The Power Wheel

By Nicolas Delgado
Junior Category (Grades 7-8)
Innovation | Energy and Natural Resources, Engineering and Computer Science, Environment

The purpose of my science fair project is to create a greener energy source. I got this idea when I first saw the free flow. The free flow is an underwater turbine that uses river flow to generate energy. This inspired me. So I started to think, don’t we already have dams? Do we need a new renewable hydropower source? I found that dams have an environmental impact: they are expensive, flood areas that have animals living in them, and stop salmon from getting to their natural laying grounds. With that I could make a hypothesis: “If I can create a hydropower generator without building a dam, then I would have made a better alternative energy source.”

For my testing I decided to use a wheel connected to a DIY hand crank generator, something simulating an European water mill. I tested with different water flows, ranging from an estimated 300 L/s (like a water tap) to an estimated 800 L/s. The results show that even at home one can generate energy that doesn’t use dams; meaning that we could scale up to make a network of micro-grids to power a city. The hydro-kinetic power generation is an alternative to the traditional hydropower plants, creating less impact in the environment, and letting salmon get through while still making electricity.

Related Project

Don’t Waste… Insulate

If we repurpose polyester as an insulator, then it will perform equally or better than fibreglass?

An AI-Based Wearable System to…

By Mankeerat SidhuSenior Category (Grades 11-12)Innovation | Engineering and Computer Science Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. People suffering…

Deep Learning based Fire Recognition…

This project leverages deep learning to create a novel video-based fire detection system to add fire recognition and automation capability to drones.