Project Information

Dayna Walker
Team size: 1
Grade 7-9
Engineering - Experimental
Level: Advanced
Traditional Website constructed using Softquad HotMetal Pro
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop, Ulead Photoimpact & MetalWorks
Charts: Microsoft Excel
Hardware Tools: Digital Camera

Project Summary

"Watts Up With Torque!" is Phase 2 of my 2003 project, "Torque it Up!". The results from Phase 1 strongly supported my hypothesis that multiple rotors would produce more torque and mechanical power than a single rotor.

The purpose of this project was to determine if multiple rotors would increase the electrical output of a horizontal axis windmill. A laboratory scale windmill was designed and built. Torque, the force created by the rotating windmill axis, was used to turn the axle of three sizes of DC motors and generate electricity. Electrical current in mAmps and electrical force in mVolts were measured and electrical energy in mWatts calculated. The experiment was designed to measure the effect of the independent variables (rotor size, placement, number, fan speed, motor size) on the dependent variables (wind speed, RPM, mAmps and mVolts). Twelve rotor variables were tested at two fan speeds, using three sizes of DC motors. Each measurement was repeated ten times. RPM and wind speed were used to calculate tip speed ratio. Statistical analysis was used to assess the quality of the data collected.

Multiple rotors produced more electicity than a single rotor and operated at lower wind speeds. Adding a second rotor produced the largest increase (over 2000%) in electricity generated. Overall, three 28 cm rotors, placed side by side, with offset blades, coupled to a 12 V DC motor produced the most electrical energy. This rotor combination consistently had the highest tip speed ratios and produced the most electrical energy at both fan speeds and with all three motors.

April, 2004: Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair
Best in Fair Pinnacle Award: First Place
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Trip Award
Gold Medal Merit Award
Ambitious City Toastmasters Leadership Award
Canadian Nuclear Society Award
Dofasco Engineering and Maintenance Technology Award
Mechanical Contractors Association of Hamilton Award
Primary Fluid Systems Inc. Engineering Award
Professional Engineers of Ontario Award
Ramanujan Mathematics Award
Zonta Club Award

BASEF 2004, Mohawk College


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