Let Play Light the Way
Jonathan Longcroft
Collingwood School
Floor Location : M 088 E

My project is an innovation which transforms the kinetic energy expended by a child on a playground into electrical energy using the application of Faradays Law of Electromagnetic Induction. The electrical energy can then be stored and utilized to light up the playground and neighboring fields at night. rnrn I have designed and constructed a model playground which includes a slide, teeter-totter, swing and merry-go-round. The slide and the merry-go-round use a rotary dynamo generator, each attached to a gear system to create a mechanical advantage in electricity generation. The teeter-totter and the swing utilize a sliding dynamo electrical generator which sits on a platform and tilts with the movement of the apparatus.rnrn All of the components of the playground are connected by way of a parallel electrical circuit utilizing resistors to equalize the electrical generation and the power generated is then stored in nickel metal hydride batteries for later use to power 3 LED lights. A solar sensitive light switch is then utilized to light the playground up at night.rnrn The playground model proved to produce sufficient electricity to light the playground through the night. 1 hour of merry-go-round spinning produced enough energy to run 3 playground lights for 2 hours and 20 minutes. If all 4 pieces of equipment are used simultaneously for 1 hour, the result will be sufficient energy to power the 3 playground lights for almost 3 hours (taking into account that the slide, swing and teeter-totter do not move in perpetual motion and therefore generate electricity only for a portion of the time).rnrn The playground design will help fight childhood obesity by prolonging the period of time that the playground is usable. It will have the added benefit of lighting the playground during the night for security. Relying on the results produced by the model, not only could the playground produce enough energy to keep it lit at night, it could also produce enough energy to light up neighboring fields or gymnasiums which currently use electrical power from the supply grid, thereby conserving electricity. rnrn The innovation of a playground where Play Lights the Way proved to produce sufficient electricity to light the playground through the night, to provide a safe, lighted secured area on the playground and neighbouring areas and to do so in an economical and environmentally friendly manner.rn