The Effect of Water Velocity and Salinity on the Power Output of a Magnetohydrodynamic Generator

The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect that velocity and salinity of water being pumped through a Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator have on the charging of a capacitor.  The independent variables were salinity and velocity of the water.  The dependent variable was the charge on the capacitor after it was connected to the generator for 60 seconds.  To determine the effect, a MHD generator was connected to a 0.25 hp sub pump.  The sub pump was placed in a 5-gallon bucket that contained 5 liters of salt water, which was 2%, 3.5%, or 5% saline, by mass, used as the low, standard, and high values of salinity.  The sub pump was plugged into a variac, which is a device that produces varying voltages of AC power from a standard outlet.  The water velocity was controlled by the voltage setting on the variac.  The low, standard, and high voltages used, respectively, were 100, 120, and 140 volts.  The data was analyzed using a two-factor Design of Experiment.  Both salinity and velocity were found to have a positive effect on the power output of the generator, though the effect of salinity was more significant.

Research Done By:

Kaitlyn Beels
Lakeview High School

Michael Jarrett
Lake Shore High School