Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wind Turbine Project: Part 15

We had a fire at the wind turbine!  I was running some tests at the base of the tower; all the electricity made by the turbine was dumped into some large resistors, so it was essentially an electric heater.  I had them sitting on a board, and apparently, they got so hot that they caught the 2x4 on fire.  The fire was big enough to melt the insulation off my wires and even unsolder some of the connections!

These are the charred wires.

The 2x4 that burned. 

More melty wires.

I took all the burned up parts back to the lab.  Jono came with me and helped me cut off the old wires and unsolder the connections. He liked using the soldering iron.  Then I taught him how to measure the electrical resistance of the components and he felt very important. Remarkably, all of the resistors still work fine, despite being immersed in flames!  So Jono and I rebuilt the resistor bank and got some new insulated wires to reconnect it to the wind turbine.

 Jono measures the resistance.

Our rebuilt (if slightly charred) resistor bank.

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