Preliminary Design Concept
Through the brainstorming process of our project we filtered through 2 unique designs before arriving at our current concept. The initial 2 deigns, though having flaws, helped us to focus on and fully define our final concept. Both of our initial design concepts contained key concepts that we have incorporated into our final design, but also had some flaws that forced us to continue refining our design.
The first design idea was to build a 16 foot tall single rotor turbine. The key concept behind this design was to move the generator from within the nacelle of the turbine down to the ground. Energy would be transferred from the blades to a bevel gear. This bevel gear would be connected to a 14-15 foot tall aluminum drive shaft that would transfer the kinetic energy to the generator ground level.
Our second design concept helped to fix some of the flaws with the first design primarily the high cost. To do this we decided that instead of building an entirely new turbine, we would retrofit the dual turbine built by last year’s senior design group. This would allow us to diminish the cost of the project because we would no longer have to build a tower, nacelle, and gearing. In addition, the cost to build a driveshaft would be greatly decreased since the previous group’s turbine was only about 6 feet tall. We continued with this design for a couple weeks but again realized that the driveshaft, though smaller, would still be too complex to build. Furthermore this design concept would never be applicable to large scale conventional turbines, because it would require the driveshaft to be upwards of 70 meters long or larger. A driveshaft of this size would be costly to build, heavy because of the strength and complexity needed to transfer the energy, and inefficient due to the high moment of inertia.
First Design Idea - Created and Tested using Computer Aided Engineering Software - Wind Turbine Tower Height - 16 ft