Author Topic: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up  (Read 2578 times)

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CJonker

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My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« on: April 16, 2009, 01:07:42 AM »
Hey,


This is my second post here but I will reintroduce myself. I am a high school senior at a school that requires a Senior Exhibition. In this process we are supposed to delve into a subject of our choice, become near-experts, and give a 30 minute presentation of our knowledge at the end. I have chosen the track that includes a creative component, in my case a homemade wind turbine. My presentation is coming up very very soon (April 24th). I am constructing a ten-footer influenced by Otherpower and Hugh Piggott's designs.

My thesis is this: This project will explore if it is feasible for an individual to construct an affordable source of alternative energy using a wind turbine.


I have 1x2x1/2 inch n42 neo magnets, 12 on each of the 12" diameter disks. The rotor plates are plasma cut out of 3/8 inch steel.

The stator consists of 9 coils wound from two strands of 14 AWG wire with 34 turns each. I chose 34 turns because that should make the cut in speed at 150 rpm based on Hugh's formulas.

I am carving the blades using Hugh's blade calculator at a tsr of 6.5. I figured that Otherpower's design has blades with a tsr of 6 and cut in at 140 rpm, and Hugh's design has a tsr of 7 and cuts in at 167 (I don't remember exactly) rpm, then a blade with a tsr of 6.5 should be right for my alternator.


I am really shooting for low cost in this project, and so far I have spent under $400, and I do not expect the final costs to exceed this by much.


I have learned more than I ever thought I could about a single subject. In fact I have learned, and done, way more than what I could convey in a short 30 minute presentation, so my question to you all is what do you find to be the most important aspects of home built energy self-sufficiency? Many of you guys are living, to a large or small extent, off of self generated power. Being 17 years old, I am not sure I can speak to living by my self, much less living off of my own renewable energy source. I am just searching for the comments, suggestions, opinions, or anything else you have to offer.


I am in the process of carving the blades, and aside from this I only need cut out and mount the plywood for the tail. It's too bad I don't have this thing completely finished, the county has just issued a high wind advisory for the area!


I will add pictures and explanations of my project very soon.


Thanks,

Carey

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 01:07:42 AM by (unknown) »

Ungrounded Lightning Rod

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 09:06:57 PM »
It's probably a good thing you're NOT done with it in time to have it up during the wind advisory.  You need to get the furling tuned, your tower anchored properly, your blades rebalanced if necessary, and any oopsies in the construction fixed up, so it will be able to survive such stress.


The last thing you need is a windstorm before all this is done - and when you don't have the time to rebuild a shattered mill before your presentation.


Good work so far, by the way.  But you have a tight schedule...

« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 09:06:57 PM by Ungrounded Lightning Rod »

mbeland

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 03:41:12 AM »
Hi Carey,


My advice for your presentation would be to share your own experience with the project. That is what you know the most and what is most liable to attract the attention of your audience. 30 minutes is not short. You can tell a whole lot in that time frame. Just plan a good outline and show photographs. Practice and if you fall short of time, skip the details but keep the overall picture.


Ideas of some topics:


How did the idea of the project come to you? How did you discover this board?

How much we consume now?

Why re in general?


Financial aspects: tax free reduction of energy bill

Environmental aspects

   Pros:

   Cons:

Personal satisfaction

What was your objective for this project

Knowledge gained in electricity, mechanics, soldering, wood carving, resin casting, etc.

Description of the system

  Site

  Voltage vs wires

  Tower

  Generator

  Blades

  Protection against high winds

  Raising the tower

  Rectifier

  Batteries or else

  Inverters or not

  Load

Maintenance and reliability of the system

Urge people to be be realistic in the expectations of the energy from the system

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 03:41:12 AM by mbeland »

TomW

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2009, 04:46:31 AM »
Carey;


Don't forget to mention how much fun [I hope] you had!


DamonHD would point out that your carbon footprint is being lowered as a side benefit of doing it. Thats a big deal these days.


I like the warm, fuzzy feeling from knowing you are at least trying to be part of a solution rather than just another part of the problem myself...


Be sure to record it and post it on You Tube so we can all see it and get a good laugh. Kidding about the laughing, not posting it on you tube.


Best of luck with it.


Tom

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 04:46:31 AM by TomW »
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Airstream

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2009, 05:30:28 AM »
You don't mention where in the world you are!


Also, maybe some honesty in advertising during your presentation?


 1) The tower structure is usually more expensive than the turbine!


 2) Over time the majority of harvested power comes from the winds just above 'cut-in'; that is gusts & sustained higher winds that approach the operating limits of the turbine & alternator are a fraction of one percent of the hours the turbine will be flying unless you are in a especially windy location!


 3) Ensure my audience understood wind "usually" contributes a partial share to home renewable energy; the DIY turbine waits for harsher weather to take advantage of as few places have enough wind for complete reliance on it alone so solar panels, micro-hydro, etc. make up the difference.


Or maybe not - let them find out on their own... (hehehe)

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 05:30:28 AM by Airstream »

luv2weld

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2009, 07:21:18 AM »
Carey,

I am really impressed. You are to be congratulated.

Most of the teenagers that I see are busy trying to shock the world

with their appearance (baggy pants, piercings, etc.)

It is really refreshing to find someone that is interested in more

than video games, texting on their phone and causing trouble.


And from your explanation here, you can carry on a conversation

with any of the experts here!!!


In answer to your question, (the most important aspects of home built energy)

for me it allows me to live where I want. And that is 27 miles from

the nearest power lines.


You just cannot imagine the quiet that exists when you are 27 miles

from the nearest hardtopped road, power lines and phone lines.


If we weren't able to generate our own power, we would have a very

meager existence. It would be like permanently camping. As it is,

we live just like city folks do. We have all the power we need for

TV, computer, microwave, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, etc.

In answer to your unasked question, we use satellite internet.


Again, thanks for being a contributing member of society, instead

of a drain and burden. I salute you!!!!


Ralph

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 07:21:18 AM by luv2weld »
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TomW

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2009, 08:26:09 AM »
Carey;


Add to my prior post:


"What Ralph said..."


Tom

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 08:26:09 AM by TomW »
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ghurd

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2009, 08:38:16 AM »
Me too!


Plus it would be worth mentioning it is easier to save power than make it.

Even simple things, like understanding switches can also be changed to the off position (my kid evidently believed they turned themselves off after she went to school or bed).

G-

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 08:38:16 AM by ghurd »
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DamonHD

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2009, 09:05:39 AM »
Hi,


There, TomW has generously delivered me a cue so that I don't seem exactly like a ranting nutter with a megaphone ... at first glance.


But yes, the footprint is important.


And given what ghurd says about saving being easier/cheaper than generating below (in my experience 5x to 10x cheaper) then one of the big hidden advantages is the awareness that you get of just how much energy some things use.  For me that awareness let me cut electricity use at home by 80%--90% (and still reducing) even though I've gained two children!


Rgds


Damon

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 09:05:39 AM by DamonHD »

ghurd

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2009, 10:04:04 AM »
Doing things with the lights off only saves power until the results get old enough to NOT turn lights off.  ;)

G-

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 10:04:04 AM by ghurd »
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FishbonzWV

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2009, 12:55:32 PM »
Hi Carey,

Glad to see an update on your work. I hope you get it flying before time runs out on you.

I know the building of the turbine is probably foremost in your mind for presentation, since it consumed so much of your life to get it to this point.

But, energy awareness is what turns most of the people here and around the world into RE geeks.

Once you see how little you can produce with the money spent is when the light switches start going off and the wall warts get unplugged.

I hope you get some data out of your mill before presentation so you can get a taste of energy produced verses energy used. This will give you a first hand experience and I am sure it will benefit your talk.

As to what to present, talk from your heart...

what made you want to do this project

what impact do you think you will have

what can each one of us do to lower consumption, no matter how small

is your project going to motivate your classmates to lower their usage

give some examples of smaller scale RE because most people don't have the land to put up such a large unit

I think you will be hard pressed to keep it under thirty minutes.

Good luck

Bonz
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 12:55:32 PM by FishbonzWV »
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brokengun

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 01:29:49 PM »
Let me first start off by saying, that I am happy I'm not the only teenager interested in this stuff. You and I are in nearly identical boats right now.


I go to boarding high school in Northern Maine and I have constructed a 7 foot single rotor mill (I'm jealous of your 10 footer). I am knee deep in getting an approval so I can put it up on school property before graduation in May. I've got the tower mostly sorted out but the hoops I've got to jump through to put it up on the school's land are pretty ridiculous.


Anyways, I've done two presentations on the construction of my wind turbine. One was here at school and the other was at the capital building in Augusta for a promotional event for my school. So, I've had a little practice at it. I don't know about you but I don't like to prepare note cards when I go up and speak (I probably should) but I feel like with this wind turbine project that I can really just talk about it without slipping up. I'm sure you've done your research on everything and it sounds like you've been reading the right literature on the theory. The main thing is to not loose your audience by talking about the extremely technical aspects of it. I found it was good to talk about why I chose to build a HAWT instead of a VAWT, this is pretty easy to explain and you might see some people in the crowd give you the "oh... that's interesting look".


I briefly mentioned the Betz limit and how the HAWT design goes with that. Then showing pictures of your construction is good too. If your making a powerpoint presentation or something any you want to keep people interested, show interesting pictures ( I know it sound shallow) you can convey the technical stuff a lot better with just you narrating the pictures.


Other than that, just make it fun. It's hard for me to remember that not everyone is as excited about a homemade wind turbine as I am but you can talk about anything, no matter how boring as long your enthusiastic


Again, I think it's really great that your doing this. I know I've learned so much throughout building mine too. Keep me posted on your progress and if you have any questions or just want to talk more about wind turbines shoot me an e-mail at thatisswell AT gmail.com  Good luck!

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 01:29:49 PM by brokengun »

CJonker

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2009, 01:33:22 PM »
Thank you all for your responses. Your comments here and the general society will play a large role in my presentation. I live in Ojai, California, which is a small town near Santa Barbara. The turbine will be located on a ridge where I will soon be moving to. I am hoping I might get a little bit of the hill effect, as Ojai isn't the greatest wind site. Along the line with what TomW, DamonHD, and ghurd have said, I am largely and advocate of independent energy generation (DIY or not) because it carries with it an incentive for people to learn and become conscience of their energy consumption. From this they can apply their knowledge of conservation to reduce their impact on the world.


Here re some pictures of my work:






























































I could not have done this without the help of my uncle and his welding shop. It would have been nearly impossible without him. Also, a big thanks to Fishbonz for his donation to me (a 3 phase bridge rectifier), it is much appreciated. As you can see I am still in the process of creating the blades. I hope to have them finished before the presentation, but that is going to be quite difficult with all of my school work and writing the presentation itself.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 01:33:22 PM by CJonker »

bzrqmy

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2009, 02:12:54 PM »
Fantastic!!!!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 02:12:54 PM by bzrqmy »

TheCasualTraveler

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2009, 02:54:24 PM »
Way to go Carey,


     We ought to make you the poster boy for doing things the tried and true way and for following plans.


     I can't say anything others have not said but I'll say it in my own words.

Once your machine is up and flying and you have the satisfaction of watching the amps flow into your batteries, you will have an IDEA of what it takes to make electricity. BUT, when you flip a switch and start to use that electricity and find how little it takes to drain all your hard won electricity back out of the batteries, then you will KNOW.


     To answer your question, the point I would make to your fellow students is that although wind is a wonderful resource, it is not for everyone and the bottom line is conservation and energy efficient devices and a respect for energy.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 02:54:24 PM by TheCasualTraveler »

Batdude

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2009, 03:40:54 PM »
Carey,


Great work!


Can you set it up for a pedal power demonstration without too much distraction from your main goal. Let each student take a turn to power the classroom.


Keep posting your progress, it is really inspirational to you going at it!


This is a great site with lots of great people contributing and I too would like to say thank you to all.


Batdude

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 03:40:54 PM by Batdude »

ghurd

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2009, 04:01:07 PM »
"Once your machine is up and flying and you have the satisfaction of watching the amps flow into your batteries, you will have an IDEA of what it takes to make electricity. BUT, when you flip a switch and start to use that electricity and find how little it takes to drain all your hard won electricity back out of the batteries, then you will KNOW."

Dude,  That is poetic.

G-
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 04:01:07 PM by ghurd »
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kc5etv

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2009, 07:46:20 PM »
Great Job
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 07:46:20 PM by kc5etv »

Darren73

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2009, 11:41:59 PM »
Carey,


Firstly allow me to echo the previous praise and admiration for your work.


It might be the angle of the photo's however your turbine looks to be at 90 degrees to the tower(i.e. horizontal). it is normal to tilt it up around 6 degrees to give the blades more clearance from the tower and help prevent them flexing into the tower and destroying them.


Keep up the great work.


Darren

« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 11:41:59 PM by Darren73 »

Electron Pump

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2009, 05:53:29 AM »
  Yup, Mr. Carey, I think you are one individual that is going to be a success in life. Good show man.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 05:53:29 AM by Electron Pump »

brkwind2

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2009, 02:01:27 PM »
There's a tear in my beer
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 02:01:27 PM by brkwind2 »

TheCasualTraveler

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2009, 04:54:30 PM »
Thanks Ghurd,


     I can't help it. I think about all those newly excited electrons and I get - emotional!

« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 04:54:30 PM by TheCasualTraveler »

fungus

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2009, 04:15:03 AM »
Good to see other people around here my sorta age :) .. 16 now, but was like 14 when I first came here ..

But as long as you really know the subject then a presentation shouldn't be too hard, just don't make it too technical, but probably not too simple either :)

« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 04:15:03 AM by fungus »

CJonker

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2009, 03:17:31 PM »
Thanks again for all of your comments. I am definitely very busy right now, so sorry if I cant reply to all of the comments I should. I think you are all right about not getting too technical about it. People will probably be more interested in my journey and the practicality of these machines than in the theory behind them. I will also try and make it a bit interactive by finding a way to secure and protect an extra magnet safely and have someone struggle to remove a piece of metal from it.


I am still working on the blades, and I might mount them in a temporary fashion for the sake of time.


Carey

« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 03:17:31 PM by CJonker »

CJonker

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Re: My 10-footer, Presentation coming up
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2009, 09:34:05 AM »
Hey guys,


I did the presentation on Friday. I was really tight for time and ended up giving it on my third practice run through. Much of it was winged but I think that was good to a certain extent because I know all of the material. It was not as good of a presentation as it could have been if I had been practicing it for several days beforehand, but what I built made up for that and I passed! It was not filmed so sorry, it wont be on You Tube. My school is thinking of putting up a couple of turbines. That would be an interesting project if it actually happens.


Thanks for all of your help,


Carey

« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 09:34:05 AM by CJonker »