The Effect of Blade Length, Number of Blades, and Funnel Nozzle Diameter on Voltage Output of Water Wheel

With global warming approaching rapidly, and with nonrenewable energy sources depleting, more water is going to be introduced into every ecosystem and new sources of energy are going to be needed (World Fossil Fuels..). The best decision would be to find out how to more efficiently harvest the potential energy the water holds. The researchers decided to custom-make a rain powered generator and modify different components of it to figure out when it runs most effectively. The three factors that the researchers selected to modify to test were the number of blades on the water wheel, the length of said blades, and the diameter of a funnel nozzle, which was used to potentially pressurize the water to give the wheel more torque. The researchers predicted that their generator would run best with the higher number, longer blades and the smaller funnel nozzle diameter. To test this, the researcher built their rain-powered generator and made the attachable parts to change the factors. Water was run through the generator and a LabQuest collected the data for the voltage produced. After running a three-factor DOE, the researchers found that the individual factor of length of the blades was significant, as was the interaction between the number and length of the blades. The generator ran best when the number of blades was high, the length was low, and the funnel had a small diameter. The trial that the researchers thought would perform the best actually ran the worst, as the wheel refused to spin during it. Because of this turn of events, the researchers were forced to reject their hypothesis.

Research Done By:

Michael Richards
Cousino High School

Dylan Twardy
Cousino High School