Physics >> Water energy provided light


Water that is dammed behind a dam, contains potential energy.

As soon as you open the sluice gate in the dam, water will flow out: The potential energy is converted into kinetic energy.


To describe what happens in a hydroelectric power plant, one can say that the water’s potential energy is converted into kinetic energy when the water is led out of the dam.
From here the water is led through a turbine, whereby the water’s kinetic energy is converted back into kinetic energy in the turbine.
The turbine is connected to a generator. Therefore, the turbine’s kinetic energy is converted back to kinetic energy in the generator’s magnets. The generator’s magnets rotate past some large coils, due to which an electrical voltage (induced) is formed in the coils. Just like in a coal-fired
power plant (see: Build a steam turbine).
In the following, we therefore encourage you to investigate how, by using hydropower, you can induce electricity and thereby get a bulb to light up.

Use:
A wooden gear (homemade or from any toy)
an axle with a pulley, thick wire, a generator
(Eg, bicycle dynamo), a large rubber band, wires, a
light bulb (max. 6 volts), a file and running water.
The wooden gear can be created in many ways. You can find inspiration in the drawing below.
It is important that the wooden gear hangs in a stable position. This can be made of thick steel wire. The wooden gear’s axle can also be made of wire, but in order to transfer kinetic energy from the wooden gear to the dynamo, you must mount a pulley on the axle. A pulley is a wheel with a groove in which the rubber band can be mounted. Make a similar groove in the cap of the dynamo.
Make the same test setup as illustrated below.

Can the water mill get a bulb to light up?
What advantages can be obtained if the pulley is larger than the cap on the dynamo?