The Effects of Blade Design, Blade Length, and Wind Speed on the Energy Output of a Wind Turbine

In today’s petroleum and oil-driven world, energy innovators are searching abroad for greener and cleaner energy sources to produce power to harness in our everyday lives. One non-renewable energy source that scientists and environmentalists are currently researching is energy generated from wind turbines. By designing custom models using SolidWorks software, the objective of this experiment was to determine the combination of three essential turbine components—blade design, blade length, and wind speed—that would yield the greatest energy output and would therefore be capable of generating the most electrical energy. Using a wind tunnel, the turbine models were randomly selected and attached to a direct current motor; the model in question was allowed to rotate in the tunnel for nearly one minute, and then the voltage output of the turbine was recorded with a voltmeter. Through the use of a Design of Experiment (DOE), the data collected from experimentation was statistically analyzed and interpreted. After conducting this analysis, the effect of blade design on the voltage output of a wind turbine was deemed the only significant factor. Due to the varying orientations, different amounts of surface area were left exposed on the blades for the wind forces in the wind tunnel to make the blades rotate. For future engineers interested in maximizing energy output while preserving the environment, the results of this research strongly suggest that they focus their ingenuities on blade design.       

Research Conducted By:

Jack Koki
Warren Mott High School

Andrew Zannetti
Warren Woods Tower High School