Design and construction of vertical axis wind turbines using dual-layer vacuum-forming
Author(s)Carper, Christopher T
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
D. R. Wallace.
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How does one visualize wind? Is it the way trees bend in a strong gust or the way smoke is carried in a breeze? What if wind could be visualized using design, technology, and light? This thesis documents the design of a large scale display of vertical axis wind turbines that can be used to visualize wind. The intent is to build a matrix of several hundred turbines at MIT as part of the 150th anniversary celebration in 2011. The main focus is the appearance of the turbines, which are fabricated using a novel dual-layer vacuum-forming process. In it, one layer of pre-cut plastic is sandwiched between a polyurethane foam mold and a top layer of plastic which is heated and forms the seal for the vacuum. The top layer is subsequently removed and discarded leaving a formed part with clean, smooth edges. In order to optimize the manufacturing process and achieve repeatable results, variables such as heating time and material alignment had to be controlled. PETG and polystyrene were tested in a variety of configurations to maximize the respective strengths of each material and minimize their weaknesses. Each turbine is also designed to power its own LEDs. Potential designs for the necessary electronics are also included.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2010.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 23).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology