I sure could use a wind tunnel right about now. Anyone out there have a spare one in their backyard? The trouble with trying to test a wind turbine on the cheap is that you'll continuously be frustrated with your results. You'll keep saying, "If only I had a _." Our team has been at the point several times over the past couple months -- so I've made the executive decision to fork over the cash for a much needed data acquisition system. Now, if only I could source a wind tunnel...
Wind turbine improvements this week include the addition of "caps" on the blades (see above photo). The fabulous Charlie Snyder retrofitted our turbine friend with three plywood disks that will help force the wind to blow through the blades. High School (!!) kids tested out this concept back in August with promising results. Regardless, next steps for the turbine (besides more testing) include analyzing more rotor configurations based on the test results from two weeks ago. Planning on more prototyping sessions in the upcoming weekends.
Highlights for the wind turbine:
- Ralf Hotchkiss joined us in today's session. Ralf is the founder of Whirlwind Wheelchair, a local organization that's been generating wheelchairs for the developing world for two decades.
- We've also had another fabulous organization express interest in the turbine design. Could possibly be tested out in Africa in the next few months.