2015-05-22 (F) Weekly Summary

Construction of the Wind Generator Test Base took the whole week. Stations were built last week so this week focused on the overall structure, programming, and electrical.

A program was written for the project which was meant to control an Arduino with keyboard emulation capabilities. Unfortunately the Arduino purchased did not have that capability. A usable Arduino will have to be purchased or a workaround will be necessary. One workaround option is to use a program which can accept serial data and place it into a spreadsheet. Another option is to store all the data in a terminal program like HyperTerminal or puTTY then save the output as a comma delimited file.

Arduino program

Electronics for the project included the monitoring hardware like a reed switch which interacted with a magnet attached to the axle to get a speed reading. The reed switch will go high once per revolution so by timing how long it takes to go high twice the time per revolution can be calculated and from there the RPMs can be calculated. Also monitored was the voltage from a generator. These two signals were run to screw terminals located on the stations themselves.

Reed switch for reading revolutions

Stations wired up

The stations had to be arranged by angling them to avoid collisions with the next stations. Originally each station was going too be shorter but 24" threaded rods were an easy purchase so the stations were twisted and the base will be angled appropriately. Each station will sit vertically but the base will be angled. The option to use only three stations was abandoned. The base was mounted to my porch railing and held up during a night of high winds with no issues.

Angled stations

Base mounted to porch

Electronics for the controller side of the project were started with a clean looking arrangement of wires run to a long terminals strip from a small breadboard. The clean looking wires were quickly rearranged and a messy tangle of cheap ethernet wires were installed to run to each station. The physical construction of the Wind Generator Test Base was completed but the programming must still be done.

Controller wiring

Wiring to the stations

Fully constructed test base

The rest of the weekly summaries have been arranged by date.

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