Byline: Rhian Chard
Howell's College Team 2 was set the problem by James Gunn, compliance engineer at National Grid, to design a lighting system powered by renewable energy at its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) site in Avonmouth.
The site operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, storing gas in liquid form during summer months to supplying natural gas to homes, primarily for cooking and heating during the summer.
A good lighting system is required to improve visibility during the night. It currently has four 30-metre high metal floodlight stands situated around the plant that are expensive to run and need replacing.
The team of seven students undertook extensive research into renewable energy resources, different light bulbs, light sensors and batteries.
They gave careful consideration to cost, benefits and other constraints, such as, whether planning permission would be required. They made good progress at the three-day workshop at the university by learning how a generator works and then making one to be used with their model.
After visiting the site in Avonmouth and discussing various energy resources, the team decided that hydro power would be the most appropriate way of generating electricity on site.
During their site visit the team had spotted a pipe that had a continuous water flow into a reservoir, which was required in case of a fire on the premises. They measured the speed of the flow of water and found that it was fast enough to produce enough electricity.
The team made a working model of their design ready to show on their display at the Awards and Presentation day at Celtic Manor Resort in April. …