City Tech Students Present Solar Panel Battery Bank Charger Project at Engineering Expo

April 21, 2014 | New York City College of Technology

(l to r, V. Mejia, R. Cazales, A. Akbar)

(l to r, V. Mejia, R. Cazales, A. Akbar)

Three City Tech students from the Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering Technology Department (ETET), Vanassa Mejia, Amreen Akbar and Richard Cazales, presented at the 11th Annual NSPE (National Society of Professional Engineers) Engineering Expo in White Plains, New York, on March 30.

Engineers are always looking for a way to achieve maximum efficiency in their projects to benefit society. To that end, under the guidance of Professor Hamid Marandi, these three City Tech students presented their Solar Panel Battery Bank Charger project, which is a miniature scale of a large solar panel battery bank charger and can be used in homes for emergency power.

The project uses solar panels to convert sunlight energy to electrical energy, which in turn will charge six rechargeable batteries in series with a maximum output of about eight volts. The solar panels are posted on a platform made out of ABS material, which was 3D printed.

The panels can be rotated horizontally as well as vertically using two standard Servo Motors that are programmed using the Basic Stamp 2. The solar panels are connected to Analog/Digital converters in order to extract information from the solar panels.

The solar panel function is to simply charge the batteries after finding the maximum light source. The rechargeable batteries will be able to handle two loads. First, they will be able to provide sufficient voltage for a USB Hub, which can be used as a source of charging phones and other devices. The second load is a DC motor, which is attached to a fan. This fan is connected to a switch, which will allow it to turn on or off as well as a potentiometer, which will vary the fan speed.

Congratulations to these enterprising ETET students on their design as well as their presentation at a prestigious national expo. NSPE administrators will make award decisions later this summer.