Please make sure to read the rules thoroughly, there a number of details that are not trivial.
What materials do I need to use?
The great thing about the KidWind Challenge Web Competition is that it is wide open. You can use KidWind gear, our competitors’ gear, or stuff you hack around your school or classroom. While most of the materials you need to build a small wind turbine can be found locally, at KidWind we offer a variety of kits and materials that can help you get started. All it takes to join is initiative and creativity!
Who can participate in the Web Competition?
Any student who is in grades K-12 is eligible to enter the KidWind Challenge Web Competition. This includes students from public and private schools, home schoolers, after school clubs, Boy and Girl Scout troops, etc. There are no restrictions on the number of members in a team. Each team must have an adult mentor, advisor or teacher.
What are the rules for building my turbine?
Wind - Power must be generated solely by the wind from one fan or you can go outside and use the ambient wind. How close you put your turbine to the fan is up to you. In an outdoor situation it will be hard to correlate your power output to wind speed unless you use some fancy data collection software like Vernier.
Units - Use metric units when collecting data. Measure blade diameter in centimeters (cm). Wind velocity in meters/second.
Size - Maximum Rotor (blade) Diameter for the Web Competition is 100 cm. The height of the tower is up to you.
Shape - You can make either a vertical or horizontal axis turbine.
Generators – We require that you provide us with as much detail as possible so we can classify your turbine properly. Three types of generators are legal:
- A DC generator that you purchased from KidWind
- A DC generator that you found in your house or classroom, or one that you purchased from a local store, etc.
- An AC generator that you either built yourself or from a retail kit
The only rule is that you have to provide us with as much detail as possible so we can classify your turbine properly.
Budget - There are no budgetary restrictions for your turbine design, but it is important to keep in mind that part of our internal judging process is the economical use of resources. Please use materials responsibly.
Gearboxes & Blades - While it is legal to use gears and other drive train components that are manufactured, you may not use pre-packaged gearboxes. Your turbine blades and gearboxes must be made by your team.
SAFETY! - Metal, Plexiglas and other heavily weighted and dangerous blades are highly discouraged as these can be very dangerous when spinning at high speeds. Based on a picture of your turbine we may disqualify your turbine if it looks dangerous.
Once you have constructed and tested your turbine you will need to upload some data to our website so we can compare your turbine to your peers all over the world. As we cannot come to your classroom, you will need to be honest in your collection and presentation of this data. Download a student data sheet, fill it in with your data, and then upload it at a later time. You will only be able to upload one trial under your team name to the KidWind Website. So if you do multiple trials, you will want to save your best turbine data and then upload that!
You will only be able to upload one trial under your team name to the KidWind Website. So if you do multiple trials you will want to save your best turbine data and then upload that!
Team Data - We need some basic demographic data from you such as: Team Name, City, State, Teacher or Coach’s Name, and your Grade Level.
Wind Source Data - How fast is wind hitting your turbine? You can use a commercial or homemade anemometer to determine the wind speed accurately. If you cannot tell us your wind speed accurately we have some techniques to estimate. To make an accurate estimate we will need your Fan Type, Fan Size and Speed Setting. You can also download our Fan Power Cheat Sheet.
Turbine Data - To make sure you actually built a turbine, you will need to upload an image of your device. The data includes the diameter and number of the blades and type of generator you are using to generate electricity. We will categorize your turbine based on the type of generator you use. The choices are: KidWind Wind Turbine Generator, KidWind Hi-Torque Generator, Other DC Generator or Student Wound AC Generator.
Power Output Data – We need to know how well your turbine performs in terms of electrical output. To do that we will be comparing power output data from your turbine with others. If you do not understand how to collect this data, don’t worry; our website will help! Check out the Web Competition page for instructions and short videos on collecting this data.
Research Statement (OPTIONAL) - Have you done cool research and experimentation on your turbine before you sent us your final result? Upload your report as well; we’d love to check it out.
How will our team evaluate turbines and pick winners?
- Performance - We are looking for efficient, high output machines.
- Creativity - We are looking for creativity in terms of design and use of materials.
- Quality - We are looking for turbines that look like someone put care into building them.
- Research/Statement - You have the ability to upload a short 1—2 page research statement. We love checking out research!
What do I win?
- Grand prize: $100 in cash and a feature on our winners section
How can I be disqualified?
We generally know the output parameters of wind turbines of this size using DC generators or handmade AC generators. If our team of judges feels your data is outside of the normal range, we may send you a note to verify if you made a mistake or ask you to send some video to prove your case. If we feel that the data still cannot be verified, your turbine may stay on the site but will be disqualified from competition.