VAWT4All Initial Data Collection
Written by: Sudman, May 2, 2023
Hi all, I’m Sudman. I go to Metro Early College High School as a Senior. This is my first blog post: VAWT4All Initial Data Collection. This is research for my CapStone internship which I’m doing a Mezzacello Urban Farm with Jim Bruner.
I have been working on this project since January at Mezzacello Urban Farm. In that time I’ve had to do a lot of research on multiple topics that I knew almost nothing about. Like electricity, electrical engineering, Ohms Law, voltage, watts, and amps, wires, and in this case, data capture and modeling.
For a deeper dive on the VAWT4All Model see Jim Bruner’s blog post here.
Since we live in Ohio the best state with the worst weather, Practical research has been hard because Ohio’s weather sucks and it’s been really cold and wet. This is a problem for data collection because the VAWT are outdoors. We need to track real world data like COTA buses passing and we cant do that indoors at the PAST Foundation.
Since we’ve been using the COTA website and PDF files to track bus routes, we’ve had to to import and correlate certain stop time and schedule information that isn’t present in the existing data. Like, when does the COTA bus actually pass in front of Mezzacello Urban Farm at the Hoffman Street and 20th Street bus stops? The data that COTA provides is for Fourth Street, which is 1.8 km away to the west and Ohio Avenue which is .3 km the other way to the east.
There are four missing bus stops in our data model. We made a logical guess that there is a stop every three minutes. this allowed us to create a Hoffman column in the stop data and we set that data as our control with that in mind.
The other obstacle was that we had to create a data model that would track relevant information for this project, like temperature, whether there is moisture (is it raining?) Is it windy? If so can we infer where the wind is coming from? What would this database look like?
There were other obstacles concerning modeling data. We had to create a data model and input form in Airtable that would track relevant information like wind. Is it coming from ambient wind moving from the bus stops on Broad Street at Hoffman or is the wind accelerated by the presence of a COTA buses? How do we model that?
Fitting It Together
The last piece of this puzzle is that we have to take data from four different data sources:
- the WeatherStation
- the COTA bus
- the voltage from the VAWTs
- and a data model where data as being pulled in from third-party resources.
This is really difficult to do but I think we can get it done.
Real World Effects
Regarding data and its accuracy we discovered two interesting things in the course of our research. The first is if there’s a 20 second delay from the energy that the VAWT is producing and what appears on the MPPT display. We will need to account for this delay in the data.
The second is there’s a delay in the amount of wind that comes across Broad Street and crosses the 300 m to the VAWT and how that interacts in real time. The wind is variable and it is local, but the anemometer is as close to the southern edge as we can account for.
The last is that there’s a large brick building between where the COTA buses appear and where the VAWTs are located at Mezzacello and we don’t know what impact that has yet. The building is sited towards the southwest. It has a real impact on the speed of rotation of the western VAWT from the eastbound busses that we have observed so far.
After we achieve a way to get all that data down we will finally be able to make a model of how much voltage is produced when a COTA bus passes by Mezzacello. I also hope that we will get this system of data collection automated. We will then able to build a model of the VAWTs to have at my Symposium.