Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review of Thames & Kosmos Wind Power 2.0 - Build A WindTurbine Kit

I got a Thames & Kosmos Wind Power 2.0 Kit as part of a rebate for Procter & Gamble's Future Friendly marketing effort.  I was all ready going to buy the products that qualified for the wind turbine kit, and the wind turbine kit was a freebie, so why not?  It retails for about $39.99 so it's kind of a nice opportunity to make a wind turbine for a low cost. I had always wanted to see the workings of a wind power turbine, because I am green-geeky like that!  Plus, this DIY wind power turbine kit has the benefit of being able to, in theory, charge a rechargeable battery using wind power...and that's kind of cool.  So, we went for it and are going to show you, through our experience, how to make a wind turbine.

The wind power turbine kit arrived a couple of weeks ago and has been sitting on my dining table until my husband and I had a chance to sit down and read the assembly instructions.  The wind turbine we wanted to build had long blades and used about 99 pieces, which sounded like a lot to us (until we started assembling it).  I have to say the directions were very well written, probably because this is intended to be a child's project, good for ages 8+.  (We figured we qualified because we're very young at heart! lol)

So, we got out all the pieces.  Since there were 99, we were pretty methodical about it.  A child might not be quite as methodical, so I can advise adult supervision at least initially.

We put the gear box together first -

The assembly wasn't too difficult until we got to the gears.  We put them in the way the illustration showed, but there was some issue later on with having to pull them out when it was mostly assembled and put them back in again.  We also had to read up on the 1:3, 1:1 and 3:1 gear ratios and test them until we figured out which one gave us the most spin to our blades.  (There's not a whole lot of wind in Florida, so we went with 'whatever allowed the blades to turn the easiest').

Then, we attached the LED light and the battery/power storage box , and built the base -

 It was at this point we had to adjust the gears, and to be honest neither of us is mechanically inclined in a way that makes us understand gear boxes.  Electrical?  Sure. I can even repair a VCR, but I am not familiar with gear boxes at all.  Still, we managed okay.   After all, the bloody thing works!

Last, we attached the blades and gave it a test run -

All in all, this was simpler than we thought it would be when looking at the instructions.  There are two little battery carriers that can be attached - the blue one is to run the turbine off a battery and the green one can be used to recharge a rechargeable battery if you have sufficient wind available to do so.

I would definitely recommend this kit - I think kids who are inclined to science would enjoy it and anyway its just fun sometimes to assemble things with Legos and that was what this was like.  Apparently, you can also build a car that can be given juice from the wind turbine to propel it forward, though we haven't tried that, yet. I would rate this kit a 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

Paul said...

It did look intimidating with the big instruction book and all the parts, but in the end it was great fun to put together and I would recommend it for adults and (older) children.

Paul (Xysea's husband)