Huntington High School’s Engineering Academy is preparing students for careers in high-tech industries. During the month of March, students in the academy’s Principals of Engineering and Digital Electronics classes learned first-hand how wind energy is created by building and successfully testing their own wind turbines.
The project, conducted in cooperation with the Marshall University Engineering Department, began March 12 with a demonstration by Marshall Professor Isaac Wait and his student, Andrew Canterbury. Following the demonstration, Engineering Academy students went to work on their own original designs the rest of the week and over spring break.
On Tuesday March 26, the students were ready to demonstrate their work. They conducted tests, made adjustments, and re-tested their blade designs to maximize generated power. Four to five readings were taken to determine peak measured voltage. Several resistance levels (ohms) were used to determine optimal power.
Parameters used in the turbine designs were: number of blades (2-3 or 4); blade length and weight; blade pitch; and resistance settings to determine optimal power produced. Blade designs were all shapes and sizes. Power produced from the students’ designs ranged from 3-14 milliwatts.
Professor Wait and his Marshall University students have been working with the Engineering Academy at Huntington High since it began three years ago, introducing design projects and contests to the students.
"I am happy with the partnership Marshall University and Huntington High School have going and am hopeful we can continue to collaborate for a long time" stated Professor Wait.
"We believe it is a very good relationship and our high school students are benefitting by being exposed to the university’s engineering program and these student-led projects," said John Tanner, Huntington High School Career Academy Coordinator.