Wind Turbines are an effective way of harnessing energy from a natural source. Many companies are looking into 'green' energy alternatives as the price and cost to the environment of fossil fuels rise.
We are a team of second year Product Design Engineering students from Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow University.
Our aim was to produce the most efficient wind turbine out of the time and resources we had at our disposal. We researched many different designs and developed them until we reached our final solution.
Our design is based around a purpose built wind tunnel that we used to test our concepts and final design. The dimensions given could be scaled up or down depending on the application.
The following step-by-step guide will show you how you too can produce a cost-effective wind turbine.
medium-density fibreboard (MDF)
extruded polystyrene foam
two bought-in gears
hot glue sticks
hot glue gun
Step 1: Fan Base
The fan is one of the most important components in this design.
The MDF base is made of two 300mm diameter discs, with a 260mm diameter disc in between - all 18mm thick. These were roughly cut to shape using a bandsaw and then accurately sized using a belt sander. A hot glue gun and 30 x 1.6mm panel pins were used to attach the discs together.
The lower-most disc was cut to size the same way as the other discs. This disc had a 155mm outer diameter channel cut out using a router. The channel is for the ball bearings to run and its width was 6mm (chosen due to the ball bearings purchased).
Through all four discs is the hardwood dowel axle - 22mm in diameter - cut to 240mm in length using a bandsaw. A hole of the same diameter as the axle was cut through all the discs using a pillar drill. The axle was forced through and required no glue due to the accurate fit.