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Electrical Engineering Capstone Project Ideas

By Timothy BurnsIntegrating solar panels into a home's electrical systems, or hybrid vehicles make excellent capstone projects for electrical engineers.

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Try a capstone project that is relevant to a community service. Designing a portable electrical generator that can be powered by a standard bicycle is a capstone project idea that can be tried by students who have interest in community service. A generator which creates electricity using the drive train of a bicycle can be used in areas where unplanned electricity power outages are likely. This kind of device has commercial applications, and requires the students to overcome a number of practical engineering obstacles.

Another ecologically friendly capstone project is to design a motorcycle that operates on an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine. This project has immediate applications in the community, and requires the student to answer many electrical engineering criteria. An electric motor controller can also be designed to regulate the power used by the motor, and the electric cycle could even be adapted with solar cells to recharge the cycle when not in use, or while driving down the road. The systems required to design this electric motor hybrid motorcycle helps

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the students to understand her field clearly.

A red traffic light detector is another capstone project idea for electrical engineering students. The red light detector system has direct application to the automotive industry. The warning system is designed to warn drivers of an impending red light when they are driving. This project can help save the lives of pedestrians, and protect drivers from accidents caused by inattentiveness to traffic light changes. The detector system would alert the driver when he approached a red light at an unsafe speed, or approaches a light that will turn red as the driver approaches.

In order for solar panel efficiency to be optimized they should always be directly pointed at the sun. Direct exposure to the sun's rays allow the panels to absorb the maximum amount of heat energy. A capstone project could involve designing a controller that rotates the solar panel on dual axis. This project keeps the solar panel pointed at the sun and thereby maximizes the power generated. This project would involve taking into consideration hazardous conditions such as high winds, heavy snowfall and other inclement weather.

References

  • University of California, Santa Barbara: Senior Capstone Projects

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