Climate Science has been a wonderful class. We have all learned a lot and become much better engineers. This last blog will be explaining and talking about our final generator. We went through many steps and tests to get a final generator. We had to go through many magnets and coils to get the maximum amount of energy. We started with one coil, then moved up to three, and then down to two. We learned that for such a small generator like ours two coils was perfect. We could not fit four and even fitting three was difficult. After that we switched around with the magnets. We started with eight small magnets. We figured that eight small magnets was not enough so we decided to put four bigger magnets. Surprisingly enough four big magnets got even less energy. I guess the big magnets were so close together so there were no spaces between them which didn’t allow them to create that much energy. Then after many tests we switched to two big magnets and four small magnets. This way we still managed to get good energy from the big magnets as well as good energy from the smaller magnets. With these magnets we were able to have good spacing between the magnets creating a lot of good energy.
Induction is when magnets spin across copper coil creating a magnetic field getting the electrons to move. It happens when wires and copper could create an electromagnetic force creating movement and then creating energy. Out device uses induction as well. The stator is the part of the generator that stands still and the rotor is the part that moves. In our device, the stator is the coil and the rotor is the magnets. As you can see in the picture below the magnets are attached to the spoons. The spoons are the ones moving in this device since they are catching the water.
As you can see the spoons are moving very quickly and a lot of energy is being created, the rotor which is the magnets is spinning really fast with a high velocity. We are using alternate current with our generator. Alternate current is when the energy changes directions while in direct current it is all consistently the same. We mainly used volts to measure our generator. They are easy and very satisfying. Since volts are pretty small we were able to get a lot more volts then amps for example. VOLTS, AMPS, WATTS. Volts are similar to pressure. Current which is measured in amps is how thick the wire is for example. Watts is when you multiply those two things together. So Volts x Amps = Watts. We had 3.3 volts and .07 amps. So we are generating .23 Watts. So unfortunately .23 Watts is not that much energy. It is about a quarter of a Christmas tree light.
Underneath is the video showing and explaining our final project. You can see how it works and how quickly the motor turns. And you can see who the magnets are set up as well.
In this video you can see how everything works. This is our machine. so as you can see the magnets go fast past the coils creating solid energy.
This first video was good inspiration. It was cool to know that one can get so much power from a generator of that size.
This video helped us design our generator. It helped us by showing us how to make a water generator. Our generator is run using a very similar technique by using fins to catch the water and turn the generator.
This last video helped us because it shows how to align the magnets and coils.
We have just begun our final project. We will be building our own homemade generator. It is made of a used gear “fruit Juicer” which we took apart to make our generator. The magnets were ordered online and brought very quickly to school. This gave us more time to figure out where to put the magnets and to figure out how out generator will look.
Above is the gearbox that we changed into the generator. As you can see the magnets are a little hidden. But where it is pointed there are eight magnets that are all aligned in a circle on a steel ring. The generator works pretty well. We actually learned about magnetic fields creating energy when we were shown the worlds first electric generator. This is when you take a magnet, and drop it down a tube of a specific medal. We used aluminum, When we dropped the magnet down the tube it went almost in slow motion. Doing so, creating a magnetic field used to create energy. After doing this, we realized that passing magnets by medals like copper creates magnetic fields which can be converted into energy. So going back to the generator that we are building we have designed it so that all eight magnets pass by the copper wire. Below is a picture of the copper wire that we used.
As you can see the copper wire was wrapped multiple times. This is the stator in the generator while the magnets are the rotor. I think about a hundred. But anyways, this copper wire fits perfectly with the magnets that will be passing by it. And when I say passing by I mean the magnets will spin very fast next to the copper wire creating a magnetic field. We will be using induction. Induction is when a conductor uses magnets to create an electromagnetic force which will then create energy. The effectiveness of out generator can be calculated using and easy formula E=BLV. This formula will tell you how much energy you are getting from the generator. The E equals energy. This will say how much energy is being produced. The B is how strong the magnetic field is. The L is the length of the wire. And the V is how fact the generator is going while it is moving. So the more for all of these the more energy will be created. I think that our generator will work. Although the magnetic field may not be that strong the wire was wrapped a lot, this means that the wire is long. And I think that the speed of the generator will be fast. It will spin fast hopefully. So according to this formula I think that it will create enough energy to power the LED light.
Direct vs alternate current. Direct current is when all the energy moves in one direction. And alternate is when it does not and changes in direction. Our turbine is alternate current. The energy changes direction.
So far we have experimented with our device by hooking it up to a device that tells us how much energy is being created. We spun the magnets next to the copper wire and created almost two volts of energy.
The device will be spun by water. We will hook up fins to the outer rotor to create maximum speed. We will place it at the tube in the Proctor pond and will hopefully get good consistent energy. We are hoping for it to run nonstop with power the whole time. When we put the fins on it hopefully they will let the motor spin and create some energy, enough to power an LED light.
I have learned a lot doing this project. I was a little worried that it would not work at first but I got more and more confident each class we worked on it. I learned about how generators work and how magnetic fields are created. It was nice to know that that is how we get power. I never understood how generators work and now I know. At least on a smaller scale. But the generator does work and does generate electricity. It was also interesting learning about alternate and direct currents. Also I did not know about how much you had to wrap the wire to create the most energy. I did not know it had to be so long. I also loved learning about induction and how magnetic fields create energy.
Here are three sources that helped teach me about generators.
Today we took apart a pencil sharpener. It was very cool to see the gears and wires inside this machine. There was a significant amount of copper wire which is very good to know. Given this information, we will definitely need to find copper wire if we make our own generator. Right now we are discussing whether or not we should make our own generator. I hope we do because that would be fun and we would learn a lot.
We finally finished our windmill. It looks amazing and works perfectly. Every time we generate enough speed from the spinning blades we get enough power to power the red light. We have three sets of gears for maximum efficiency.
Here If you look at the gear box to above you can see that the two blue gears are connected. This is for medium winds. For higher winds we connect the last yellow and red gear and for lower winds we connect the first yellow and red gear. The reason we do this is because although the last gear it harder to turn, we generate a lot more energy because one turn with a big gear in this scenario is like four turns with a little gear. And in the front the small red gear needs to turn about four or five times to get the big yellow gear to turn once. This is a lot easier to turn but generates not as much energy. If you look at the gear box you will see that the speed at which the bottom gears turn effect the energy generated. But with low winds it is a lot easier just to align the small red gear in front with the big yellow although it generates less energy. But if you align the last big gear with the last small red gear it won’t even spin. And even a little amount of energy is better then none. We generate our power through the bernoulli effect which states that moving liquid/gas is pressure. And this pressure powers and spins the windmill. Another cool thing that we did was replace the blades. Here below to the left is a picture of the original blades. As you can see they are quite long and
heavy. But, after unsatisfactory results we decided to change the blades. On the right above is our new windmill with new blades. We decided to replace the blades with shorter, lighter, and more frequent blades. Thanks to these lighter blades the wind generator is a lot easier to spin and spins a lot faster. When we put the fan against it it spun fast enough to give up a consistent red light with almost all of the gear ratios where as with the original heavy long blades we could barely get any light. the lighter blades saved our project. I do think that if the winds ever became to strong we would switch to the heavier and more durable white blades but until then we are staying with the small ones. The small blades produced the best results. This project was fun and educational. I was glad to have been able to successfully complete the windmill with maximum efficiency. The windmill was a success and produced good quality energy. After this project I realized how good wind energy is and how effective it is. Hopefully we will see more wind energy in the future.
Today we are getting started. Our group has just picked out the kit that we are going to complete. I am excited and ready to finish this kit. I am ready to see how it works and play around with the efficiency of wind energy. Also considering that wind energy is becoming more and more important it is nice to be able access it. (Even if it is just a small amount). We will start building tomorrow.
This blog is about protecting and preserving our environment. I am currently in high school and taking a climate science class. My goal for this blog is to encourage all to help save our wonderful planet.