2003 Bay Area Science Fair Winners
Jeffrey G. Bryant: Attic Turbine Dynamo
Abstract: "The purpose of this project was to find a way to capture unused thermal energy from attic spaces and convert it to electricity.
I built a dynamo, which I attached to an attic turbine. The attic turbine produces rotational energy on a vertical shaft that can be transferred into electricity.
Then I tested the dynamo at various speeds to identify which speed was most efficient for the dynamo. I attached the dynamo wires to a voltage meter and the attic turbine to a bicycle speedometer. Using these two meters, I was able to measure the electrical output against the turbine speed. I used an electric drill to spin the turbine because a fan would require a wind tunnel to effectively rotate the turbine.
The attic turbine was most efficient at 16 miles per hour. The results show that the turbine can produce energy in a real-life application."
Morgan P. Flannery: Got Solar Energy? Will we save money if we used solar power?
Abstract: "The purpose of my experiment is to prove that we can save money on electricity by using solar power to run things inside our house. If I can prove that we can save money, more Americans will use solar energy in their houses; this will be good because Americans use a lot of energy (oil, gas, electricity) which contributes in the pollution of our planet. I built a model of our house, with light bulb and ceiling fan in it. I tried to find which areas of the house to place solar panels to collect the most sunlight. Using a halogen lamp representing the sun, I moved it the way the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. I found the best locations for solar panels on my miniature house. This experiment showed that the positions and angles of the solar panels affected the amount of sun energy that is collected. The amount of solar power collected affected the brightness of the light bulb and the speed of the ceiling fan. This shows that we can use the power of the sun to run things inside our homes that would normally use electricity."
Michael A. Garrido: Wind Power
Abstract: "The purpose of this experiment was to find how fast miniature turbines with different blades would spin and how much electricity they would generate under different fan speeds. The hypothesis was that the two blade turbine would spin the fastest and generate the most electricity. To find the speed of the turbines, the turbines were placed two inches in front of the fan. An optical tachometer was used to send a beam of light at the blades. The light reflected back at the tachometer via white paper taped to one blade and the tachometer calculated the reflections for a reading. The electricity generated was recorded by attaching a multimeter to electrodes on the DC motor on the turbine. There were two, four, and six blade turbines to test. The two blade turbine spun the fastest from its great lift-to-drag ratio and light weight but the four blade was the most energy efficient because of its compromise between the great weight of the six blade and the lift-to-drag ratio of the two blade. The hypothesis was correct in the prediction of the two blade's RPM performance but incorrect in stating it would generate the most electricity."
Allison K. Lewis: Where, Oh Where, Has My Electricity Gone?
Abstract: "Purpose: I would like to find out how much electricity some of the appliances in my house use. Based on that information I would like to know what appliances use the most and least electricity.
Experimental Method: My dad wrapped a wire around the two wires we have on our roof, one for electricity coming in and the other for electricity going out. This wire would detect the amount of electricity and the amount would show up on the voltmeter. Then I would record the number of mV the appliance used. I recorded the mV of almost every appliance in the house.
Note: The number I used to make the conversion to kilowatts is .383.
Conclusion: There was a wide range in the electricity usage of different appliances. I had suspected that things that make heat used 10 times more electricity than the smallest usage appliance. It turns out that the cooking appliances use about 500 times as much as the smallest usage appliances. Of the cooking appliances the stove used the most - 4.29 kW. My clock and the DSL power supply used the absolute least, they used so little electricity that they didn't even show up on the voltmeter. "