Effect of Blade Length, Number of Blades, Angle of the Blades, and Wind Speed on the Electrical Output of a Windmill-Powered Generator

The purpose of our experiment was to determine whether blade length, blade angle, the angle of the blades, or wind speed has the greatest effect on the electrical output of a windmill powered generator, and more importantly what combination of factors together allowed for the highest amount of electrical output. To gather this information, it was necessary that we had connected to the shaft of our windmill a hobby motor, which acted as a generator, and when connected to a voltmeter gave us the resulting electrical output of the generator. We ran fifty-seven trials by pointing the shaft of the windmill directly perpendicular to the front surface of a box fan 20 inches away and turning the fan on to various speed settings. We then conducted a 4-Factor Design of Experiment testing the electrical output when we combined different factors: blades of 3, 6 and 9 inches long, blade angles of 60, 45, and 30, two, three, and six blades, and low, medium and high fan settings. Wind speed was shown to have the greatest effect on the electrical output of the windmill, which, of course, would suggest to power companies and environmentally-aware households alike that the strategic placement of windmills would have the greatest bearing on how much energy can be created.

Research Done By:

Aaron Brzozowski
L'Anse Creuse High School

Brittany Dallas
Warren Mott High School

Michael Fetter
L'Anse Creuse High School North