The goal of this project was to create a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) that would generate four watts of power when pushed down a hallway, applying principles of scaling, motor characterization, design, and fabrication.
Small scale testing began with research about different types of turbines and their respective properties and designs. The small scale models were built out of lasercut MDF and tested in a wind tunnel. The data was used to scale the turbine to meet the power generation requirements of the large scale model.
My role was to lead design and fabrication of the turbine. I created the small scale model of the Lenz Turbine and used the dimensions from scaling to design the full size turbine. The structure uses a combination of lasercut MDF and aluminum rods. I modeled the individual parts in Solidworks and created the lasercut files and engineering drawings for manufacturing.
We worked as a group to build the full scale model, securing pieces with glue, pressure fits, and 4-40 screws. The plastic sheeting was glued to the spars as the final step. The turbine produced 6.6 watts of power and weighed 3.8 kilograms.
media (small scale) : MDF / PLA / paper / 11” x 11” x 11”/ 2017
media (CAD) : Solidworks / 1m x 1m x 1m / 2017
media (full scale) : MDF / Aluminum / Plastic sheeting / 1m x 1m x 1m / 2017