My Windmill Project

by Stephen Morse

(with notes from Uncle Ken in this color )

 

In the beginning what I wanted to do was make a generator for the science fair to show how electricity is made with coils and magnets. But it ended up as making a 2 bladed windmill and when I got that finished I set it up on an stand and let it go with the wind. But one night I woke up to find that my windmill had been torn to bits because of all the wind that night.

  

My 2 blade windmill before it broke..... and then after it broke it looked like this.

  

I started a whole new windmill with 3 blades that looked like this. When we started it we started with 3 boards. I had to measure it and cut out the right lengths so it would spin.

 After we had worked on it a while it looked like this.

We used a piece of a junk vcr to make the propeller spin on.

  

With some help from my uncle, I used a wood lathe to make the piece that holds the windmill blades and magnets.

 

I helped Stephen make the base and the mounting plates for his windmill. Here you can see the blade, the base with the silver vcr bearing on it, the magnet wheel that holds the blade and a round donut that will hold the coils.

 

 

Gluing in the Magnets: The pennies are to even the spaces between the magnets

   

Left:  We're wrapping the wire to make coils. This thingamijig  helps to space the wire evenly.  Right: There's our coil.

  

Gluing the coils to the Stator.

This is the stator, it holds the coils in place.  Each magnet goes north, south, north, south, north, south. The coils are wrapped this way, (clockwise) then this way, (counter clockwise) kind of like positive and negative.

Stephen's original science fair idea was a project about electricity. We actually combined that with a windmill in this project. The device pictured on the left is actually an alternator. It makes alternating current (up to about 10 volts ac depending on the wind speed). Stephen learned that electricity is made when coils of wire pass through an alternating magnetic field.

  

Left: I'm putting iron filings in to make more magnetism when it goes around.  Right: We're going to pour some fiberglass (resin) over the coils to protect them.

  

Putting it all together.

This is what it's going to look like.

  

Soldering the coils to the connecting posts.  Gluing the stator/coils onto the body of the windmill.

Final Assembly

 

We hooked some white LED's to the electrical contacts to prove that it's making some electricity.