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Author Topic: SCHOOL PROJECT - HELP  (Read 2492 times)
SMR
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« on: July 26, 2006, 03:10:00 PM »

Hi

I have been asked to organise a wind turbine for a school project.  The suggestion that was put forward to me was that we install the turbine to power a lighting circuit in the science labs - separate from the mains.  I have read all the FAQs  but I am still confused as to whether this could be done with a turbine connected to a battery.  Batteries are normally DC and lights AC so would it work?  I would appreciate any ideas or advice. 

Cheers Sam
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martin
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2006, 03:17:49 PM »

easy way, use a battery bank, and run 12v lighting direct off it, or just use the supplied inverter to run 240v ones! Cool
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mtimm
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2006, 10:59:47 PM »

If you post a bit more detail (how many and what type of lights)you will get all the information you need from many people here
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Sigma Nova
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2006, 10:53:57 AM »

If you stick with 12V dc, it's a lot easier to get the kids involved hands-on because it is intrinsically safer than 240Vac, but there are still serious safety issues to be addressed.

You could use conventional 12V bulbs as used in cars, halogen low voltage light fittings as found in all good lighting stores or 12Vdc fluorescent units as used in caravans are an alternative, though they are electrically noisy and generate high voltages internally.

As a forward looking project, you may want to look at LED lighting - it is very definitely the next big thing in lighting after enregy-efficient bulbs. Like fluorescent lights, the light is not particularly warm or friendly but as the technology develops it will improve. Prices for LED units are plummeting but there is an opportunity for the kids to design their own luminaires using white LEDs. The physics / electronics of using LEDs is good GCSE level stuff and designing the luminaire to hold them could expand the design remit into materials science, ergonomics, visual design etc.

The disadvantage with LEDs is that they take tiny amounts of energy [!] , so you may have an embarrassing surplus of power form even a modest wind turbine. Some creative thinking will find lots of other interesting things to do with it.

Just a few thoughts.
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rog
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2006, 09:04:39 PM »

I am a Science Teacher in Cornwall and we are in the middle of a project to power a pc 24 hours a day using a wind turbine, please have a look at our website www.surfingthewindyweb.co.uk where you might find some useful information. Contact us through the website if we can help in any way.
Roger
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Mickey
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2006, 10:11:00 PM »

Good luck Roger - let us know when your web site is showing real time data.  I've only investigated wind power and not actually installed yet.  But one thing comes across is that wind energy is best in the winter and sometimes strongest at night.   Therefore you have to consider some form of energy dump. This can be a water heater immersion - see http://www.beewind.co.uk/index.php for advice on this or better still Navitron's web site   Also as well a good voltage regulator otherwise the batteries will boil.  - Mickey
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 10:57:09 AM by Mickey » Logged
SMR
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2006, 02:58:31 PM »

I would just like to say thanks to all who gave advice and repied to my post - very much appreciated!

SMR
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ecogeorge
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2006, 11:36:02 PM »

Not using the forum to plug products but have you considered low voltage compact flourcesent bulbs as at www.ecogeorge.com/Lowvoltagelighting.htm . These bulbs really make useful light from low wattage supplies.
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