Around your house you will find small DC motors. When you add electricity to these motors they spin. When you spin them using your wind turbine they produce electricity. Some do this better than others. A neat experiment would be to compare the electrical output of many different DC generators and to think about why it might be different. We have tested a lot of motors, and have found that the KidWind Wind Turbine Generator is a pretty good one; however, it is not necessarily the best. Find a better one and let us know your results!
This would be a great experiment for someone interested in electrical motors and generators. The only thing you would need is a turbine that allows you to easily change DC motors. The Advanced Wind Energy Experiment Kit is a perfect tool for this experiment. Not only does it allow you to try many different DC motors, you can also experiment with different gear ratios on the The Advanced Wind Energy Experiment Kit. The Basic Wind Energy Experiment Kit will also work for this experiment.
Check your local hobby shop or surplus store for a selection of DC motors. Sometimes you can find motors that are already geared. In other words, the motors have a built-in gear ratio. We've seen little motors with gear ratios up to 144:1! While that ratio is probably too high for a functional wind turbine model, playing around with geared motors can lead to some very exciting results. If you want to look for DC motors around your house, old VCRs, electrical toys and CD players are good places to start finding DC motors.
As you are trying different motors, you may need to adapt your hub to fit onto the motor driveshaft. Make sure to have an adult help you if you need to use a drill to make the hub fit onto the motor.
Do some research on how generators work or electromagnetism to learn more about how these factors will affect your power output.
You may be wondering how voltage and amperage relate to RPM. Click here for a comprehensive chart on the relationship between voltage and RPM from the KidWind Wind Turbine Generator.