Engineering Wind Turbine Report - Essay Example

This engineering project was about a variety of elements that pertain to a “home-made” turbine. The main purpose of the turbine project was to design and construct a turbine using material around the lab, while maintaining the project requirements. The turbine was to be completed in one week, where it would be ready to be tested for power, stiffness, and weight. Everyone in the group would have to work together to make sure the turbine would be completed on time. In addition to the turbine structure, a motor blade is needed with ample efficiency to produce power.

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The design of the blade was one using the Inventor program 2012 and the blade was made by the lab assistant. Overall, the final product had to withstand the force of a 25 MPH gust wind, while still outputting an efficient amount of RPM to light up 7 light bulbs, and having the least amount of displacement as possible. The project seemed very exciting to the group at first. The team was eager to get started on the design of the turbine structure, while of course keeping in mind the guidelines that were stated.

Initially they thought of just using balsa wood for the entire structure, but after having a discussion, the team cited to be more unique and use a more hollow substance. The team then realized that Principles Cans were the perfect balance between light and stiffness because of the hollow interior and perfect cylinder shape which made a good center for the structure. The team used one full Principles can and about 1/4 of another can, which added up to exactly 17. 03 inches when stacked on top of each other. The full Principles can was mounted to the base board using hot glue. Then, we hot glued the smaller can on top of the full can.

To top it off, we hot glued the top board on the smaller can and screwed two hooks on the bottom of the small board. The team used only the tools that were provided in the lab to build the structure. Most of the materials were bought outside of the lab. The materials consisted of two Principles cans, four pieces of fishing wire, and eight hooks, in addition to the bottom and top boards, the blade, and the motor. Putting their engineering minds to work, they all put their input on how the structure would come about and the different techniques on how to make the design of the structure.

Figure 1: The front view of the finished turbine product The final product was exactly 17. 03 inches tall and weighed 345 grams. There were a total of 18 elements (materials that was used to build the structure and keep it stiff. The peak power output was 1 1. 4 mm and occurred during the 4th light bulb load. During the peak power output the speed of the blade was about 4900 RPM. This experiment occurred in front of a wind speed of 25. 2 MPH and a distance of 49. 35 mm from the fan to the blade. In addition to the power output, the final displacement was 0. 3 mm with a 1. 20 Keg (1 1 . 768 N) weight with the stiffness of the structure being 27. 775 N/mm. Overall the team had mixed feeling about the results of our wind turbine. The team was happy with the design and stiffness (displacement) of our structure which was one of the stiffest compared to the rest of the groups in the lab section. Although, the team was not very pleased with our power output, compared to the other groups in our lab section. The power was not as the team expected, mainly because the team obtained a random turbine blade due to poor embossing.

The learning experience was very positive. The team experienced a lot of “do’s and don’t” on making a wind turbine. The team recommends for future projects to make sure to emboss their turbine lade correctly, in order to receive the correct blade for testing. In addition, the team recommends testing the turbine power output several times before the final testing lab day occurs. In conclusion the team had a very enjoyable time designing and constructing the turbine structure and blade. Introduction General Objectives Two major goals were to be achieved by the end of the wind turbine project.

The most important goal was to design and construct a wind turbine that would allow students to gain more knowledge about the engineering principles involved. Some of those principles include designing and fabricating the turbine rotor blades and the support tower, calculating the power output of the turbine, and measuring the stiffness of the support tower. The other chief goal was to build oral presentation and communication skills because they are an essential tool in becoming a successful engineer.

Specific Objectives Learning How to Design with Solid Modeling Software Three-dimensional computer-aided design was a new concept for most people in the group. So, in order to become more familiarized with the program Inventor 2008, students were instructed to go through several tutorials to learn about the different tools in the program. When the group was able to use these tools, the designing process for the turbine rotor blades began. Designing and Fabricating the Turbine Rotor Blades From experience on Inventor 201 2 and previous research on wind turbines, the group was to design and have the turbine rotor blades fabricated.

The group maximized all of the factors for the most efficient blade given the circumstances. The number of blades, blade shape, and angle of attack were all major factors that the group decided on. The group determined that the turbine should have three blades because it was the most cost efficient. The lade shape and angle of attack were just based off the example given in the Powering because it was thought that the efficiency was already at a good level. The goal was to design a blade that would be able to spin at high RPM and generate plenty of energy.

Figure 2: Finished Wind Turbine Blade Design Designing and Fabricating the Wind Turbine Support Tower Every group of students was given a base and an upper support plate where the motor would be placed. Everything in between needed to be designed by the teams as the support for their wind turbines. It was decided that a Principles can be used on account of its stiffness. From the Ell lecture, the professor had shown a slide where it said that hollow structures tend to be stiffer. The structure needed to be as close to 1 7 inches tall as possible.

The group ended up using non Principles cans adhered together to meet this requirement. The goal was to build a support structure that was lightweight, stiff, and cost-efficient. Performance Testing of the Wind Turbine and Tower All students needed to weigh their structures, measure its height, and demonstrate the power output from the turbines and stiffness of the support structure. The goal of the group was to perform well in all the categories. Although, the group put lightweight over all the other categories because it was thought that it would make it stand out.

The structure needed to be lightweight, be 1 7 inches high, generate good amounts of energy, and be able to withstand a 25 MPH wind with minimal structural displacement. Presentation In a 5 to 10 minute presentation, every group had to explain their findings during their experience with the wind turbine project. The group wanted to score well on every part of the grading rubric and bring a well-developed and cohesive oral presentation. To do this, a different part or aspect of the reservation was assigned to one member of the group.

Each member had to know everything about the project but more importantly become an expert at his part of the presentation. The goal was to build presentation and communication skills. Support Structure and Stiffness From the experiment instructions, it was said to create a structure that can be lightweight, stiff, and effective in supporting the wind turbine blade and motor that will be attached onto it. The structure has to be within В±1/16 inches of 1 7 inches. The height would include the lower support plate, the upper support plate, and the support structure itself.

Figure 3: The guidelines to makes the support structure. The goals that the team had to accomplish were, finding materials that were light, and stiff, and necessary. With these goals to follow the team had to make a structure that overall was light, no taller than The materials that were used in the development of the support structure were Principles cans, eye hooks, fishing line, and balsa wood. The Principles cans were used as the main support structure. Fishing line and the balsa wood were used to keep the Principles cans in place when the structure faced high winds.

Figure 4 and 5: The support structure of the wind turbine. From the pictures above you can see the design of the support structure. The team chose to use Principles cans because of its stiffness capabilities. Based on what was taught in the lectures, hallow structures have less weight and are more stiff then structures that are not hallow. Pricing cans seem to be the most reasonable object to use because of its abundance around campus and its stiffness. The structure used one full Principles can as well as 1/4 of another. Fishing line was used to help keep the part of the structure in place when high winds occur.