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THE POWER OF FALLING WATER

Make a simple water turbine to produce ‘hydro’ power

Suitable For

Grade 8

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <2 Days

Supervision

Required

What’s it about?

Many of the world’s most powerful machines are driven by the power of water. In the days of our ancestors, falling water was used to drive water wheels to produce power for grinding grain. These days many natural forms of running water, like rivers, are used to drive very large water turbines to form powerful ‘hydroelectric power stations’. In the following science experiment we will build a simple water turbine to explain the principle of how hydroelectric power is generated:

Topics covered

Water turbine, Hydroelectric power, Momentum

What will I need?

  • PLASTIC BOTTLE
  • WINE CORK
  • KNITTING NEEDLE
  • NAIL
  • COAT HANGER WIRE
  • FOUNTAIN PEN NIBS

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

The above experiment works in the same way that a water wheel of the middle ages has worked. Hydro-electricity means extracting power from the flow of water. Water comes down in the form of a river or waterfall, and hit the wheel. The wheel is moved by the force or ‘momentum’ of the flow of water hitting the rotors, and the power is transformed into rotational kinetic energy on the shaft. This movement can be used to drive an electric generator.

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