You may remember earlier in the term I mentioned a group project in which we had to design and build a prototype wind turbine. Well I thought, as promised I would write a quick update on how that is going.
A few weeks back we finalised our design, having created multiple CAD drawings, and done all the necessary calculations to ensure that it would be able to cope with the factors it was being tested on. For example we had to redesign the aerofoils a few times due to potential issues with them bending in the wind tunnel at the speeds that it was required to withstand. My main area of focus was to design the rotor hub, which included a method of attaching the blades, so this was a key issue for me to address, which I think we came up with a suitable alternative.
A lot of components are readily available from companies, such as bearings, shafts, gears and all the electronic parts. So there was no need to design and make these ourselves, instead we were given a budget by the department that we could spend on this type of component. Using guides that we were given we had to fill out order forms for companies such as RS components. All these bits and pieces have just started to arrive, so the manufacturing can really start to take place now.
With only three of our group allowed to use the workshop, once a week, progress can be a little slow, but we are making progress nonetheless. The tower is nearly complete and the aerofoils are well underway. Hopefully we will have quite a lot of it made for our meeting with the design professor in a few weeks, in which we have to discuss our design, any issues we have come across and what is still to be done.
I’ll try and post some pictures of the final prototype when it is finished!