This little project is one which I made when I was in grade 7 in High School, and I won a prize on this. May be the judge liked the concept behind it. One my friend asked me how to “Convert Mechanical Energy into Electrical Energy”. First thing which came into my mind was Wind Turbines and water Turbines. I started searching how does a wind turbine works and found this amazing page on it which defines it very well.
Wind turbines operate on a simple principle. The energy in the wind turns two or three propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which spins a generator to create electricity.
Wind turbines are mounted on a tower to capture the most energy. At 100 feet (30 meters) or more above ground, they can take advantage of faster and less turbulent wind.
Wind turbines can be used to produce electricity for a single home or building, or they can be connected to an electricity grid (shown here) for more widespread electricity distribution.
It also has very nice animation, check it out
My Approach to a DC Generator:
In this project, we power first DC motor with a Voltage source, but in case of wind turbines and water turbines. We use natural source(free :p), the force of Wind and Water flowing in a river is used to move the propeller like blades which are connected to a DC motor with gears. And hence produce Electricity