Jiwon Chae was an 8th grader at Rancho San Joaquin Middle School in the 2015-2016 school year. He placed third in the Junior Division in the category of Energy Conversion, and his project title is “The Effect of Varying Pitch on Voltage Generated by Vertical Axis Wind Turbines.” In this project, Jiwon investigated the different pitches of blades that generated the most voltage with three wind speeds. Considering the global energy issue at hand, a method to produce efficient alternative energy could be a valuable tool to people everywhere.
The purpose of Jiwon’s project was to determine the pitch of the blade that generated the most voltage within three different wind speeds. He hypothesized that because of smoother air flow created by the design, the Savonius (drag) type blade pitched at thirty degrees would produce the greatest amount of voltage. The wind turbine generated power via a magneto, a generator that utilizes the fact that a magnetic field can interact with an electric circuit in order to create voltage. Three separate blade frames pitched at different angles served as the independent variables of his experiment. After three trials of testing at three different wind speeds, it was proven that his hypothesis was correct; the frame pitched at thirty degrees did consistently provide greater amounts of voltage.
Jiwon learned many things throughout his project, and has much advice to give to student researchers. “Do not be afraid to put forward and project” and “start early in order to avoid the race against time” that he had faced during the latter half of his project. If you ever get stuck, “do not hesitate to get help from teachers and even scientists.” “When seeking help from those who are more knowledgeable than you, be sure to put in the research that help your mentors make sense of your work.”
Outside of science fair, Jiwon enjoys reading books, particularly science fiction and alternative history. he plays the alto saxophone, and takes pleasure in hiking at various National Parks that he visits. He also loves assembling and painting plastic scale model kits because or the sense of history it provides.