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1 Windmill Science Project: Wind Versus Solar Energy on Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:14 am

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This windmill science project examines the effectiveness of power generated by windmills using wind energy versus solar energy.

Background:

Research information on windmills. Use these questions to guide you: What is the structure of a windmill? How do windmills operate? What is wind energy? What is solar energy? How are wind and solar energy harnessed? 

Hypothesis:

Formulate your hypothesis on the effectiveness of power produced by windmills using wind energy versus solar energy. Which type of energy will be most effective at powering a windmill over a short period? Which type of energy will be most effective at powering a windmill over a longer period? 

Materials: (Adult supervision of kids is always recommended.)

  • Suggested windmill kit: 6 in 1 Educational Solar Kit - Details



           

            Carl's Electronics: 6 in 1 Educational Solar Kit - Ages 10 and up


  • Masking Tape


  • Black Marker


  • Stopwatch



Procedure:

1. Gather the materials needed for your windmill science project experiment. For most effective results, this project should be done on a windy, sunny day.

2. Follow instructions and safety precautions for setting up the windmill from your kit. Parental guidance is suggested.

3. Place the windmill in the sun. Let the solar panel charge for the recommended time from your kit.

4. Place a piece of masking tape on one of the blades of the windmill. Using the black marker, mark the piece of tape with a dot.

5. Turn the windmill on. Count how many times the marked fan blade rotates in 15 seconds. Multiply that number by 4 to determine the speed of the fan per minute. Record this number as the initial speed in your data table.

6. Leave the windmill on. Repeat step 5 after 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes. Record the speeds of the windmill.

7. Remove the windmill from the sun, cover the solar panels and allow the windmill to run until the blades no longer turn. Place the windmill where it is exposed to the wind.

8. Once the blades start to turn due to wind energy alone, count how many times the marked fan blade rotates in 15 seconds. Multiply that number by 4 to determine the speed of the fan per minute. Record this number as the initial speed in your data table.

9. Leave the windmill in the wind. Repeat step 8 after 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes. Record the speeds of the windmill.

10. Repeat the entire experiment two more times to verify results.


Record Observations[th]
Type of Energy
[/th][th]
Speed of Windmill
[/th][th]Initial[/th][th]5 min[/th][th]15 min[/th][th]30 min[/th][th]Solar[/th][th]Wind[/th]
 
    
    


Results:

Record your data and compare your results. Which type of energy produced the highest windmill speed? Which type of energy produced the lowest windmill speed? Why do you think so? Did the time periods have an effect on the windmill speed? If so, why? Would the time of day have an effect on the speed for each type of energy? Explain. 

Conclusion:

Summarize what happened in your windmill science projects experiment based on your results. Explain the results of your experiment. Was your hypothesis supported? If not, explain why. Evaluate your experiment and suggest improvements.

More Science Projects for Kids Samples:

Earth Science Projects

Easy Science Fair Projects

Science Projects for Kids

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