tempaku-ku, Nagoya 468-8502, Japan
Michael arnond, assistant professor of material science and engineering at UW- Madison ,
[3]paper published June 17, 2013, in the online edition of the journal Applied Physics Letters. University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers have developed an inexpensive solar cell that exploits nanotubes to absorb and convert energy from the sun @physics .org

We at engineeringcivil.com are thankful to Shreya Ganguly for submitting this to us.

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Comments
  • sudip chowdhury April 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    It’s a unique concept….

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