The Effect of Blade Length of Wind Turbines on the Amount of Energy It Produces

Student: Sarin Singhal
Table: 4
Experimentation location: Home
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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Research Plan:

My research plan is to make 3 model wind turbines with different length blades. Each wind turbine will be replicated two more times for statistical results.


The safety precautions in this experiment include an electrical hazard because I am working with motors and wires. There is a chance of an electrical injury if the insulation is not properly done. There is also a chance of a heat injury because I will be using a hot glue gun. Another safety precaution is a mechanical injury because there is a chance of cutting yourself with the fast moving blades.


The materials I will be using in this experiment are 9 DC motors, 3 cardboard boxes, a low resistance LED light, a pair of scissors, positive and negative wires, a hot glue gun and super glue, a table fan, a plywood board measuring 56cm x 41cm, 10 strips of Velcro and a small cardboard box measuring about 15cm. Every material can be disposed of in the regular trash.


The steps in this experiment include:

  1. First, build the rotor. (Repeat this step 8 times.)
    1. Take the large piece of cardboard and cut out 4 circle pieces which are 3cm in diameter each.
    2. Glue all the circles together to make one thick circle.
    3. Glue thin paper to the outside edge of the thick circle making sure to have it even and balanced.
  2. Next, build the blades.
    1. Cut 36 rectangular pieces from the cardboard, 12 measuring 6cm x 2.5cm, 12 measuring 8cm X 2.5cm, and 12 measuring 10cm  x 2.5cm.
    2. Cut out one edge of each blade so that it forms a round shape which enables you to easily glue them to the rotor.
    3. Snip the corners on the other edge.
    4. You will also need to slightly fold the blades to give it its curved shape.
    5. Now take four blades from one size and glue it on the rotor slightly curved in order for the wind to push against it.
    6. Once you have finished you should have 9 different rotors with blades of 3 different sizes coming off of them.
  3. Now, build the tower.
    1. Go back to your large piece of cardboard and cut out a thin portion of it, measuring 30cm x 12cm.
    2. Wrap this cutout around a dowel or pen to make a hollow pole. 
    3. Glue the end of the paper to the middle of the paper to create the hollow cylinder. Now slide the pen or dowel out.
    4. Now cut out a piece of cardboard measuring 4cm x 3cm.
    5. Next, glue this piece of cardboard to the top of the tower and glue a piece of Velcro onto the cardboard measuring 2.5cm x 3cm.
  4. Then, mount the motor to the rotor: (Repeat this step 8 times.)
    1. Take your DC motor and glue the bottom side of it to a piece of cardboard measuring 4cm x 3cm.
    2. Now take the bottom piece of cardboard and glue the opposite side of Velcro on. This makes it possible to switch out different blades.
    3. Take a rotor with 4 blades attached and make a small hole through its middle where the DC motor will attach.
    4. Now put a dot of super glue on the end of the DC motor and insert it into the rotor.
    5. Next, connect the positive and negative wires to the back of your motor.
    6. Now take a small cardboard box and make a hole a little smaller than the size of your tower.
    7. Finally, insert the tower into the box and secure the base with hot glue. Now glue the box onto the plywood board.
  5. Now, set up the wind turbine testing area.
    1. Clear off a flat table. Place your wood containing the turbine and the LED on the table. Now gently place all 9 motors with attached rotors in groups of three onto the top of the table:
      1. Group A: 6cm x 2.5cm
      2. Group B: 8cm x 2.5cm 
      3. Group C: 10cm x 2.5cm
    2. Take a table fan and place it on the left of the table.
  6. Finally, run the experiment.
    1. Take one of the motors with blades coming off it from group A attach the Velcro coming from the tower onto the motor.
    2. Take your table fan and face it directly in front of the wind turbine blades.
    3. Turn on the fan at medium speed.
    4. If the blades were built properly, they should be spinning.
    5. Now take the digital multimeter and press the positive and negative probes against where the wires are connected into the motor.
    6. Record the voltage produced with a multimeter.
    7. Now repeat the steps for the rest of the wind turbines in group A, group B and group C.

Questions and Answers

1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it? 

     The major objective of my project was to test a hypothesis. My hypothesis was if the length of the blades are extended on model wind turbines, then more energy will be produced. The hypothesis led to the result of my idea being accepted. Along the way of my experiment I encountered problems and challenging decisions which I managed to persevere through and finish my project.

2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?

     The major tasks I had to preform in order to complete my project was making sure to build each blade identical to one another in order to get on point results. Another major task I had to preform was measuring out the cardboard for the base and the tower; making sure that everything was stable and secured. One of the most important tasks was recording the energy that was produced by the turbines. The energy was recorded using a digital multimeter and a little slip up could lead to inacurate results.

3. What is new or novel about your project?

     New components about my project were the use of electricity and moving parts. My project was different from other experiments just like this because I made multiple wind turbines with different sized blades. My work was unique from other projects because instead of lighting up a LED, I recorded the voltage produced by the wind turbines. Out of all the research I did, this made my project incredibly unique.

4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?

     The most challenging part of my experiment was designing and creating the blades. I overcame these challenges by persevering and using trial and error. Some of problems that occurred were the blades falling off the motor or the blades not spinning properly. Reasons for these problems were that the blades will not glued on properly or the blades will not cut properly. As I overcame these problems, I learned the importance of trial and error and how it is used in everyday life.

5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would you do differently the next time?

     If I were to do this project again I would change a few things. I would secure the fan to the desk in order to keep the fan from moving and changing my results. Another thing I would do different would be to change the wind speed of the fan by testing each motor on low power, medium power, and high power. A detail I could change could be using different types of cardboard or using different materials to build this wind turbine.

6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects? 

     Working on this project gave me many ideas for other projects. While working on this project I grew fascinated with motors and how electricity is carried. Some projects I could commit to could be powering a lightbulb through solar panels or seeing how far electricity can travel in seconds. This project really grew my fascination for the work it takes to have a functioning lightbulb in every house.

7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?

     COVID-19 had a serious problem on the completion of this project. One issue that I experienced was the lack of materials. Most of my orders were around the holidays and this caused me to struggle too. Many items were not sold in stores and after a long time of searching I ended up buying everything online. Another way COVID-19 has affected the completion of my project was losing the ability to get help. COVID limited access to my teacher for supplies an help. The most important COVID-19 restriction was being unable to present my experiment in person.