Archive for the ‘wind_energy’ Category

In third-world countries, remote villages without access to the power grid must rely on diesel or petroleum generators for electricity. This means they can warm and light their homes only if they have access to these limited resources. Engineers at Windlift develop portable airborne wind energy (AWE) technology for post-conflict reconstruction, disaster relief, and third-world development. Using the dynamic duo of  NI CompactRIO embedded systems and NI LabVIEW software, Windlift designed a system to provide renewable energy to villages in post-war Afghanistan.


AWE technology uses a flexible airfoil, tethered to a base station, to capture power from the wind. With its tethers spooled onto a large drum, the airfoil is actively flown downwind of the base station. As the airfoil flies away from the ground station, its tethers unspool from the drum and drive it to turn a generator. The electrical power produced by the generator is then transmitted to a battery bank and stored. All of these devices interface with CompactRIO through a controller area network (CAN) bus.



Up, Up, and Away…

Windlift AWE System During First Flight Test


The Windlift team is currently in the final stages of testing the AWE system prototype. Fortunately, thanks to the seamless interface between CompactRIO and LabVIEW, the transition from the current manual system to an automated system will be an easy one, requiring only a simple software update. The AWE system is just another example of how NI products are helping improve life across the globe.


>> Check out another sweet app that used LabVIEW to help make the world a better place.

>> Attention all do-gooders: Have you ever used NI products to innovate for those in need? Share your story with us in the comments below!

Armed with NI LabVIEW software, CompactRIO, and PXI hardware, researchers at the University of Zagreb in Croatia have established the Laboratory for Renewable Energy Sources, or LARES. We all know that green is the way to be, but as the demand for clean energy grows, the need to make it efficient and readily available does as well. To meet such demands, LARES conducts research on controlling and storing wind, hydrogen, and solar energy.


Let’s get the nuts and bolts straight. LARES is a microgrid consisting of a custom-made wind turbine, an electrolyzer and fuel cell stack for hydrogen production, and solar panels. It was designed to investigate and develop microgrid algorithms to control specific energy sources. Designing these control algorithms can be tricky, because the amount of energy produced by renewable sources is often unpredictable. The algorithms require many control loops and real-time hardware operation on a millisecond time scale. That’s a definite need for speed. With the help of NI products, the LARES engineers laid the foundation for virtual power plant control and made green energy a more reliable power source for the future. Captain Planet would be proud.


Check out their mean, green set-up:



      Wind Chamber with Wind Turbine and Powerful Blower     




                                                                            Hydrogen-Based Energy Source Consisting of Hydrogen Storage,                                                                            

Fuel Cell, Valves, and Measurement Equipment



>> Check out the full case study here.