Engineering Project – Final Product and Reflection

Final Experiment Video

My hydroelectric generator is made by an acrylic board, coil, and plastic spoon turbine. When water goes into the box, the turbine spins because the potential energy of water transfer to the kinetic energy of a turbine. Then, a wheel with 4 magnets, which connected with the turbine by a skewer, rotate at the same time. As a result, spinning magnets induce electromagnetism, which is electricity.

My final product was very successful because I could generate maximum 2V of electricity. Although I couldn’t test with LED lightbulb because there were no alligator clips left when I came back from MUN trip, 2V was even stronger than I expected.

However, I needed to be more creative. Although the generator was very successful itself, it didn’t have much uniqueness. For example, I could decorate the generator to look more interesting for young children, or I could use a different material to test electricity rather than using the multimeter.

Through the product that I made during the project, high school students will be able to understand energy transfer more easily; furthermore, they can even learn about electricity science. Since the box is transparent, students can see the process of energy transfer and electricity generation more clearly.

Engineering Project – Hydroelectric Generator Prototype

On the first day of constructing a prototype, I designed a hydroelectric generator using cardboard and DC generator because an acrylic board is costly. This procedure will enable me to check if the electricity is generated correctly.

I used 8 plastic spoons for the turbine. Two cardboard wheels and hot glue gun stick the spoons to a fan-shaped turbine. Then, the steel rod goes through the turbine, so the turbine attached to the frame of a generator.

The frame of the generator is made by cardboard as well. Two columns are tilted a little bit to emit water naturally. For the stability, the bridge between to columns connects them. At the top of the columns, the steel rod will be attached to the frame with the turbine and gear.



After making a prototype with DC generator, I tested with using a tap and sink. The generator could make about 0.4V to 0.8V electricity. I got feedback from friends and teachers that I have to prevent water splashing. Therefore, I decided to minimize the size and number of holes in the acrylic box.

Hydroelectric Generator Model

Materials Required: 4 Neodymium Magnets, Magnetic Wire, 6 Plastic Spoons, Cork, Acrylic Box (20*20*30), Laser Cutter, 1 Skewer, 2 Wooden Wheels (6cm diameter), Hot Glue Gun, Wood Glue and LED lightbulb

The sketch above shows how is my hydroelectric generator going to be made. Firstly, the turbine will be placed inside the box, and the acrylic case is going to cut by a laser cutter. Two holes on the box are each let in and emit water to rotate the turbine with the potential energy of water. Secondly, the wheel with neodymium magnets is connected with the turbine by a skewer. Therefore, as the turbine rotates,  the wheel with magnets will spin at the same time. On the side of the box, between the turbine and the magnet wheel, the winded magnetic wire will be glued. As a result, the spinning magnets cause electromagnetic induction.


Science 9 Engineering Project : Define and Inquire

In this project, I will construct a toy using the transfer of potential energy and kinetic energy which can also help students to understand physics effectively. The engineering task is to build a model based on the energy transfers that I learned in physics class. The target will be the grade 9 students who want to learn more about physics.

I’m thinking about a hydroelectric generator, which transfers potential energy to kinetic energy. Then produce the electricity

The energy transfer also can be described by a hydroelectric generator which is one kind of renewable energy.

The first example I saw is using 9V motor and turbine. It was a very easy way to make a generator. However, it doesn’t perfectly express how the actual hydroelectric generator works.

What I recognized through this video was it is dangerous if there’s no protection of the turbine.

This example used a small tank to separate the coil from the turbine. Water goes into the hole to spin the turbine and the turbine is connected to the magnet that affects on electromagnetic induction. Despite the protection, I found that I would need one more hole on the bottom to emit the water.

This generator also used four wrapped coils and four magnets with different magnetic poles. The person who posted this blog said he used about 10m of the coil. It would be hard to use that many coils, so I thought about attaching only one wrapped coil.

To construct a more interesting generator for children, I will decorate the box like a waterfall.