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Center for Transportation Studies

Webinar Available


Solar and Wind Hybrid Electric Generators for Rural ITS Applications

Part of the Advanced Transportation Technologies Seminar Series — 2008 For more information, contact Shawn Haag at the ITS Institute, 612-625-5608 or

October 7

Taek Kwon [bio]
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth

This seminar presents field-test results from the application of solar and wind hybrid electric generators to a rural dynamic message sign (DMS) and a street light. System design experiences on integrating solar and wind generators into a single unified system will be also presented.

In most Midwest states, solar panels alone are not sufficient to reliably support the power needs of rural ITS applications during the winter months due to significantly shorter daylight periods. Since winds are stronger in winter, the wind turbine generates more electricity during the winter, which complements the shortage of solar energy. Furthermore, winter or summer storms produce little solar energy, but stronger winds complement the shortage. Solar and wind hybrid generators to support a DMS and a street light were designed, implemented, and tested for two years using these complementary relationships.