Photovoltaic minisystem one of the best student designs in Poland

visualization of the project by M. Olszewski

P. Kiełczykowska and M. Olszewski with prof. Jacek Wróbel, the Rector of West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin; photo from archive of Coal & Clay

A project developed by Coal & Clay – student society of the Faculty of Energy and Fuels - won first place in the interdisciplinary category of the poster session contest which accompanied the 3rd National Convention of Student Societies. The winning project: Design and construction of a model powerwall-powerbank system was presented by two members of the society: Paulina Kiełczykowska of the Faculty of Energy and Fuels and Miłosz Olszewski of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics.

The main goal behind the project was to construct a model „house” from a LEGO building block connected to a photovoltaic cell coupled with a power bank, which was then used to measure battery charging speed depending on the inclination angle of the photovoltaic cell as well as the power output storage time. The measurements were carried out in Kraków – the city affected by the highest levels of air pollution in Poland and in Łomża, which is located in the area known as country’s green lung. The CAD model and the structure, which included a roof equipped with a guide for adjusting the cell’s inclination angle, were developed by Miłosz Olszewski. The roof together with the cell were placed on top of a LEGO block and the photovoltaic cell was connected to a power bank by means of a USB cable. Paulina Kiełczykowska was responsible for developing the concept of the setup, collecting background information as well as conducting tests and analyzing the results.

The project enabled the students – Coal & Clay members – to find out more about off-grid system design for single family houses and to collect a large amount of information on renewable sources of energy as well as the country’s energy policy. The project allowed the young researchers to verify whether a photovoltaic minisystem connected to a power bank can be economically viable in Polish conditions and whether it could help combat environmental pollution. It was observed that the designed setup is capable of storing 18 000 mAh in a battery while operating in various geographical and weather conditions over a period of 4-5 days. The results of the test show that the solar energy storage time for a Li-Ion battery is 51 days. The energy stored in the battery can be used e.g. during the winter months, when the supply of solar energy is lower.

The winning project was financed from Rector’s fund. The research supervisor of the Coal & Clay Student Society is dr hab. Danuta Olszewska of the Faculty of Energy and Fuels.

The 3rd National Convention of Student Societies held on 24-25 November was hosted by West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin. The event was attended by 65 student societies representing 12 Polish universities – apart from AGH UST, the attendees were: West Pomeranian University of Technology, University of Bielsko-Biała, Cracow University of Technology, Wrocław University of Technology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, University of Warmia and Mazury, Medical University of Gdańsk, UTP University of Science and Technology.

The paper and poster contest attracted 100 projects, which were presented to a jury composed of research staff from the West Pomeranian University of Technology, University of Szczecin and Szczecin Academy of Arts. The paper section was divided into 6 subject areas: architecture and building, chemistry, economics, plants and nature, technology and animals. The poster session focused on: chemistry, animals and one interdisciplinary stream (architecture and building, plants and nature, technology).

The event was organised by the Department for Student Affairs of West Pomeranian University of Technology (ZUT) in cooperation with ZUT’s Student Parliament and Rector’s Representative for Student Research Action.