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Harvesting Electricity from a Small Scale Hydroelectric Power Cell

Autor:   •  December 4, 2018  •  1,933 Words (8 Pages)  •  4 Views

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Procedure

Building of Power Source

The metal rod is taken as shafting for the whole device. It was screwed to the center of the circular piece of wood. The metal rod and the larger sprocket shared the screws resulting for the coinciding angle bars. Above the angle bar is the attached sprocket serving as one of the base for the chain. On the other side of the circular wood, the smaller sprocket in the alternator was welded. The eight 8-inch pieces PVC of pipes were screwed to the side of the circular wood which served as the receiver of water that initiated the rotation of the alternator as well as the chain connected both to the smaller and larger sprocket. The metal chain was placed in both of the sprocket serving as a pulley that increased the pressure in the spin.

Attachment of Power Source to Wooden Base

The whole contraption was screwed to an 30cm by 90cm wooden base 5cm thick. The metal rod was inserted to 2 bearings that served as the spinner of the whole turbine. When the metal rod was attached, the bearings were screwed in the rectangular wooden base. For the alternator, 36cm long metal bar was screwed in the wooden base. Two 5cm angle bar were welded on the top of the metal bar that served as the attachment for the alternator.

Attachment of Battery to Power Source

The battery was connected to the alternator using an 8-gauge wire that served as a storage for the released electricity.

Device Assembly

The assembling of the device was conducted in Antiqueno Machine Shop in Commonwealth, Quezon City assisted by a mechanic.

Testing

The testing of the device was conducted in Barangay Marilag Fire Station, Cubao, Quezon City, assisted by the firemen stationed there.

Results and Discussion

Results

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Table 1. Voltage Output of Different Pressure Levels

Water pressure (pounds per square inch)

Voltage output (volts)

30

0

50

13

80

15

[pic 28]

The water from the firetruck hose rotates the circular wood that has the PVC pipes attached serves as the turbine. As the turbine spins, the alternator releases electricity that is stored in the battery. The turbine spins with the flow of water. The harder the flow, the higher the voltage output. The parameters measured include voltage (V) and water pressure (psi) Table 1 shows the voltage output at different levels of pressure.

There is a difference in the amount of voltage released by the device after utilizing varied water pressure. (See figure 1) At 30 psi, the device did not release any voltage output. 50 psi and 80 psi of water applied on the device resulted to 13V and 15V output respectively.

Discussion

Initially, a pressure washer of 2 horsepower has been used to run the device. It is inefficient as the water pressure it releases is not sufficient enough to spin the turbine, hence, it was unable to power up the power cell and a firetruck hose was utilized instead. The weight of the PVC pipes and the loose attachment of the chain, however, affected the turbine’s speed rate of rotation. 30 psi of water pressure cannot produce voltage output. Higher pressures at 50 psi and 80 psi released 13V and 15V respectively.

Based on the results, the stronger water pressure resulted to higher voltage output. The kinetic energy of the water flow turns into mechanical energy as it makes the turbine spin. Its mechanical energy is then turned into electrical energy through the alternator. The kinetic energy of the water flow increases with pressure, and so it affects the mechanical and electrical energy directly.

The device required high water pressure to function. This is because the weight of the turbine blades was not taken into consideration. The weight of the turbine blades acted as a force against the kinetic energy of the water flow, and made the spin slower than if the turbine blades were made of a lighter material. Another experimental error is that the chain around the sprocket of the turbine and the sprocket of the alternator was quite loose, and this, too, lessened the speed of the spin.

The main purpose of the device is to be used during power outages either due to strong weather or brownout rotations. A family can easily use the device to harness emergency energy needed for light, cell phone charging, and others. It can also function in everyday home use. All that is needed is flowing water, which is easily accessible from rain or plumbing.

Conclusion

The experimentation proved that the device can produce voltage. While the device is successful in its basic function, there are also experimental errors in the building of the device that affected the results, such as the weight of the turbine blades and the tightness of the chain around the sprockets. If these errors were addressed, the results should be better in terms of how much energy the device can produce with minimal water pressure. It is recommended that the turbine blades be built with a lighter material such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a lighter plastic used for bottles, as to not significantly affect the speed of the turbine spin from the water pressure. In conclusion, the device functions but not in its full potential.

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References

Blaine, C. (2014). The Philippines' Electrical Problem. Retrieved from Infogram: https://infogr.am/the-philippines-electrical-problem

Department of Energy. (2015, December). 2015 Philippine Power Situation. Retrieved from Department of Energy: https://www.doe.gov.ph/sites/default/files/pdf/electric_power/2015_power_situation_report.pdf

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