The Effect of Coefficient of Friction, Angle of Elevation, and Frequency of Oscillation on the DC Voltage Output of a Ferrofluid-Enhanced Generator

With petroleum prices increasing worldwide, there is a pressing need for renewable, clean energy. Many alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, utilize the forces of nature to generate energy. However, these are only a few of the many ways that natural energy can be harnessed. Using neodymium magnets, copper wire, and a tube can generate electricity in the wire when the magnets move through the coils. With a simple up and down motion, electricity can be consistently generated in an environment with consistent motion, such as in oceans, treetops, or vehicle wheels. However, this depends on having the magnet move all the way through the coils consistently. To make this more manageable, several factors were instated to see how this setup could be optimized. In this context, the setup was optimized when the voltage output was the highest. The coefficient of friction, or the ratio of the force of friction on an object to the normal force on that object, was the first factor because it determines if the magnet will have enough acceleration to make it to the far side of the tube. The next factor, angle of elevation, was used to asses if this experiment would be more valid in calm areas, such as oceans, or violent areas, such as treetops on a windy day. Lastly, frequency was made the third factor to determine if how often the magnets moved through the coils would have an impact on the voltage generated. A 3 factor Design of Experiment (DOE) was performed, and it was determined that every factor but the interaction between coefficient of friction and frequency was significant. While the voltage generated was small, the trials only ran for thirty seconds, meaning they could be viable energy sources if used continually.

Research Done By:

Shane Schulte
Fraser High School

Brent Zablocki
Fraser High School