A little while back we got in touch with Charlie Coward who is on placement as group leader at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School. Charlie told us about a project that he was working on with Wevolver to design a wind turbine based on their current vertical turbine. Charlie’s first post is here and second post here in case you missed them.
The aesthetics and ergonomics of the turbine have been altered around the target market we set ourselves at the start, where we aimed for nearly every piece of the turbine to be 3D Printed. This has played a huge part in the look of the current model compared to our initial idea. We are looking at the extreme end of our market of campers, as exploration is a growing market and although the turbine we are designing cannot be used in this sort of environment we are trying to design a second turbine which is suitable for use in extreme conditions.
The students have worked hard towards the development of the turbine and one of the students has combined their own project with ours to allow us to work closer together and accomplishing our goals.
“This project has really helped me develop my design skills as it has given me a new and interesting environment in which I can apply my skills”- Caitlin Cronin
What we’re doing
We have designed the turbine around an umbrella where compatibility is one of the main features and the mechanism of putting up the turbine will work in a similar way to that of a umbrella, this mechanism has been easy to replicated in our design and it allows us to increase the portability of the turbine and keep it aesthetically pleasing.
The design is currently only just over 600mm tall which is still within the size limits we set ourselves. Due to how the turbine would be transported the design must be easy to carry and manoeuvre as this applies to the target market.
The slim design we have gone for has affected the brief, we were given due to the measurements of the turbine and the battery needed in the design was too big for the housing so we have had to change the battery. This has opened up a new path for the students to go down, looking into electronics, experimenting with circuits to see how we can make it a working model.
We have started to add more practical parts to the wind turbine such as USB ports. These will be wired into the turbine allowing us to connect a USB device to the turbine and also holes in the body where a guild line rope can be thread through to added stability to the turbine when set up.
“The project has allowed me to gain experience in a design world with a specification and real deadlines to meet, I have enjoyed working in a group and working as a team to reach are desired goal”- Peter Brennan
We need to start looking into how each component can be printed and how they are assembled together as a final model. We will hopefully be printing and testing the turbine to check for faults that may occur