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Moriarty, Mark (2010) FEASIBILITY OF SMALL-SCALE URBAN WIND ENERGY GENERATION. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examines the environmental impacts and the viability of placement in an urban environment of a small-scale wind energy prototype known as an Aeroelastic Energy Harvester (AEH). Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), the prototype was modeled using SimaPro v.7 in order to create a baseline. Results include information on the energy required to produce and manufacture the AEH, as well as environmental impacts associated with production. Alternative materials for the frame of the AEH such as recycled aluminum instead of virgin aluminum or plywood instead of acrylic sheets were also studied to determine their impacts relative to the prototype's current materials. A decision matrix was created to 'rank' these materials based on a number of categories, including weight, durability, and energy consumption. Two alternative frame models were created and their impacts relative to the prototype were presented. The second portion of the study proposes a method to transform open field wind data into wind speeds in a built-up urban environment using characteristics of localized wind flows in urban areas including surface roughness, elevation and concentrator effects. An example of wind speeds at selected buildings in Pittsburgh, PA is presented. Using current data of the prototype AEH outputs, a range of outputs were calculated for each of four selected buildings. The current results suggest the AEH will be suitable for applications such as wireless sensors and providing 'trickle' charging capabilities for battery operated systems. As development continues and output increases, the AEH may be able to play a bigger role in supplying on-site electricity.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHarries, Kentkharries@pitt.eduKHARRIES
Committee MemberLandis, Amyalandis@engr.pitt.eduAEL30
Committee MemberWeiland, Lisalweiland@engr.pitt.eduLMW36
Date: 26 January 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 31 July 2009
Approval Date: 26 January 2010
Submission Date: 17 October 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: MSCE - Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: life cycle; pittsburgh; small-scale; wind energy
Other ID:, etd-10172009-081515
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:03
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:37


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