Main Project Inspiration: Windmill

For my final project, I am going to build a miniature windmill/wind turbine. I was inspired by those large farms of wind turbines that are frequently seen on country roads. I wanted to do something that would have an interesting look to it, and windmills tend to look very unique and stand out wherever they are. My version will be significantly smaller than the real ones and I want it to be something I can put in my backyard.

My main issue at the moment is figuring out some kind of function for the windmill to serve. Ideally, I want it to be something that will respond to the wind as it changes and serve a productive purpose. Originally, windmills were used by farmers to mill grains, which would not be very helpful to me. I also had the idea of trying to convert the wind power into energy to do something like turn on a light bulb, but I would need to look into how to do it. For the next week or so, I plan on trying to look into possible functions for the windmill and trying to come up with something helpful. The purpose will dictate the size of the final project and certain other design features, so it is the next step in the process.

Some of the most important considerations I will have with the project will be what to make the base out of and the design of the blades themselves. Depending on how efficient the windmill has to be, I could either make it look like the classic straightforward windmill design or more like modern wind turbines. The base will have to be something stable enough to withstand the wind forces and stay in the same position.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Muhammad Waqar
    Muhammad Waqar
    April 6, 2021 5:28 am

    Realy nice article. I am also working on a project that is about wind turbine (https://mechanicalboost.com/wind-turbine-an-overview/). I got idea about my project after looking at this article.

    Reply
  • Avery Anderson
    Avery Anderson
    March 5, 2017 8:35 pm

    I really like your project idea. I am very interested in alternative energy sources, namely wind power. This kind of pushed me to my senior design project working with Vestas, the largest wind power producing company in the world. They actually have a few very small scaled wind turbines in their factory in Windsor. even the small scale turbines are amazing. One idea I could give you for a practical use for your project is to make the turbine charge up one of those rechargeable battery stations.

    Reply
  • This is a really cool project! I’ve been interested in wind turbine technology for quite some time, but I’ve always found it very complicated compared to conventional turbines. Since you can’t control the rotational speed or torque very easily, converting it into a useful application reliably is a challenge. For my past senior design project, we designed a Gorlov helical turbine. To demonstrate the concept, we used a motor from an old treadmill as an alternator and hooked it up to a lightbulb. Designing a functional wind turbine is probably enough work for 10 projects-worth, so one thing you might consider is to narrow and finalize the scope early on.

    Reply
  • Katie Gresh
    Katie Gresh
    March 3, 2017 5:01 pm

    Great idea! I’m personally interested in turbine technology. I’ve seen smaller scale windmills that produce electricity for a home and the aesthetic is similar to commercial designs (although the traditional Dutch style is pretty), but look much better. Good luck!

    Reply

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