Hydroelectric Project

In this project we shall generate electricity from the flow of water.

Materials Required:

No Material Qty Vendor
1 Cardboard 1 Local hardware store
2 CD  2 Mumbai: Lamington Road
3 Neodymium Magnets 2 Local Stationery
4 Copper coil 32 gauge 1 Scrap
5 Tape 1 Local Stationery
6 Scissors 1 Local Stationery
7 PVC Pipes 1 Local Stationery

Steps to make:

Step 1: Make a DC Generator:

  1. Take a copper wire coil 32 gauge. Start winding the copper wire to make a coil of diameter roughly of 2.5 cm and 1000 turns
  2. Leave two ends open, remove the insulating coating from the end of the wires using sandpaper.
  3. Take a cd and attach two neodymium magnets to it, one with north facing upwards and another with south facing upwards.
  4. To check north and south you will need pole identifier. In this case it is not important to say which one is north or south. We just need to know the sides with opposite polarity so that we can stick magnets properly on cd.
  5. Get two magnets close to each other, let them get attracted towards each other but do not bring them too close, if they stick to each other it becomes difficult to move them apart.
  6. Now since we know opposite attracts, let’s call attracting side of one magnet North and another south.
  7. Now stick them on the cd with north facing up for first and south for another using hot glue gun as shown in the picture below.
  8. Now attach coil to another cd connect the LED to the open ends of the coil.
  9. To see if it’s working or not, put the cd with magnets on top of it such that magnets are facing the coil.
  10. Make sure magnets can move freely above the coil. This can be done as follows
    1. Take two bottle caps, and a long cylindrical wood/metal tube (its diameter should be as small as that of pencil).
    2. Make a hole in each cap so that tube can fit right in.
    3. Fix the cap on the cd in the center of the cd (one with the coil). Fix tube on the cap using hot glue gun. Take the
    4. Fix the second cap on the other cd temporarily using tape.
    5. Invert the cd on to the tube such that magnets are facing coil. Do not fix tube to this cap. When cd is given a push it should be able to rotate freely.
    6. Make sure the distance between the magnets and coil is minimum. There should be a very small gap between them, only enough for magnets to move freely.
    7. If the gap is bigger than desired, remove the cap and cut it to reduce the size.
    8. Now fix the cap on the cd with hot glue gun.
    9. Take the cd with the coil (where you have attached cap and tube through cap). Slide down the cd with magnet on to the tube.
    10. Give a push to cd (with magnets) in anti-clockwise direction so that it start rotating. Observe the LED glowing.

Step 2: Make a Turbine:

  1. Take a small plastic bottle and few (Minimum 6) plastic spoons.
  2. Mark center of the bottle along the circumference and make holes in the bottle along the mark jut big enough to fit spoon.
  3. Place spoon one after another all facing in the same direction. Facing of spoon will decide in what direction your turbine will rotate.
  4. When the water falls on the concave of a spoon it will push it down and thus rotating the bottle. Considering your magnets were rotating in anti-clock wise direction to glow the LED, your bottle should also rotate in anti- clockwise direction. So place your spoon carefully and fix it.
  5. Make hole on the center of the cap of the bottle and base of the bottle so that the tube can pass through it
  6. Attach the cd with magnet on the cap of the bottle.

Step 3: Assembling the parts:

  1. Now slide the turbine on to the cd with coil and long cylindrical wood/ metal. Put it under the running water and watch the LED glow.

Step 4: Making the Stand:

  1. Take a pvc pipe, cut it according to your desired height for the project (approx. – 20 cm). You will require two such pipe.
  2. Drill a hole on both the pipe, big enough to fit the tube.
  3. Slide one end of tube into the hole of one PVC and other end on another pvc.
  4. You only need to give pvc pipe support from bottom.
  5. You can add multiple T PVC for providing it with support.

Reasons why the Hydroelectric Project may not work:

  1. The magnets and copper coil may not be close enough.
  2. Ensure that the insulation of the copper wires is removed.
  3. Increase the speed of the flow of water.
  4. Change the connections for the LED or change the direction in which the turbine is rotating.

Problem points for children to brainstorm and solve:

  1. Ensuring the distance between the Magnet CD and the Copper Coil CD is fixed to minimum possible without the coil touching the magnets.
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