Please Help. Wind Power Lifter

Does anyone have any good suggestions or design ideas. I have an idea in mind but outside input and help would be much appreciated. The site that has the project details is [Broken].
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Gold Member
Welcome to PF, drbones.
No nuclear energy allowed?! What kind of backwater school do you attend, anyhow?
My first thought in this matter would be to use a couple of guide rods angled maybe 60 degrees from vertical away from the fan. Fit a basic kite design to the rods as your lifter, using some short tubing to attach it. When the air hits it, it will slide up the rods and take the load with it. If necessary for the load to clear the platform opening, the rules don't seem to prohibit building a ramp leading up to it.
Post a quote of the rules please :) cant view that file at my location
Hmm, Small block and tackle wound in on an air powered winch, think air wheel rather like a water wheel. Direct flow of fan with ducting. Platform kept light as possible, maybe a cookie sheet? Guide rods at corners.

Or perhaps a Savonius wind turbine running a small compressor that supplies a pneumatic lift.

I know, a bit Rube Goldbergish.
Post a quote of the rules please :) cant view that file at my location
Here are the rules:

(Revised 9/14/06)

OBJECTIVE: To lift a 300-gram load through a vertical distance of approximately one meter in the minimum amount of time.


a. The wind power lifter must be constructed entirely by the entrants from household materials and/or materials available from hardware stores and/or from art/hobby supply stores.

b. The lifting line or mechanism must be able to accommodate the load with a loop or hook.

c. The load will be two masses attached together. The first will be a 200-gram mass with dimensions approximately of 4.2 cm in length and of 2.7 cm in diameter attached to a second mass with dimensions approximately of 3.4 cm in length and 2.0 cm in diameter. The total length of the two masses attached will be approximately 13.6 cm. The larger mass will have a top hook to be attached to the lifting device of the wind power lifter.

d. The load will be lifted from the floor.

e. Power is limited to the wind supplied by a fan. No chemical, electrical, electromagnetic, magnetic, or nuclear energy will be permitted to run the wind power lifter.

f. The judge(s) will supply a non-commercial, three speed 18 inch circular oscillating pedestal fan (Home Depot SKU #418-033) or similar fan.

g. The most forward prominence of the wind power lifter will be placed a minimum of one foot from the fan.

h. The team may place the fan farther away, and/or change the speed of the fan, and/or the orientation of the fan during the operation of their wind power lifter.
Hey, drbones, I'm in this competition as well, this thread comes up high on google searches for wind power lifter.

So just be forewarned that other schools are looking at this thread, you don't have much of an advantage. [Broken] [Broken]
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I realize that other people can read this, but I do not care. My teacher makes everyone of her classes do all of the projects. This is for a competition amongst the students, I am sure that mine will not be the best and used for the Physics Olympics
I do this for a club...we have a competition among the 6 teams that have been made and 2 teams get to go..
I have 3 days left...and no idea how to do this..

Danger: are you saying put a tube in front of the fan so that the air blows against the kite, lifting the weight?

I used a small windmill kind of thing but it wasn't strong enough to lift the weight..


Gold Member
That wasn't what I was suggesting, but ducting the fan would be a really good idea. What I meant about the tubing was to attatch it to the kite and slip it over the guide rods to hold things in place, like the wheels on a roller-coaster.

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