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5.

Performance Evaluation and Discussion



Before making a decision on the final design of our wind-powered vehicle (WPV) we
utilised the various blades and hubs we had designed by testing the WPV using the
blades in various arrangements. We tested the WPV using initially the PVC blades
attached to a Perspex hub, then attaching them to a wooden hub before implementing
our pinwheel design. We also adjusted the arrangement of our blades such as trying
the blades out the front of the WPV and also testing the blades by position them in the
middle of the WPV. Another factor we took into consideration for out testing was the
use of two blades, this included using two pinwheels or mixing the PVC blades and
the pinwheel, trying them in various arrangements.

5.1 Analysis, testing and evaluation

Design 1: PVC blades with Perspex hub

The first design we tested utilised 6 PVC blades, which were position strategically
around a Perspex hub. The blades were placed on the Perspex hub by using 6 u-
clamps that allowed us to adjust the angle of the blades. The blades were turned on an
angle in a way, which allowed them to capture the greatest amount of wind as seen in
figure 1. A single pulley system was utilised in this design.

Table 1: PVC blades with Perspex hub

The results from table 1 clearly indicate that the design using PVC blades with a
Perspex hub is rather ineffective in achieving a mass-time ratio of 800g/s or greater.
The weight of the Perspex hub and blades together was quite heavy and the start up
time for the blades to start turning quickly was quite long, making it unproductive.
















Figure 1: PVC blades with Perspex hub
Mass (g) Time (s) Mass/Time (g/s)
4000 15.1 265
7000 22.3 314
10000 32.8 305
Design 2: PVC blades with wooden hub

The second design implemented a wooden hub with 6 PVC blades, with holes drilled
around the outside of the hub in which to place the blades as seen in figure 2. The
blades were still able to be rotated which allowed us to adjust the angle, in order to
capture the greatest amount of wind. A single pulley system was utilised in this
design.

Table 2: PVC blades with wooden hub

After analysing the results in table 2 it was apparent that changing the hub didnt
improve our results from table 1, in fact they had become worse. The excessive
weight of the PVC blades was creating a problem making the design unsuccessful in
achieving a mass-time ratio of 800g/s or greater.



















Figure 2: PVC blades with wooden hub












Mass (g) Time (s) Mass/Time (g/s)
4000 14.6 274
7000 23.8 294
10000 33.5 299
Design 3: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV

In order to increase our mass-time ratio we decided to use lighter blades made out of a
different material and use a different design all together. We implemented a pinwheel
design using cardboard, with aluminium strips placed along the edges in order to
make the structure more rigid. Initially we placed the pinwheel in the middle of the
WPV to investigate whether an equal distribution of weight across the WPV would
make an impact on our mass-time ratio. A single pulley system was utilised in this
design.

Table 3: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV
Mass (g) Time 1 (s) Time 2 (s) Time 3 (s) Time 4 (s) Mean
time (s)
Mass/Time
(g/s)
4000 12.8 12.5 13.1 12.9 12.825 312
7000 14.5 15 14.9 15.2 14.9 470
10000 17.5 15.5 14.5 16 15.875 630
12000 15.7 16.8 17 15 16.125 744
13500 19.7 18.9 19.2 20 19.45 694

The results from table 3 clearly demonstrate a vast improvement on the PVC blades.
Through the use of a lighter material our initial the start up time for the blades to start
turning quickly was quite short, making it rather productive. The fact that the
pinwheel covered a larger surface area than the PVC blades allowed it to trap more
air, in order to move a lot faster. However we were only able to achieve the mass-time
ration of 800g/s just once, instead consistently averaging between 600-700g/s.
























Design 4: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV and front of WPV

To improve on our previous design we decided to use two pinwheels instead of one as
we calculated that implementing two blades would assist in increasing the speed of
WPV whilst carrying a large weight as seen in figure 3. Both pinwheels were made
out of cardboard with aluminium strips to reinforce the cardboard as well as provide
some extra mass in order to make the start up speed of the blades a lot quicker. Also
when using two blades we made use of a two pulley system.

Table 4: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV and front of WPV

After analysing the results in table 4 it was apparent that adding an additional
pinwheel didnt improve our results from table 3. The major problem with the design
was that the front pinwheel was trapping most of the wind, meaning the pinwheel
behind it only trapped minimal air. This resulted in the second pinwheel simply
become extra, unnecessary weight, making the design ineffective in achieving a mass-
time ratio of 800g/s or greater.


















Figure 3: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV and front of WPV









Mass (g) Time (s) Mass/Time (g/s)
7000 13.3 526
10000 16.7 599
12000 19.9 603
Design 5: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV and wooden hub with PVC blades at
front of WPV

In order to increase our mass-time ratio we decided to maintain our two blade design
however we combined the PVC blades that were attached to a wooden hub and the
pinwheel. The PVC blades attached to a wooden hub were positioned at the front of
the WPV allowing for some air to travel to the pinwheel behind it, positioned in the
middle of the WPV. The PVC blades were positioned at an angle to allow for
maximum air to be trapped. A two pulley system was maintained for the design.

Table 5: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV and wooden hub with PVC blades at
front of WPV

The results from table 5 again demonstrate there was hardly an improvement in our
results when compared to the previous designs. The initial start up time for the PVC
blades to start turning was too long, hence reducing our mass-time ratio.

Design 6: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV and Perspex hub with PVC blades at
front of WPV

In order to improve our results we decided to continue with our two blade design
however we decided to see if using a Perspex hub with PVC blades at front and a
pinwheel in the middle would have any impact on our results. A two pulley system
was maintained for the design

Table 6: Pinwheel placed at the middle of WPV and Perspex hub with PVC blades at
front of WPV

After analysing the results in table 6 it was evident that using a Perspex hub instead of
a wooden hub made no impact, with the PVC blades being heavy and ineffective. We
were unsuccessful in achieve the mass-time ration of 800g/s or greater.












Mass (g) Time (s) Mass/Time (g/s)
10000 17.7 565
12000 21.6 632
Mass (g) Time (s) Mass/Time (g/s)
12000 25.6 469
12500 24.8 504
Design 7: Pinwheel placed at the front of WPV

To improve our results we decided to revert back to using a single pinwheel at the
front of the WPV, with a single pulley system being utilised, simplifying the design of
our WPV. The pinwheel was made from cardboard with aluminium strips placed
along the edges to add more mass to help the initial turn of the pinwheel as well as
reinforce the structure of the pinwheel. The pinwheel was placed at the front of the
WPV to allow for maximum air to be trapped hence increasing the velocity of the
vehicle as seen in figure 4. The pulley system was positioned on the driving wheels of
the vehicle to increase the torque.

Table 7: Pinwheel placed at the front of WPV
Mass (g) Time 1 (s) Time 2 (s) Time 3 (s) Time 4 (s) Mean
time (s)
Mass/Time
(g/s)
11000 15.8 14.7 16.7 15.2 15.6 705
12000 17.5 16.4 17.9 18.1 17.475 687
13000 19.1 15.1 16.5 17.3 17 765
13500 17.6 18.9 19.2 17 18.175 743
15000 24.3 22.5 23.6 25.2 23.9 628

The results from table 7 clearly demonstrate that placing the pinwheel at the font of
the WPV is our best option. We were able to achieve our best mass-time ratio of
861g/s, however we were unable to replicate the result. We were able to consistently
achieve a mass-time ratio between 700-800g/s when there was a payload of 13kg on
the vehicle, showing that having the pinwheel at the front of the WPV is our best
design option.













Figure 4: Pinwheel placed at the front of WPV






5.2 Modification, redesign and rebuild

In order to determine which of our seven designs would be the most effective in
transporting a payload over two meters and achieve a mass-time ratio of 800g/s or
greater, we decided to create a graph of mass-time ratio versus payload, based on all
the seven results from our testing. The graph would then allow us to compare which
prototype had the highest mass-time ratio and had the most consistent results.


















Figure 5: Graph of mass/time vs mass, comparing all 7 designs

After analysing the graph in figure 5 we were able to see that the pinwheel design
placed at the front of the WPV was evidently our best WPV design. Through the use
of a lighter material our initial the start up time for the blades to start turning quickly
was quite short, making it rather productive. The fact the pinwheel was at the front
and had a large surface area allowed it to trap more air, allowing the WPV to move a
lot faster.

Based on this information we modified our vehicle by eliminating the PVC blades all
together, instead preferring to use the pinwheel. We also decided to implement a
single pinwheel system rather than combing PVC blades with the pinwheel or using
two pinwheels. We rebuilt our vehicle by adding a pulley on the driving wheel in
order to provide greater torque and allow the vehicle to move a lot faster.

After redesigning then modifying and rebuilding our WPV we were left with our end
design that utilised a pinwheel at the front of the WPV and a single pulley system on
the driving wheels as seen in figure 4.



6. Conclusion

In the final design of our WPV we decided to implement a pinwheel at the front of the
vehicle, four wheels and a single pulley system that used a string as it didnt require
any lubrication and provide a high mechanical efficiency. The overall weight of the
vehicle was 1.8kg with the lightness helping the WPV to move faster. The initial start
up time for the blades was rather quick, making it productive. The fact the pinwheel
was at the front and had a large surface area allowed it to trap more air, allowing the
WPV to move a lot faster. The pinwheel was made from cardboard with aluminium
strips placed along the edges to add more mass to help the initial turn of the pinwheel
as well as reinforce the structure of the pinwheel.

In the offical run of our vehicle our best mass-time ratio was 679g/s which was a
disapoinemnt compared to our test runs.

Table 8: Official Run using final design

After analysing these results and comparing them to our trail runs, we were able to
determine that the results we received were similar to what we had expected with
670g/s close to our averages of 700g/s.

In summation, our final design for our WPV was effective in achieving a mass-time
ratio of approximately 700g/s. Despite this we were unable to achieve the ideal mass-
time ratio of 800g/s making our WPV relatively ineffective in meeting the criteria,
however it was still able to achieve a mass-time ratio greater than 2g/s and travel 2m
comfortably. The mechatronics component of our WPV worked accurately and
effectively, as the binary counter was able to calculate the distance travelled correctly.




Mass (g) Time (s) Mass/Time (g/s)
13200 19.44 679
11600 19.05 609