Airgenics is the robotic construction with which the Pierce students Jasmin –Alexandra Samolada (IB1), Melina Xanthopoulou (B6 Lyceum) and Alexandros Chatzipanagos (IB2) won 2nd place in the National Final (OPEN Category) qualified to represent Greece in the final World Robot Olympiad 2021 (November 18 – 21 2021). The presentation of the idea and the robot of our students took place on Thursday 18-11-2021, on the first day of the Olympiad.
The Airgenics is a powerbot which collects energy from the wind, the sun and the water and converts it to electric power. It is a vertical wind turbine of 1.80 m., which consists of three basic distinct parts, the turbine, the solar panel and the hydroturbine:
- The turbine follows the prototype of the wind turbine Savonius and it has a vertical axis. The Airgenics powerboat can be placed on the median strips of big streets and high ways so that the power that is caused by the ongoing traffic of the vehicles will return to the turbine.
- At the top of the frame there is a solar panel which moves according to the position of the sun, constantly collecting the solar energy.
- Given that the wind turbines will be placed outdoors, they will be exposed to the rain and consequently they can utilize the rain water. Due to the inclined surfaces, the water will be led to one of the two supporting columns which serve as a pipe simultaneously. When this pipe fills up, a valve will open and the water will be released with pressure turning a hydro-turbine, in this way generating hydroelectric energy. The water that ends up in a tank will be used either for the irrigation of the plants on the traffic island or for cleaning the roads.
- The surplus of energy can be used for the powering of the means of transport, such as tram and metro but also for the street lights (the led lights of the Airgenics will light up the streets), creating a system of generating electricity with a closed airway. It can be used for different purposes, if it is incorporated in the general system of electricity distribution.
In addition, the Airgenics powerbots have the ability to collect data related to congestion and road traffic, with the addition of a camera with a prototype of recognizing images. They will observe the flow of vehicles and the traffic lights and they will transfer this information to a website/ application, which drivers can use in order to avoid the arterial roads with increased traffic. The benefit will be twofold: increased generation of electricity and reduced consumption of fossil fuels by the vehicles.
In the case that the strength of the wind is high and there is a danger that the wind turbine will be damaged, a delay function will be activated. This is not a type of “brakes” as the aim of Airgenics is to collect energy non-stop, but there will be a motor located on the top side which will provide some resistance and thus will allow the turbine to rotate at a lower speed, continuing the production of energy!
Lastly, the Airgenics powerbot will record and post the generation of energy, in real time, from each distinct part.
The inspiration and the vision of Airgenics is the utilization of power for the conservation of the environment. Unexploited sources of energy give solutions to environmental problems and lead to a “greener” future.
Good luck Jasmin, Melina, and Alexander on this journey of knowledge and contribution to make this world a better place.