Improving Wind Wonders
School: Los Lunas High
Area of Science: Energy Conservation
Interim: Problem Definition: The world is running out of nonrenewable resources. Coal is predicted to run out in 250 years. Oil will run out in 50 years. Natural gas will run out in 70 years. These nonrenewable resources are also environmentally dangerous. They pollute the atmosphere causing acid rain. New Mexico is already going through a drought and has limited water resources. What will happen to New Mexico if its only water resources are poisoned?
The solution to this problem is renewable resources. New Mexico is plentiful in renewable resources such as geothermal, solar, and wind. However, we will only be involved with wind energy and working on ways to make wind turbines better. We will accomplish this goal by simulating a hundred different wind turbines based on all the variables tested on a real wind turbine. All the wind turbine designs will be compared to see which one produces the most energy at different wind speeds and obstacles.
Problem Solution: First, we will create a real wind turbine and test how much energy it has created at different altitudes and winds speeds. We will be testing the different altitudes by setting the wind turbine at different places in Valencia county with different elevations. We will test how the wind turbine will do at different speeds by constructing a wind tunnel .Then, over time, we will make slight changes to the wind turbine to see how different variables affect its capacity to make and store energy. Some of the variables that will be tested are dynamo genarator circuits, dc circuits, horizontal axis, vertical axis, gear ratio, blade size, angle of attack, and etc. The computer will generate about 100 different combinations of these variables to determine which wind turbine design gives the most energy using a java program. The combinations will be compared with each other on the computer to see which wind turbine design is the most proficient at different altitudes, winds speeds, and obstacles.
Progress to Date: Right now the java program is still in its GUI application. We are also looking up and applying math formulas for the java program such as Bernoulli’s principle, lift equation, and thrust equation. We are also creating an animated presentation in java. The wind turbine is still a work in progress. Currently we are making the blades for the initial wind turbine and creating a wind tunnel to test different wind speeds. We are also using FoilSim2 from NASA to design a second foil.
Expected Results: The result that we expect to find from the java program is to find the ultimate wind turbine design based on the data and variables tested on the real wind turbine. With the ultimate wind turbine, we hope to replace older wind turbines so that way New Mexico will rely more on wind energy. We also want to make wind energy more reliable sources of electricity. If wind energy becomes a better source of electricity, then New Mexico will start being less dependent on nonrenewable resources that damage the fragile environment around us ensuring the future of New Mexico.
1. WindWise, . WindWise Education. 2nd. Saint Paul,Minnesota: WindWise , 2012. Print. .
2. "Renewable and Non-renewable Energy Resources." . BBC. Web. 9 Dec 2013. .
3. U.S Department of Energy, . "How Do Wind Turbines Work?." Energy.gov. U.S Department of Energy. Web. 9 Dec 2013. .
4. Layton, Julia. How Wind Power Works. howstuffworks.com. Web. 9 Dec 2013. .
5. Norz, Charles. The Physics and Economics of Wind Turbines. WindPower Engineering, 17 Sep 2009. Web. 9 Dec 2013. .
Team Members: Elena Martinez, Gabriel Acosta, Adolis Rogena, Bianca Carbrieles, Federico Estrada.
Sponsoring Teacher: Jerry Esquivel
Sponsoring Teacher: Jerry Esquivel
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