On the Viability of a Wind Driven Thermal Churn

On the Viability of a Wind Driven Thermal Churn
Research Intern: Jill Clevenger
Class: Honors 2012
Mentors: Professor Visser, Dr. Bohl
Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering
A wind turbine powered thermal churn is being developed to create hot water directly from the wind
energy without using electricity. The concept employs a rotating paddle arrangement inside a cylindrical
container fitted with baffle plates along the wall. A bench top test bed was built to enable various paddle
and baffle sizes to be investigated. The small-scale model is illustrated in Figure 1 and was utilized for
preliminary testing. The change in temperature and the rotational speed were measured for each rotor and
baffle combination. Initial results did not confirm the data in the literature, but indicated that temperature
rise increased monotonically with paddle size. The next step is to find one torque that optimizes the
turbine and the thermal churn. The end goal of this design study is to determine a suitable configuration
that could be manufactured and put into residential homes for hot water heating.
Figure 1: Small-Scale Model used for Preliminary Testing
Mechanical Engineering Class of 2012
Honors Program
Mentor: Professor Visser