2016 – Various – Thermoplastic Fabrication of Scaled Vertical Axis Windturbines – Team 2

Example of a H-Rotor style Vertical Axis wind turbine showing forces acting on blades and location of generator

H-Rotor style vertical axis wind turbine

About the project:

This project focuses on researching thermoplastics and fiber reinforced composites for the fabrication of a scaled Vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT). The wind turbine will be fabricated at a 1:50 scale. The students are responsible for the research of design and materials, design of blades and system based on clients’ needs, and design of fabrication methods. The type of vertical axis wind turbine that was chosen by the clients is an H Rotor style, shown in the image above. The blades for the H-Rotor style wind turbine are designed to have a symmetric cross-section (meaning no curvature along the length of the blade). For the dimensions, the diameter of the blades will be 2.2 meters, the overall height of the system will be 2.2 meters, the chord length (connecting chord from blade to central shaft) is .09 meters, and center of the hub to the center of the blade is 1.1 meters. According to clients’ specifications the overall weight of the system cannot exceed 4.8 kg (9.6 lbs.). The clients at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center, David Erb and Andrew Goupee, specified this data based criteria of a maximum of 100 rpm wind speeds. The weight of the system is light due to variation in wind speeds.


Weekly updates:

Week 4/17 – 4/24

The stock has arrived and the team has started to machine the rotor hub and cross arms at the Advanced Manufacturing Center.

Week 4/10 – 4/17

Material for the inner workings of the system have been ordered. The team is waiting for stock material to be shipped to start machining.

Week 4/3 – 4/10

A segment of the  blade has been 3D printed on the Fortus, using Ultem filament.

Week 3/27 – 4/3

In this week the team has started to prototype the model. Part of the blade has been 3D printed on a makerbot. The team will be further prototyping on the fortus 3D printer in the Advanced Structures and Composites center. A materials list has been created to start machining the inner workings of the system.

Week 3/20-3/27

The design of the turbine is being finalized and prototyping will be started next week. The design has been updated allowing the system weight to be under the specified weight of the client.

Week 12 (11/8 – 11/15)

Based on clients’ specifications the team needed to research different materials for the airfoil blades and determine a new fabrication method. Design of the airfoil is being done in Solidedge. Below is an image of the print for the specified airfoil shape.

Team Bios:

Brittany Wadsworth: Brittany is a fourth year student at the University of Maine pursuing her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. For the past two years she has worked at the Advanced Manufacturing Center, designing and prototyping projects for outside clients. She graduated high school 2012 from Erskine academy in her hometown of China ME. After high school she immediately enrolled at the University of Maine and will be graduating in August 2016. Her interests include aerospace industry, mechanical design, renewable energy, and materials sciences. Brittany Wadsworth linkedin Profile

Nicholas Fitzpatrick: Nicholas is a senior at the University of Maine pursuing a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Nick grew up in Winterport, Maine where he attended Hampden Academy and graduated back in 2011. Nick enrolled into the University of Maine in the fall of 2011 where he began working at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center as a Student Research Assistant. In these four years, he’s worked for the laboratory coordination manager where he’s had the privilege of working alongside engineers in the facility to help on an array of different projects from testing for the Department of Transportation to full scale wind blade testing. After graduation, Nick plans to pursue a career in either aerospace, structural testing applications, or mechanical design. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and relaxing with friends.Nicholas Fitzpatrick Linkedin Profile

David McCarron: David is a senior at the University of Maine currently pursuing degrees in Mechanical Engineering Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology. He grew up in West Newbury, Massachusetts and upon graduation hopes to stay in the New England area for work. Studying both the electrical and mechanical aspects of problems has helped him to develop a more complete understanding of the way things work. David has always been interested in the way all machines work, and having degrees in these fields will allow him to continue to do what he enjoys after graduation. In his free time he enjoys riding motorcycles, playing soccer, and relaxing with friends.David McCarron Linkedin Profile

Sponsors and Donors: 

We would like to give thanks to David Erb, and Andrew Goupee at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center for their help and support throughout this process. We would also like to thank the Advanced Manufacturing Center for allowing us to use their equipment, and the School of Engineering Technology office for their help in the ordering of materials process.

Advanced Structures and Composites Center

Advanced Manufacturing Center