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Solar-powered carousel for hands-on teaching

By Erin C. (Erin Colleen) Shea


This thesis is the design of a solar-powered carousel that informs the public about the setup and capabilities of solar-powered systems. It is designed as a mobile tool that can be moved among college campuses, businesses, and residential neighborhoods to provide hands-on demonstrations about solar power. Users will sit on the carousel and feel the changes in speed of rotation of the platform as the insolation striking the solar panel or the torque/load fluctuates. A mini fan can be turned on as an extra electrical load on the system to explore how the solar power handles the additional loads, and meters will display the current and voltage levels. Through both the changes in speed and the metered displays, this carousel will enable the user to both physically and visually get a feel for solar power. The user will also be able to view the setup of the solar panel, batteries, and motor because the top of the carousel is removable. The hope in designing this carousel is that it can serve as a tool to educate the public, and that people will walk away with a better understanding of solar power, and, hopefully, more inclined to purchase and setup photovoltaics to power their home or Erin C. Shea.Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2005.Includes bibliographical references (leaf 26)

Topics: Mechanical Engineering.
Publisher: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:
Provided by: DSpace@MIT

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