Wind Turbine… Or not

So, finally, the end of term! And all my deadlines are complete, meaning to some extent, (ignoring revision), I now have five weeks off to relax a little before next term and the exams that come with it. This week saw the end of our design module that I have mentioned in previous blogs, so I thought I’d let you all know how it went.

In the final few weeks, my group had a few issues with our braking system, in that the linear actuator that we had ordered still had not arrived. This was a vital part for our braking system and without it, there would be no brakes. Fortunately, we called up the company who apologized and resent the order, and gave us an extra free one too! So with a final scramble to incorporate the braking system and electronics system, we finally had a completed turbine (see bellow).

Completed Turbine

Personally, I was quite impressed with how it looked and, to think that we designed it from scratch ourselves, made me feel almost proud of it…

Then the big day came, where we had to test it in the wind turbine and get marked based on the amount of power it generated and its ability to stop when it reached 18m/s. But disaster struck when the wind speed reached 15m/s and it still did not spin. The resistance in the motor was just too high for our blades to successfully start to spin. It was safe to say that after a whole year spent designing this turbine for it to now not work, was disappointing to say the least. Luckily the actual testing phase doesn’t count for much of our mark.

There was one redeeming point to our testing, it managed to withstand the strength test without any issue; so at least it looked good and would be left standing for many years if we built a full scale one!

This is probably one of the most useful modules you will undertake as an aspiring engineer. The way that you have to integrate all the different sub systems together to make a final product an,d the fact you are actually designing something yourself will be an invaluable experience for the future, whether your project works or not.

I’ll be blogging again to let you know what Engineering things I’m up to!

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Jamie H

About Jamie H

Jamie has now graduated from the University of Leicester. Hi, I’m Jamie and I’m a third year Engineering student here at the University of Leicester. On top of my studies, I’m a keen ski/boarder with the ski club and also a member of men’s rugby union. I’ll be blogging about both my course and my experiences during my time here.

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