Recommended for High School.
Generating electricity from fossil fuels (primarily coal and natural gas) produces carbon dioxide (CO2) and an array of other pollutants that are injected into the atmosphere each year. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that 20–25% of the CO2 produced by humans comes from the generation of electricity around the world. It is believed by many that increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is one of the key drivers of climate change.
Another problem around the globe is lack of access to electricity. In rural villages in developing communities around the world, millions of people do not have access to reliable electricity. Wind and solar power in these communities can have a large impact in improving people’s quality of life and livelihoods.
Wind turbines are a rapidly maturing technology that can help reduce the carbon impact of electricity generation and bring electricity to rural villages. There are a number of factors that impact how effectively a wind turbine generates electricity. Some of these variables include blade design, types of generators, gearboxes, and towers.
In this project, you will construct a small wind turbine that maximizes energy output at low and high wind speeds. This turbine could be used to provide energy that would charge small electronics or provide lighting. During the project, you will work with your group to design, test, and then optimize your wind turbine design. At the end of the project, you will submit a set of deliverables.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.
You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?