Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.
WaterPod WindPod Turbine
Background is a art exhibition and a learning experience that will teach people about alternative solutions to environmental problems and sustainability. The barge will travel around the five burrows in New York harbor with a group of artists living aboard it. The barge will attempt to be completely self sufficient and will stop and each of the five burrows for a period of about two weeks and let people on board to learn about sustainability and alternative solutions.
Team MSB was a group created by the Engr. 215- Intro to Design class at Humboldt State University to create a structure for the WaterPod project. Team MSB decided on building a wind turbine for the barge to harness the power of the wind. Team MSB consists of members Mario Barajas, Becca Russell, and Sam Speet.
Problem Statement and Criteria
Team MSB sought to create a way to help with the energy needs of the barge using a renewable source of energy. The team decided on using a wind turbine hoping to create enough power to add a sufficient amount of energy to the WaterPod battery banks.
- Cost-The cheaper the turbine was the better because it would make it easier to reproduce.
- Level of Safety-Team MSB did not want either the artists or visitors to be injured by falling blades or by coming to close to the spinning blades and so safety was an important concern.
- Amount of Power Output- The turbine needed to function and contribute to the overall power needs of the project.
- Level of Educational Value- People would be coming to the barge to learn about sustainability and so the turbine needed to teach people because that was the primary concern of the creators of the WaterPod.
- Durability- The turbine needs to last for 6 months the entirety of the barges journey
- Shipability- The WaterPod is located in New York and so the turbine needs to be transported across country and needs to be as light as possible.
- Aesthetics- The turbine can't look bad and put visitors off because the mission of the WaterPod is to captivate people to want to try these alternative approaches at home.
- Maintainability- The people living aboard the barge would be artists so making the turbine easy to maintain was important.
- Level of Animal Safety- Team MSB did not want dead birds because of them flying into the turbine.
Description of Final Solution
The WindPod Turbine is a vertical axis wind turbine that uses the power of the wind to create energy which is then stored in the 12V battery banks. The WindPod turbine utilizes the vertical axis because while it is not as efficient as a horizontal wind turbine it requires less maintenance and it is able to catch wind coming from any direction without any needed adjustment. The blades are made of steel reinforced fiberglass. Their are three blades 120 degrees part from each other that catch the wind driving a shaft. This shaft then turns a band on the bottom of the turbine which turns the generator creating power. The entire WindPod turbine is about 13 feet tall and uses guyed wires to help support the structure especially in times of high wind.
With the increase in today’s population, the WaterPod set out to find an innovative way to "prepare, inform, and provide an alternative to current and future living spaces." The WaterPod Project. The WaterPod is a group of artist who plan to live on a barge with the hope of living completely self-sustained for 6 months. The barge is planning to depart on May 20th and will travel around the 5 burrows in New York teaching about alternative solutions to environmentally harmful lifestyles and about sustainability. Humboldt State University Engineering 215 Intro to Design class was contacted to design some of the structures for the artists that will live aboard the barge. Team MSB is a team made by the Intro to Design Class to create a wind turbine that would harness the renewable power of the wind and turn it into energy and help to contribute to the energy needs of the barge to power a projector along with other necessary electronics. The final design was the WindPod Turbine which is a vertical access wind turbine that uses the power of the wind coming from any direction to create energy.
The cost of the turbine was important. We wanted the turbine to be reproduced easily and so the cheaper it was the better. Also the project had total budget of $225. Team MSB wanted to use as many recycled and reused parts as possible not only to save money but to make the turbine more environmentally friendly. The table below is a description of the cost and materials used to create the WindPod turbine.
|Material||Team MSB Cost||Retail Cost|
|20 foot threaded rod||$8.50||$8.50|
|2 industrial bearings||$70.00||$70.00|
Discussion and Next Steps
The WindPod turbine will continue to be tested until it is sent to the WaterPod Project. It will remain on the barge for the 6 months aiding the power needs of the barge. The blade design was the most problematic part of the design process. Finding out the correct way to situate the blades was a process of trial and error. The original blade design was four blades and then it became three helical blades and finally three blades with large surface area. Pictures of the blade designs are shown below.
Ampair MicroWind. (2007). “Ampair 100 Wind Turbine.” Guyed or Unguyed Masts. <http://www.boost-energy.com/ampair/products_product3.asp>. (1 May 2009).
Ancona, Dan and McVeigh, Jim (2001) “Wind Turbine – Materials and Manufacturing Fact Sheet).” Princeton Energy resources International, LLC. <http://www.generalplastics.com/uploads/technology/WindTurbine- MaterialsandManufacturing_FactSheet.pdf> (23 Feb. 2009).
Bodine, Clay. (1978). “Small Motor, Gear Motor, and Control Handbook.” Chicago, Illinois.
Cheresmisinoff, Nicholas P. (1978). “Fundamentals of Wind Energy.” Ann Arbor Science Publishers, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Danish Wind Industries Association. (1999). “Wind turbine towers.” <http://www.windpower.org/en/tour/wtrb/tower.htm> (23 Feb. 2009).
Elliott, D.L., Holladay, C.G., Barchet, W.R.; et al. (1986). “Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States.” Introduction; Regional Summaries. Solar Technical Information Program Solar Energy Research Institute. <http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/> (22 Feb. 2009).
Fink, Dan. (2005a). “Energy Self Sufficiency Newsletter: Small Wind Turbine Basics.” <http://www.otherpower.com/windbasics1.html>(22 Feb. 2009).
Fink, Dan. (2005b). “Energy Self Sufficiency Newsletter: Small Wind Turbine Basics.” <http://www.otherpower.com/windbasics2.html>(22 Feb. 2009).
Forcefield. (2000). “Wind Turbine Concepts Defined and Explained.” <http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_wind_tips.html>(22.Feb 2009).
Gipe, Paul. (1993). “Wind Power for Home and Business.” Post Mills Publishers, Vermont.
Gottlieb, Irving M. “Power Supplies, Switching Regulators, Inverters, and Converters.” (23 Feb. 2009).
Hoadley, Rick. (June 1998). “Experiments with Magnets and Conductors.” Density of Materials. <http://www.coolmagnetman.com/magconda.htm>(25 Feb. 2009).
Huskey,A; Prascher D. (2004). “Tower Design Load Verification on a 1-kW Wind Turbine.” National Renewable Energy Laboratory U.S. Department of Energy. (24 Feb. 2009).
Magnet Sales & Manufacturing Company, Inc. (2000). “Frequently Asked Questions.” <http://www.magnetsales.com/Design/FAQs_frames/FAQs_3.htm#howrated FAQ 2- 25-09> (23 Feb. 2009).
Singh, A.N. (2007). “Concrete Construction for Wind Energy Towers.” The Indian Concrete Journal. (24 Feb. 2009).
Wind Trap. (2004). “Boat Mounting Kits.” < http://www.windtrap.co.uk/generate-electricity/boat-wind-charger-kits/> (22 Feb 2009).z a`