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DIY Science Projects

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity

In the Toules dam near the Great St. Bernard pass (Switzerland), an artificial island with 2,240 m2 of photovoltaic solar collectors has been built. In the canton of Glarus (Switzerland), the wall of the Muttsee dam has been covered with solar cells. These high-altitude solar power plants offer many advantages:

Photovoltaic production at high altitudes is about 50% higher than on the plains because :

  • there is less cloud cover and fog
  • the surrounding snow is present for longer and acts as a reflector
  • the lower temperatures improve the efficiency of the sensors
  • the atmospheric layer is thinner and absorbs less radiation
  • the water in the dam can have a cooling effect which improves the efficiency of the collectors.
  • Solar electricity is complementary to hydroelectric dams:

During the day, solar increases the total generation capacity.

  • At night, even if the solar does not produce electricity, the hydro does.
  • The addition of solar reduces seasonal variations in production
  • Excess solar generation can be used to pump water into the dam. This water can then be turbined according to the demand for electricity. This is what we propose to illustrate with this DIY project.
  • Solar energy is renewable and its use is not very polluting. Its development is necessary to achieve the objectives of Switzerland's energy policy, which aims to gradually move away from non-renewable and polluting energy sources.

2h 30min
~ 12 CHF

Cut a small piece from the aluminium tape.   Pass it through the axis of the motor.   Press the tape so it glues well to the ...Wrap 60cm of sealing tape around the motor. Turn 4 times first on the side of the motor shaft side and then progressively ...Using a soldering iron, lightly melt the edge of a column of 5 ironing beads to glue them together.   To make work easy, ...With hot glue, fix four plastic rectangles to the 'beads column'.Attach the turbine to the axis of the motor.   Attach the turbine to the axis of the motor with a tip of hot glue on the end of ...It shoul look like that :At 3 cm from one end of the electrical tube adaptator, drill a hole with a 5 mm bit. Remove any deposits left inside. Cut a straw 7cm below the folding part. Push it into the hole in the hole and glue it around with hot glue, making sure that ...Add 50 cm of sealing tape to the end of the tube (on the straw side).Attach two electric cables to the motor contacts using some connectors. Slightly squeeze the connectors over the ...Connect the other ends of the wires to the solar cell respecting the polarities ( + & - indicated on the cell and red dot on ...At the bottom of one of the small sides of the container drill a large hole with a 28mm disc cutterPush the tube into the hole in the tube.    Drill a hole in the cap of the Evian bottle with an M5 bit and place it firmly on ...Keeping  about 8 cm from the base of the bottle, cut 'mountains'. Drill an M5 hole and pass a piece of straw about 3 cm ...Cut 2cm of straw and fix with hot glue the 6 pieces of foam to form a small turbine.   Pass the turbine in the center of a wire ...The model should look like that.   Il est possible de colorer les 'montagnes' avec des stylos indélébiles.  
Final purposeProduce electricity
Substainable development
Languagefrançais english