2. Method

Equipment list:

  • Rubber bands  x15
  • 3 volt DC motor  x4
  • Measuring Tape  x1
  • Wire cutters  x2
  • Insulated tape  x1
  • Voltmeter or multimeter  x2
  • Large paper clips  x30
  • Scissors  x2
  • Wood  x3
  • Cork  x5
  • Masking tape  x1
  • Electronic Portable Fan  x1
  • Marker  x2
Our sketches of the set-up (not drawn to scale):

Figure 1 shows how the experiment is going to look like when we are testing the blade ( this is only half of the full thing Figure 2 which is below is the other half, which will connect the wires to the motor)

Figure 3 shows Template A, one of the blade sets.

Figure 4 shows Template B, one of the blade sets.

Figure 5 shows Template C, one of the blade sets.

Figure 6 shows Template D, one of the blade sets.

Figure 7 shows Template E, one of the blade sets.

Figure 8 shows all the different types of blade shapes we are experimenting with.


Making of the Wind Turbine:

1) Use the rubber band to attach the body of the motor to the end of the ruler. Be sure the shaft of the motor extends beyond the end of the ruler. The motor's leads or outlets will point towards the other end of the ruler.

2) Use the wire cutters to cut two 30cm pieces of insulate wire. The remove about 2cm of the insulation from each end of both wires.

3) Attach one end of the wire to one of the motor's lead's or outlets. Secure the wires with electrical tape. 

4) Tape the middle of the wires to the ruler to hold them in place. Attach the other ends of the wire to the voltmeter, which will measure how much voltage the windmill produces.

5)Use scissors and the cut out six pieces of cardboard from template A. This will be the first set of windmill blades.

6) Straighten out the bottom end of each of the paper clips. Tape each cardboard to the middle piece of the paper clip to make the windmill blade. The long end of the paper clip should stick out.

7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 to make 5 other blades. Stick the 6 windmill blades into the cork about 1/4 inch from the end. Space them equally around the cork.

8) Repeat steps 5 through 7 and make 4 other sets of windmill blades using the remaining four templates, B, C, D and E . Each blade on the templates should have a different shape.

In the picture above we have the template A,B,C cut out and D,E drawn out on the wood. We have also shown the straightened paper clips, corks and rubber bands.

Experimental Procedure:

1) Insert the motor's shaft through the centre of the cork. The blades should be at the far end of the cork, away from the motor. Make sure the shaft goes through the centre of the cork, so that the windmill does not wobble when it spins. 

2) Place the turbine at least 30.5 cm in front of a fan. Use a piece of tape to mark the position of the fan and the windmill. They will need to be in the same place throughout the experiment.

3) Now you will find out the best angle for the blades. Twist the blades so that they are perpendicular to the end of the cork.

4) Repeat Step 2, tilting the blades in small increments until the blades start spinning. When the blades start spinning, measure and record down the voltage produced. 

5) Keep tilting the blades of the turbine until you find the best angle that produces the greatest voltage. Record this voltage as your "Best" voltage produced.

6) Test the voltage at least 4 more times. Record the voltage each time.

7) Use the marker to mark the angle of the blades directly on the cork. Just draw a short, straight line beneath each blade. The line should line up with the angle of the blade.

8) Now you are ready to test the other blade shapes and sizes. Remove the 1st set of blades and insert the 2nd set of the blades. Turn the blades so that they line up with the marks you made in Step 7. The second set of blades should be at the same angle as the first ones.

9) Place the turbine in front of the fan, making sure that both are in the same places as they were in Step 2. Turn on the fan and record the voltage produced. 

10) Repeat Step 9 at least 4 more times and record the voltage produced each time.

11) Repeat Steps 8 to 10 with 3 other different shaped and sized sets of blades.

CONCLUSION: Average the voltage produced by each blade shape. Make a bar graph of blade shape versus voltage. Make sure to state which shape and sized blade produced the highest voltage and link it with your hypothesis.

Risks and Safety:
-While cutting out the shapes, we might accidentally cut our own fingers hence, we will wear gloves to minimise the harm caused.
-We might also get electrocuted by the circuit hence, we will wear rubber gloves.
-While handling the motor, we might accidentally burn ourselves as it is hot,  hence, we will wear rubber gloves

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