Wind Turbine Design Challenge

Each month, the Museum partners with a corporate sponsor in our Innovators LAB. This corporate residency gives our visitors the chance to experience a one-of-a-kind hands-on workshop with our sponsors. For the month of November, we are partnering with Solar Turbines, an energy solutions company that converts the energy stored in fuel.

Stop by our Innovators LAB this weekend to participate in the Wind Turbine Design Challenge! During this workshop, engineers from Solar Turbines help visitors create a wind turbine made from a variety of materials, then test the wind turbine to see how much energy it produces. This workshop is available on Saturday and Sunday this month at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm. Visit our website to stay up-to-date with all of our studio workshops.

What is a turbine?

What is turbine? A gas turbine is a combustion engine that can convert natural gas to mechanical energy. This energy then drives a generator that creates electrical energy. A gas turbine can also drive a pump or a compressor. As hot combustion gas expands through the turbine, it spins the rotating blades.

The rotating blades perform a dual function:

  1. Drive the compressor to draw more pressurized air into the combustion section
  2. Spin the generate or to produce electricity

What is a wind turbine? A wind turbine uses the energy in wind to convert mechanical rotation into electricity. The design of the turbine blades, including material, shape, size, and orientation, influences the efficiency of the wind turbine.

These wind turbines created in the lab produce about as much power as an AA battery or approximately 2 Watts. Your house consumes about 1,000 Watts. A Solar Turbines Titan™ 250 produces 21,745,000 Watts!

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