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Mid-America Transportation Center

Assessing the Structural, Driver and Economic Impacts of Traffic Pole Mounted Wind Power Generator and Solar Panel Hybrid System

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Anuj Sharma (asharma3@unl.edu 402-472-6391)
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Justice Appiah (jappiah2@unl.edu (402)472-1975)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    This project will evaluate the feasibility of using existing traffic infrastructure to mount wind power generators. Some possible places to mount a light weight wind generator and solar panel hybrid system are: i) Traffic signal pole and ii) Street Light pole. Traffic signal poles can themselves have multiple designs depending on type of mount (mast arm vs span wire) and the width of the intersection (load carried) etc. The close proximity of street light poles and traffic signal poles to the traffic cabinets, which can be used for storing the battery banks, make them good candidates to mount the hybrid system. This project will assess the structural impacts=of the hybrid system on different poles listed above. Lincoln standard plans will be used for identifying the pole and foundation design. Structural analysis will involve a first principals for windload analysis and an explicit finite element analysis using LS-Dyna for evaluating fatigue.. Driver impacts and economic impacts of such a system will also be evaluated by performing a before and after study at a test location in city of Lincoln (Hwy 2 and 84). A cost and benefit analysis will be performed to assess the economic impact.
    Research Objective
    Before a large scale deployment of wind power generators, decision makers need a detailed analysis of these devices on the economics, sustainability, and safety of the transportation system. The study proposed herein identifies the costs associated with structural changes necessitated by the electric generation systems. The impact analysis from this study will facilitate informed decision making for wide scale deployment of wind generators on traffic signal poles. The following impacts will be studied: • Structural Impact: This task is important because the structural stability of poles is a critical limit for the design and selection of wind turbine generators. The dead-load of the wind generator and vibratory loads induced by the generator need to be studied under different wind load situations. The effect of inclement weather and potential for harmonic vibrations and fatigue cracking need to be analyzed. • Driver impact: This task will evaluate driver safety, efficiency and economy due to the presence of a wind power generator system. The resulting effect can be due both to driver distraction and failure, or perceived failure, of the structure. • Economic efficiency impact: The impact on economic efficiency will include estimation of the initial cost, life-cycle costs, benefits analysis, and cash flow generated from the system. The costs that need to be estimated for this analysis include both the construction and preservation costs
    Potential Benefits
    The deployment of the proposed wind power generators on existing infrastructure can dramatically change the role of the public right-of-way from an energy consumer to an energy producer. This will not only reduce the roadway agency operating costs but also generate new revenues for the agency. The use of renewable electric power will also promote the development of green roadways.
    Abstract
    This project will evaluate the feasibility of using existing traffic infrastructure to mount wind power generators. Some possible places to mount a light weight wind generator and solar panel hybrid system are: i) Traffic signal pole and ii) Street Light pole. Traffic signal poles can themselves have multiple designs depending on type of mount (mast arm vs span wire) and the width of the intersection (load carried) etc. The close proximity of street light poles and traffic signal poles to the traffic cabinets, which can be used for storing the battery banks, make them good candidates to mount the hybrid system. This project will assess the structural impacts=of the hybrid system on different poles listed above. Lincoln standard plans will be used for identifying the pole and foundation design. Structural analysis will involve a first principals for windload analysis and an explicit finite element analysis using LS-Dyna for evaluating fatigue.. Driver impacts and economic impacts of such a system will also be evaluated by performing a before and after study at a test location in city of Lincoln (Hwy 2 and 84). A cost and benefit analysis will be performed to assess the economic impact.
    Project Amount
    $ 29,533