Solar4Scholars: Make Your Own Turbine (#2)

Here's another idea for making your own turbine. It comes from the website for Energy Quest, from the state of California.. It tells you how to make a project that will demonstrate some of the basic principles of water and turbines.

What you will need:


  1. Using the nail, punch a hole in the bottom right corner of each side of the milk carton. Punch another hole exactly in the middle of the top section of the carton
  2. Push the string through the top hole of the carton and tie securely so the carton will hang from the string. Tape up each hole with masking tape.
  3. Go outside and hang the carton from a low tree branch or another place when the carton can hang freely and you won't mind if the ground gets wet underneath. Fill the carton with water.
  4. Pull off the tape on one corner. Watch what happens. Pull off the tape on two corners opposite each other. Watch what happens. Pull off the tape on all corners and watch what happens.

What you will learn

Newton's Third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When water pours out of the small hole, this force pushes the carton the opposite way, making it turn. The more holes there are the faster the carton turns. Some turbines are similar, using water or steam forced at a high speed through small holes, to turn a turbine. The turbine, connected by a shaft to an electrical generator, makes electricity as it turns.

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