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Fourth Year Examinations: Summer 2017


Candidates should answer ALL FIVE QUESTIONS.

Time Allowed : 3 hours.

Only calculators that conform to the list of models approved by the School of Engineering
may be used in this examination. The Engineering Databook and standard graph paper will
be provided.

Read carefully the instructions on the answer book and make sure that the particulars required are
entered on each answer book.

1. Explain, with appropriate use of diagrams, what is meant by the following terms:

Declination, 

Hour angle, 

Lattitude, 

Zenith, 

Altitude, 

Apparent solar time.

Equation of time.

(15 marks)

Describe (without giving trigonometric equations) how, given latitude, longitude, time and
any other necessary information, one may calculate the angle the Sun’s rays make with a solar
collector of arbitrary orientation.

(5 marks)

Total 20 marks



2. a) Show, with the use of a diagram, that for a simple flat plate collector, the heat collected
is given by:

Qc = Ac F’ [ Gt o – UL ( Tcm –Ta ) ],

Qc = heat collected (W)
Ac = collector area (m2)
F’ = plate efficiency factor
Gt = incident solar radiation (W m-2)
o = optical efficiency
UL = overall heat loss coefficient (W m-2 K-1)
Tcm = mean collection (fluid) temperature (°C)
Ta = ambient temperature (°C)
(11 marks)

b) b) Describe but do not prove how the above equation can be modified to give the
Hottel ̵ Whillier ̵ Bliss equation.

(4 marks)

c) Use the Hottel-Whillier-Bliss equation to determine the inlet water temperature at which
the following two collectors have the same efficiency when exposed to incident
radiation of 500 W m-2 and ambient temperature of 20C.

Collector A Collector B

UL 5 10

o 0.8 0.9

FR 0.8 0.8

What is the efficiency under these conditions?

(5 marks)

Total 20 marks



3. a) Briefly describe three different methods for calculating the annual performance of solar
thermal collector systems.

(7 marks)

b) (i) Small wind turbines can still compete well on price with photo-voltaic arrays for
battery charging in many remote locations. Discuss, using sketches where
appropriate, the construction and features of a typical 50 W to 100 W axial field
ironless machine designed for such use.

(ii) Why are automotive alternators not used for this duty?

(7 marks)

c) What do you understand by the terms:

(i) rated wind speed

(ii) cut-out wind speed

(iii) survival wind speed

Why does stopping a wind turbine reduce wind loads on it?

Explain, with the aid of sketched wind speed distribution and power curves, why it is
conventional to design wind turbines to have rated wind speeds higher than the average
wind speeds for their sites.

(6 marks)

Total 20 marks



4. Design of large machinery such as wind turbines is very much concerned with reducing loads
and with reducing fatigue damage by reducing the ratio of maximum to average stress
(sometimes called service factor).

a) Explain, using sketches as necessary, how fixed and variable slip induction generators
and other variable speed techniques can reduce service factors and improve
performance and energy capture.

(6 marks)

b) One method of reducing fatigue damage in some machines is promoted stall. Explain
how this method of machine regulation works and reduces fatigue damage.

(7 marks)

c) Rotors equipped with teeter hinges are stabilised during normal running by orientating
the axis of the teeter hinge normal to that of the rotor shaft, but not normal to the main
lengthwise axis of the blade. Explain, with the aid of a diagram, how this so called
δ3 angle works and describe how the rotor is stabilised during starting and stopping
manoeuvres. Using a diagram of CL against angle of attack, explain how a teetered rotor
can become unstable in high wind.

(7 marks)

Total 20 marks



5. a) Describe the two main types of gearbox (parallel shaft and planetary) used in larger
electricity generating wind turbines and compare their respective benefits and

With reference to sketched efficiency curves, explain why good gearbox design is so
important for wind turbine applications.

(7 marks)

b) Explain how back-to-back tests are set up to test components such as gearboxes and
large electrical machines and how this method avoids having to generate and absorb the
full test power of the machines.

(6 marks)

c) At least two manufacturers of wind turbines now market machines with no gearbox -
there is direct drive between aerodynamic rotor and alternator. Sketch and describe such
a machine and describe how power at normal mains frequencies is generated. How
many poles would be required in a conventional alternator to supply 50 Hz power whilst
rotating at 10 rpm?

(7 marks)

Total 20 marks