Eigg Primary School pupils have been busy creating a wave powered generator designed to produce safe and renewable electricity. It’s called Wave Wonder. And a wonder it is; Eigg Primary have reached the final of the Junior Saltire Prize, organised through the SCDI.
With the Wave Wonder, electricity is generated when a magnet slides through copper wires wrapped around an inner tube containing a magnet. The complete generator is sealed in a strong protective outer tube. In between the two tubes there is a bulb to show electricity has been made; two red LEDs light up when electricity is being generated.
Movement of the waves will move the magnet. As the weight of the magnet can cause Wave Wonder to sink, the design includes the construction of a raft to maintain buoyancy. The raft will be attached to either the sides of the test tank or to permanent fixtures on the seabed.
The pupils used a fish tank filled with water to which different shapes, sizes and types of materials worked best when waves passed through. After testing lots of different shapes, they decided to use a snake design, but they also looked at the design of a shake-torch (Faraday torch) to help understand the concept of the electromagnetic induction. They spent £56.09 on materials to build their test wave generator.
The advantages of Wave Wonder are:
- It does not make carbon dioxide.
- It will not run out of waves
- There is lots of sea around Britain.
- Northern Scotland is windy
- Wave Wonder has rubber stoppers so will not be noisy.
- There is no metal in the design which can rust.
- It produces no waste.
- No harm to wildlife.
- Its simple design means it is low maintenance and all its electronics are self contained.
- It is cheap to make and it does not ruin a view.
Wave Wonder was designed by Struan, Erin, Murry, Heather, Hannah, Mia and Logan. Struan, Erin, Murry and Heather developed those design ideas through to the plans for final submission to the competition. Together they all did a lot of discussing and had meetings at the end of each session to see what everyone had done in the lesson. They also worked in partners and trios and always included everyone when making important decisions.