## 1000 Science Fair Projects with Complete Instructions

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Science Project
 The Effects Of Blade Size And Shape On The Electrical Output Of A Generator Researched by Michael E. 1999-2000

PURPOSE

The purpose of this experiment was to determine which windmill blade sizes, shapes, and angles were most efficient at producing an electrical current from a generator.

The information gained from this experiment will help windmill designers and people in rugged areas where the power lines do not reach to determine the optimum size, shape, and angle of windmill blades used to produce electricity. Back To Top Of Page

HYPOTHESIS

I believe that a trapezoid shaped blade at 75 degrees with the largest surface area will generate the greatest amount of electricity compared to the square, triangle, or rectangular shapes.

I base my hypothesis on internet research and literature that I have read.

EXPERIMENT DESIGN

The constants in this study were:
* Same DC amp meter
* Same windmill
* Same generator
* Same fan (wind generator)
* Same electricity generator
* Same wind speed
* Same fan distance (1 meter) from blades

The manipulated variables are the shape, size (blade area), angle, and length of the blades.

The responding variable was the electrical output of the generator attached to the windmill.  It was measured as milliamps on an amp meter.

MATERIALS

 Quantity Item Description 1 Windmill 1 Amp Meter 1 Fan (wind producer) 1 Tape Measure 1 Electrical Motor (electrical generator) 24 Blades shaped as a square.  Eight, each with an area of 12.25cm2; eight, each with an area of 49cm2; and eight, each with an area of 98cm2. 24 Blades shaped as a trapezoid.  Eight, each with an area of 12.25cm2; eight, each with an area of 49cm2; and eight, each with an   area of 98cm2. 24 24 Blades shaped as a rectangle. Eight, each with an area of 12.25cm2; eight, each with an area of 49cm2; and eight, each with an   area of 98cm2. 24 Blades shaped as a triangle. Eight, each with an area of 12.25cm2; eight, each with an area of 49cm2; and eight, each with an   area of 98cm2.

PROCEDURES

1. Build a windmill out of an erector set, and place it on a piece of wood. The piece of wood acts as the base of the windmill. Attach a motor (1.5 volts) to the erector set with a pulley system connecting the windmill to the motor. The output leads from the motor are hooked to a amp meter to measure the milliamps.
2. Cut out 24 blades from mat board in each of  these shapes/sizes: trapezoid, triangle, rectangle, and a square at 24.5cm2, 49cm2, and 98cm2 (eight of each).
3. Place the fan exactly 1 meter from the blades of the windmill.
4. Place eight trapezoid blades each with an area of 98cm2 on windmill hub.
5. Set the angle of the blades on the windmill hub to 75 degrees with 0 degrees being perpendicular to the fan blades.
6. Turn the voltmeter to DC milliamps.
7. Turn the fan on high.
8. Read the voltmeter and record the amount of electricity produced in milliamps.
9. Repeat steps 4-8 using eight of the trapezoid blades each with an area of 12.25cm2 and 49cm2.
10. Repeat steps 4-8 using eight each of the triangle, rectangular, or square blades at 12.25cm2, 49cm2, and at 98cm2.
11. Repeat steps 4-10 setting the angle of the blades on the windmill hub to 45 degrees and 60 degrees.
12. Enter recorded data into a spreadsheet and create graphs.

PROJECT LOG

Pre-Experiment Log
October 1, 1999 50 min.
I looked at topics for my science project and decided to do a continuation  of last  years science project.

October 2, 1999 120 min.
I started to look up information on the internet.

October 9, 1999 120 min.
I looked up information on encyclopedias.

October 16, 1999 60 min.
I looked up information on encyclopedias and the internet.

October 19, 1999 50 min.
I perfected my science project topic and started to look up  information for my  research report.

October 23, 1999 10 min.
I looked for websites to get information off.

October 30, 1999 120 min.
I looked at the websites that I sited.

November 2, 1999 30 min.
I looked up information on the internet.

November 6, 1999 20 min.
I started to take down notes for my research report,

November 12, 1999 20 min.
I looked up information on windmills in the electronic encyclopedias.

November 20, 1999 30 min.
I looked up information in the SIS library.

December 7, 1999 120 min.
I looked up information on the internet and typed up part of my procedures.

December 14, 1999 30 min.
I continued looking up information on encyclopedias and the internet.

December 16, 1999 20 min.
I continued to type my procedures.

December 19, 1999 20 min.
I finished a rough draft of my procedures.

December 30, 1999 125 min.
I started to build my windmill.

January 1, 2000 200 min.
I finished building my windmill and tested it.

January 3, 2000 40 min.
I worked on making blades for my windmills and got information off the  internet.

January 4, 2000 72 min.
I made the trapezoid and triangle blades with a total area of 49cm2.

Experiment Log
January 6, 2000 120 min.
I did my final experiment and collected all the data possible that I  could  collect.  Before starting the experiment I made sure that all of the  nuts'n'bolts were  tight.  I followed all procedures and took care while using the fan.  First I  used  every blade size and blade shape at the angle 75 degrees.  I followed steps 4-8, after  turning on the fan I recorded the results. Next I used every blade size and  shape at  the angle of 60 degrees.   I followed steps 4-8, after turning on the fan I recorded the  results.  Then I used every blade size and shape at the angle of 45 degrees.   I  followed steps 4-8, after turning on the fan I recorded the results.

Post-Experiment Log
January 17, 2000 150 min.
I finished the rough draft of my research report and bibliography.

January 19, 2000 20 min.
I started to type the results from in a data spreadsheet.

January 23, 2000 150 min.
I started to put my journal together.

February 1, 2000 120 min.
I am still puting my journal together.

February 2, 2000 30 min.
I am still puting my journal together.
February 3, 2000 60 min.
I am still putting my journal together.

February 5, 2000 30 min.
I started to finalize my journal.

February 6, 2000
I started to finalize my project log.

February 7, 2000
I finalized my pre-experiment and Experiment log.

February 8, 2000 120 min.
I finished my journal.

February 9, 2000 20 min.
I cut out my things to put on my display board.

February 10, 2000
I started to paste things onto my display board.

February 11, 2000 10 min.
I finished my display board.

RESULTS

The purpose of this experiment was to determine which blade sizes, shapes, and angles on a windmill were most efficient at producing an electrical current from a generator.

Every blade shape with an area of 12.25cm2 did not produce any electricity at any blade angle, because the surface area was not large enough to spin the generator.  All the blade shapes with an area of  49cm2 created electricity at all angles except for the trapezoid blades at 75 degrees.   It appears that the 49cm2 trapezoid blades did not turn the windmill due to surface area not being big enough.  However, at 98cm2 surface area, trapezoid blades produced more electricity than the square, rectangular, or triangular shapes.

See the table and graph below.

CONCLUSION

My hypothesis was that a trapezoid shaped blade at 75 degrees with the largest surface area would generate the greatest amount of electricity compared to the square, triangle, or rectangular shapes.  My hypothesis should be accepted because the greatest amount of electricity was produced with the trapezoid blades with an area of 98cm2 at 75 degrees.

My experiment demonstrated, that even though my hypothesis was correct, the other blade angles at blade surface areas greater than 98cm2 may actually be better shapes for a windmill than the trapezoid shape.  This would have to be something proven in doing more experimenting with windmills. The windmill that was used in this experiment was not large enough to handle blade areas greater than 98cm2.

With the knowledge I gained from this experiment and if I were to conduct this project again, I would construct a windmill with a larger wind radius so that I could test greater surface area blades.  I would also do multiple tests and I would also verify the wind speed.