Hi we are a team of Maker Educators from MakerBay in Hong Kong. We prepare a wind turbine building workshop for a group of grade 5 kids. Here are our experiment and lessons learnt.
- Building a small wind turbine that can generate electricity to power up a LED or other possible loads.
Step 1: Design Sketch
Step 2: Materials and Tools
Step 3: Some Tips in Finding a Right Motor
Basically, you need a motor that can generate measurable voltage (e.g. at least 1.5V) at low RPMs.
1. bring a multimeter and LED with you to the shop
2. connect LED to the motor and spin the motor shaft with your hands to see whether it can light up the LED.
3. If yes, congratulation! you probably find the right motor.
** If you want to learn more**
Windynation also has more useful information and background knowledge (E.g. type of motors, voltage-rpm ratio, magnet etc.) in choosing the right motor.
Step 4: Making the Blades
For blades, we just keep it simple. Since we consider the safety and ease of handling materials for kids. We decided to use cardboard/ card paper to make the blades.
1. Cut out four 15cm long and 3.5 wide card paper as the blades.
2. Fold it.
3. Stick them together with hot glue gun.
4. Fix blades on motor shaft with hot glue gun.
** Some tips in blade designs **
- Using lighter materials (such as cardboard, card paper) can spin faster.
- If the turbine does not spin fast enough, you can increase the speed by adding the number of blades.
- Based on our experiments, we found that the ratio of blade diameter to motor diameter is around 12:1
Step 5: Prototype Testing
Prototype 2 - using multimeter
We use multimeter to measure the voltage output and polarity generated from the motor.
Prototype 2 - using LED (as load)
we used crocodile clip wires to connect a red LED to motor. Remember long leg of LED is positive and short leg is negative.
Step 6: Building the Stand
Step 7: Putting All Together
Step 8: Workshop With Kids
Step 9: Team
Piko Poon, Maria Li, Moke, Ansu, Mustafa, Cesar, Chicky, Thomas