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Keegan Snyman bags two awards

At the recent departmental prizegiving Keegan Snyman who graduated BEng Cum Laude received two awards for his final year project. Our department is glowing with pride after our April graduation which included two more PhD graduates. At the graduation ceremony Engineer and inspirational business leader, Dr Andries Carel (Andy) Calitz, who received the degree Doctor of Engineering (DEng) honoris, in his acceptance speech urged the graduates to focus especially on “much needed Renewable Energy”.


Keegan chose Renewable Energy as a final year project. His project titled “Experimental investigation of wind loads on ground-mounted PV installations” made him eligible for  two awards. He received the Autodesk award for “Best use of CAD (Inventor)” sponsored by Modena Design Centres. He also won the GeoSun Africa award for “Best final year project in Sun and Wind Energy” sponsored by GeoSun Africa.


“The work entailed the design, build and testing of an aerodynamic scale to measure wind loads on a photovoltaic module. The project aimed to develop a method for measuring wind loads experienced by PV modules during full scale field experiments. Wind loadings acting on utility scale structures are not yet well defined and are non trivial to determine. Often numerical simulations or forces derived from structural wind loadings standards do not accurately reflect the experienced forces due to wind loadings. Therefore, full scale field experiments aim to provide designers with measured data from a PV module exposed to natural wind loads.” says Keegan.


The project was supervised by Johann Bredell. Keegan was grateful for the exposure and convenience of interesting equipment from Gill Instruments Ltd and Lord Corporation, a Part of Hannifin. He gained great experience in applying and configuring strain gauge circuits such as a full bridge Wheatstone bridge configuration.


At Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering department research in Renewable Energy is growing. Keegan’s project work will now be further developed and expanded on by our next group of final year students. Learn more about our research and work in Renewable Energy by clicking the following links CRSES and STERG.


We congratulate Keegan and all our prizewinners on their recent graduation and excellent achievements.