E4 Conference - Wind Turbines


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Presentation by Matt Hardy at the Excellence in Elementary Engineering Education (E4) Conference, St. Paul, MN. January 28, 2010

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E4 Conference - Wind Turbines

  1. 1. Wind Turbinesin the Classroom<br />Hands-On Alternative Energy Engineering<br />Matt Hardy matth@edenpr.orgGrade 3 Teacher, Eden Prairie Schools<br />Joe Rand joe@kidwind.org KidWindProject kidwind.org<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Project Background<br />Current state of wind energy (U.S. & Globally)<br />Joe Rand, Kidwind.org<br />Classroom Activities<br />Build the Tower<br />Engineer the Blades<br />Turbines in Tandem (Wind Farm)<br />
  3. 3. My Background<br />BA, Computer Science, U of M, Morris<br />Web Development<br />M. Ed., U of M, Twin Cities<br />3rd Grade, Eden Prairie (6 yrs.)<br />
  4. 4. Project Background<br />Go Green/Impact Project<br />“High-Tech Environmental Engineering” <br />2-3Weeks<br />Hands-on, inquiry based, highly motivational<br />Funded by a generous grant from the Foundation for Eden Prairie School (FEPS)<br />Tied to Magnets and Electricity curriculum<br />“Alternative” energy is becoming mainstream<br />
  5. 5. Wind EnergyToday<br />Joe Rand<br />Kidwind Project<br />kidwind.org<br />
  6. 6. Energy<br />
  7. 7. Energy<br /><ul><li>What is energy?
  8. 8. Where does energy come from?
  9. 9. Coal, Natural Gas, Solar, Wind
  10. 10. Sun (primary source)
  11. 11. Nuclear, geothermal
  12. 12. We can harness this energy
  13. 13. We can transform it so it’s useful to people</li></li></ul><li>Electricity<br />Where does electricity come from?<br />Capture/release energy to make electrons move<br />
  14. 14. Electricity Production:Wind Turbines<br />How to “catch” the wind? Blades!<br />Spin a turbine<br />Push electrons<br />Generate electricity!<br />
  15. 15. Daily Plan<br />Build the base (tower)<br />Free inquiry: cut/glue/test – does it spin?<br />Controlled design: independent variable<br />Discuss “ideal” designs<br />“Turbines 2.0 ” <br />Redesign, with advice from peers<br />Other testing devices<br />Day 1:<br />Day 2:<br />Day 3-5:<br />Day 6:<br />Day 7-10:<br />
  16. 16. Part 1: Builda Tower<br />(1) Generator<br />(1) Hub<br />(5) 90° Fitting <br />(3) T-Fitting (1 Drilled!)<br />(1) 24” Pipe <br />(6) 6” Pipe <br />(1) Coupler <br />(1) 2” Pipe <br />
  17. 17. Part 2: BladeDesign<br />Students design blades out of various materials<br />Try to make their rotor turn<br />
  18. 18. Measuring Performance<br />Multimeters (volts = speed)<br />LEDs - “The Squid” (volts)<br />Water Pump (power: volts x amps)<br />The true test of a turbine’s utility<br />
  19. 19. Test YourBlades<br />Always uncrimp/recrimp hub<br />Don’t press/pull dowels too hard<br />Danger zone = sideways<br />Wear safety goggles when testing<br />Use multimeter to quantify speed<br />
  20. 20. ImproveYourBlades<br />SHORTEN THE BLADES - No bigger than fan<br />CHANGE THE PITCH - Try flatter (Twist?)<br />USE FEWER BLADES - 2, 3 or 4 blades.<br />USE LIGHTER MATERIAL - balsa wood rules!<br />SMOOTH SURFACES - watch tape & rough edges <br />FIND MORE WIND - Use a utility fan<br />BLADE SHAPE - Narrow tips<br />
  21. 21. Don’tBeADrag<br />
  22. 22. Part 3: Wind Farms<br />
  23. 23. Polarity<br />Determine positive/negative wires<br />Red/Black don’t matter!<br />Test turbine with multimeter: Red-RedBlack-Black<br />If the voltage reading is positive (no “-” sign), then the red wire is positive<br />Otherwise, the black wire is positive<br />Put a piece of tape on the “+” wire to remember<br />DO NOT CHANGE THE PITCH OF THE BLADES<br />
  24. 24. Wait for the Wind<br />Watch the weather forecast for a windy way<br />Head out to the field!<br />Hold onto those blades (hand on the hub)!<br />Arrange the turbines in a line, facing the wind<br />
  25. 25. Line Them Up…<br />
  26. 26. Connect the Turbines<br />Place a “jumper wire” between each turbine.<br />Start at one end of the line<br />Clip + to - , + to - , + to - , + to - …<br />until you reach the last turbine.<br />Connect a LONG wire from the last turbine’s free wire back toward the first turbine.<br />Connect a multimeter to the first turbine’s free wire and the long wire from the last turbine.<br />Release the hubs. Stand back and admire them! <br />
  27. 27. Resources<br />kidwind.org<br />Detailed PVC Turbine Assembly Instructions<br />Blade Design Lesson Plans<br />