Elaini Shannon Emily

Emily, Elaini, and Shannon Lab Report

Abstract:
For this project, every group was to pick an efficient way to generate enough electricity to heat a hot plate enough to boil one cup of water in under ten minutes using regular materials such as magnets and wire. Our group used an exercise bicycle. We generated more than enough electricity to do so, but because of the current, our experiment was unsuccessful.

Introduction:
For my group’s project, we have to boil a cup of water in less than 10 minutes. To do that, we created an exercise bicycle to generate electricity. We had a generator placed under the bike’s wheel. Our hypothesis was that the exercise bicycle would heat up a hot plate. The generator has a knob on the top of it that spins to generate electricity, so we put that part of the generator under the wheel. To make sure the generator didn’t move around, we place to pieces of wood, one on the right side and one on the left, and then put pipe strap over it so it would be more secure. My group members and I all did different projects in the beginning to see which one of our projects generate the most electricity. After experimenting, we decided that the stationary exercise bicycle was going to be our final project. The stationary exercise bike is also a crank generator, just on a bigger scale. The way that a stationary bike works is that you’re turning the motor by the pedals moving. There are a lot of materials that I would need to use for this to work. Like I said earlier, the exercise bicycle works the same exact way as a simple hand cranked generator works. The only difference is that it’s a bigger scale. The way it works is the end of the crank that is inside the body of exercise bicycle is covered in magnets. Around that is a little dead air space and then a ton of coiled wires. When you turn the crank, it spins the magnets creating a magnetic field. The magnetic field induces a current of electricity in the coiled wires. To figure out how our project was going to work, we had to know how magnets worked and how generators worked. There’s a variety in magnets. Some have a stronger magnetic field than others, and they come in different shapes. Magnets have a north and south part on it. The north is attracted to the south and the south is attracted to the north. If the north is facing the north of the other magnet, it repels. It’s the same if the south faces the south of the other magnet. The current in the wire creates the magnetic field around it. There are seven parts in a motor: stator, rotor, axle, brushes, commutator, shaft, and field magnets. A field magnet is around the motor, and it is a magnet that provides a magnetic field. The field magnets are on the stator. The stator is what’s stationary in your motor, so it doesn’t move at all. Every part in the motor (besides the stator) rotates, and all of them rotate on the axle. It’s the center that everything rotates on. The shaft is part of the axle. The part of the motor that moves is called the armature (or as known as the rotor). The other part of the motor that rotates on the axle is called the commutator. It’s the electrical switch, and it turns things on or off. The commutator is connected to the power source by the flexible arms, knows as the brushes. The motor operates from the opposite magnets that are repelling from each other.

Materials and Methods:

For our groups’ project, the materials we used for our project where:

-Exercise bicycle

-Motor

-Wood

-Pipe strap

-converter

-Hot plate

The first thing that our group had to do was come up with a project that would generate electricity. I came up with the idea to use an exercise bike. After I found the bike that I was going to use, I had to take off the brakes, so the wheel would move faster. I had to figure out how I was going to be able to generate electricity with the bike. To generate electricity, I decided to place a motor underneath the wheel in the front of the bike. The small motor has a knob on one part of it, which spins to generate electricity. I placed the motor on its side, with the knob right under the wheel, and it didn’t reach high enough to touch the wheel. For the motor to go right under the wheel so it could spin, I took a long piece of wood and cut ¼ off of it with a saw and used the small piece. I then drilled two holes into the wood, just deep enough for the bottom of the legs (that hold up the bike) to fit. I tried using pipe strap to hold it down, but it didn’t work that well. So then I placed the motor on its side and drilled two pieces of wood side by side of the motor onto the larger piece of wood, to keep it from not moving around. It still moved around quite a bit, so then me and my group members thought it would be a good idea to add pipe strap over the motor, with the two pieces of wood. We tried using a converter to convert the DC voltage to AC voltage, to see it that was why it wasn't working. We found out that our project generated too much voltage and didn't have a current for the voltage to go through. We wernt able to turn on the hot plate, but we were able to light a light bulb, light a LED light, and make a smaller motor spin.

Results:
The exercise bike was a logical idea for our group in the beginning because we were sure the bike would generate at least 9 volts, enough to heat the hot plate. After it was constructed, we realized the voltage was much too high. When measured with a multi meter, our highest voltage reading was between 85 and 90 volts.

Because the voltage was so high, we were sure it could heat a hot plate no problem. We had enough electricity to light an LED light and a small motor. But when we hooked the bike up to the DC-AC converter and connected it to the hot plate, it wouldn’t heat. We were informed that the current was very weak and did not let enough electricity flow to heat the hot plate at all. So although we had way more than enough electricity to heat the hot plate using the exercise bike, the current was not strong enough and therfore the hot plate did not heat.

Conclusions:

Our project did not do as great as we planned it to. We took alot of our time to prepare for the testing, we took turns pedaling the bike, reading the results, altering the design to make it more suitable to het a hot plate, but it still was not that great. The hypothesis for our project was that the exercise bicycle would heat up a hot plate. Our hypothesis was incorrect, because our bike could not heat the hot plate. It could light up an LED, a light bulb, and turn a motor even though it could not heat the hot plate. One major problem in our project was that there was too much voltage and not enough current in our project. We tried to hook up a convertor to our project to convert the voltage from DC volts to AC volts, but this did not really help our project at all. We should have figured out a way to level out the amount of current to voltage. When we used a voltmeter to measure the volts on our bike, it came to be over 100 volts. When we tested to see if we could keep the voltage to 9-10 volts, we had to pedal really softly, and even when we did that it still reached to about 20 volts. Our group was confused, because we were sure that it would definitely heat the hot plate. If we had more time for our project, we would have found a way to raise the amount of current in the exercise bike. Our group had done some research about evening out the current, but did not really find anything that made sense to us. To get more help, we would most likely look on the internet again, or ask Ms. Thomas. During this project we also learned about how a voltmeter works. Beforehand, we had heard of what a volt was, but did not work with them in any way, never mind measuring it. We also learned about what a converter was, and we used a lot of materials that were new to us as well. Overall, we learned multiple things about our project, and even though our project wasn't succesful, it was interesting to see what we could do to alter the designs, etc.

Shannon's Simple Electric Generator

Elaini's Bike

Emily's lemon battery

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