Nichole Micro Hydro Turbine Essay

Micro-Hydro Turbine

Introduction:
Mechanical energy is needed in order to create electricity and make things work. In simple terms, mechanical energy is the energy that is created by motion. Mechanical energy is also the source for turning a generator. In any generator, you will find a coil of magnet wire and magnets. Without these two things, a generator will not work, meaning it will not be able to create energy. These two materials are so essential to create a successful working generator because a generator works when opposing magnets (a north pole and a north pole, or a south pole and a south pole) repel against each other while the motor is turning. This motion is what creates the electricity. If this motion can be re-created, it is possible to power something without using an already-made generator. For an engineering project in class, I spent hours researching a way to duplicate this motion in a home made generator that I would have to build on my own to power a hot plate. The hot plate would then need to boil a cup of water in less than ten minutes. It was difficult to find a simple yet promising plan that did not involve using a power source, such as a battery or actual generator, to create electricity. After doing days of research and finding ridiculous ideas and some really sensible ones, I decided to focus on creating a micro-hydro turbine to substitute in for a generator.

What os a micro-hydro turbine?
A micro-hydro turbine is really just a fancy word for something that basically just spins when it comes in contact with moving water. A micro-hydro system works when a certain amount of water (large or small depending on the size of the whole turbine) goes through a long passageway. As the water goes through this pipe like passageway, it begins to gain speed. Shortly after its ride down the tube, the water is directed towards the blades of the turbine. Since the water is flowing at such a rapid speed, it makes the turbine also spin very quickly. This spinning motion created by the blades of the turbine and the running water creates the mechanical energy needed to create electricity. The turbine is attached, most likely by wires, to an electrical generator, which transfers the energy created by the motion of the turbine into useable energy. With the motion of this turbine, it is possible to power many things; hopefully one of them is a hot plate. In order to find out if this micro-hydro turbine can actually power the hot plate, I am going to need to build one and test it. I will most likely need to test and re-test many times to get it right.

My Design:
Although I was a bit hesitant at first about actually trying to construct a working micro-hydro turbine, I do not think it will be too hard after finding a step by step plan on how to create a home made one from http://re-energy.ca/pdf/hydroelectric-generator.pdf. I obviously do not want to copy the same exact plan as the one on this website, but I think it is going to help give me a good start in creating my own. In the example on the website, there are not many materials that could be changed or substituted. I will most likely build one like the example on the website, test it, see where the problem areas are, research and brainstorm how I could go about changing them, and then modify them to make it even better. There was one distinct part of the turbine I found on the website that I was thinking about altering in my own design. For the blades in the turbine, is shows using five or six of the round parts of plastic spoons. I was thinking that if I used something either sharper or sturdier for blades that they would cut through the water easier and quicker than the spoon tops would, therefore creating a faster motion and creating more electricity. It will most likely take a lot of time and focus to create this, but I think it will be pretty successful.

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