Dynamic Dam

Get your gears grinding and try to figure out how to make your dam generate the most electricity


Competition Date: March 2, 2018

Technical Paper Due: February 16, 2018

Time: On Sched

Location: On Sched

Rules: Dynamic Dam Rules
Technical Paper Rubric: Technical Paper Rubric

Technical Paper Submission Procedures:

  • Electronic submission is now closed

Dam Submission Procedures:

  • Bring Dam at your assigned competition time

Dam Set Up Photo Video of Wheel


Updated 1/31/18

  1. 11/26/2017
    The rules state “The nozzle may be placed anywhere on the dam, but the nozzle must measure a minimum of 2″ above above the bottom of the container”. Is this 2″ measurement measured to the bottom of the nozzle, or is it measured to the center of the nozzle?

    The measurement will be taken from the bottom of the nozzle.
  2. 1/2/18
    What are the dimensions of the impulse wheel, which will be provided by the University of Florida, including diameter, length of buckets, and width of wheel?  If the University of Florida intends to use a specific industry model impulse wheel, can the model name be provided for absolute clarity about the geometry of the impulse wheel?
    The 4″ propellers that will be used for the competition can be found in this link below: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B25OGTW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  3. 1/2/18
    Which are the dimensions and rotating arm of the impulse wheel that will be provided by UF in the competition? Also, what material will the wheel be composed of?
    The 4″ propellers that will be used for the competition can be found in this link below: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B25OGTW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  4. 1/17/2018
    The rules state “The nozzle must be placed into the dam and sealed only with caulk.” Do we seal the nozzle into the dam ourselves prior to conference, or is to be done during the competition? The next line states that “The nozzle must come “as is” to the competition” but I am not sure whether that refers to the nozzle itself or to the nozzle/dam combination.
    You must seal the nozzle with caulk prior to arriving to the competition. The “as is” means that you are not allowed to alter your dam and nozzle in any way once you arrive to the competition. You will hand in the dam/nozzle combination and it will be taped into the system there will be no modifications or physical additions allowed on the day of the competition.
    There are no paint restrictions to the dam and there are no restrictions on the mediums that are used to decorate the dam.
  5. 1/17/18
    Are the dimension of the wooden popsicle sticks 3⁄8” x4” or 3/8”x4.5”?
    Popsicle sticks are the 3/8″x4.5″
  6. 1/17/18
    How will the multimeters be connected to the impulse wheel? Will this wheel have a  motor? Is so, what is the approximate weight of the motor?
    The 4″ propellers that will be used for the competition can be found in this link below: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B25OGTW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  7. 1/17/18
    At the time of the competition, will we get a trial run before starting to make sure our water flow will impact the wheel?
    They will get 10 minutes to makes sure their set up works
  8. 1/18/18
    Will the teams be placing the impulse wheel inside the container (in the water), or outside the container in front of the exit of the nozzle?
    The wheel will be placed outside the dam and the nozzle will be shooting the water onto the propellor that will be powering a generator.
  9. 1/18/18
    Can the dam length be exactly 6 inches?  The opening is 6 inches, so does the dam need to overlap the outside edges of the container, or can it be fitted edge to edge?
    I would avoid making it extremely close to 6 inches, you want your dam to fit in between 6” and 8” so that it overlaps. There will be tape applied to the edges but it would be the safest bet to make the dam in between the ranges stated above. Make sure not to make it any size larger than 8”.
  10. 1/23/18
    What is the orientation of the impulse wheel will be in relation to the dam? Will it be spinning vertically or horizontally.

    Please see photo
  11. 1/23/18
    Will the column of water be hitting the impulse wheel along the flat face or the narrow face. Could you please give me the most specific description of how the impulse wheel will be placed in relation to the dam
    There will be one 4″ propeller that is attached to a small generator. The generator has been wired through the adjustable PVC arm and is able to be moved where ever your team need it to be placed. You have 10 minutes to set your dam and propeller up. The wires are hooked up to two multi-meters, one that will read current and one that will read voltage, the times will be recorded and inputted into a table that will calculate your team’s average power.
    Check out the generator here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YBFQPUY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Check out the propeller here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B25OGTW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Check our a video of the propeller in action as well as two pictures of the set up. The white PVC pip arm will be moved by you and your team on the day of the competition and taped down securely.
  12. 1/28/18
    Is it the nozzle that needs to be sealed with caulk on the dam, or do the openings need to be sealed also, before arriving to the competition?
    The nozzle needs to be placed on the dam and sealed with caulk around the edges or with as much caulk with keep water from pouring out of the sides of the nozzle. You do not have to seal the opening of the nozzle.
  13. 1/28/18
    Does the opening of the nozzle need to be sealed with caulk too, before arriving to the competition? and if so, do we sealed the opening of nozzle that would be on the inside of the container or do we sealed the opening of the nozzle where the water would come out container and impact and the impulse wheel?
    You do not seal the opening of the nozzle you just need to caulk around the nozzle to make sure water is not leaking around where you placed the nozzle on the dam.
  14. 1/28/18
    The rules also state that the impulse wheel will be able to be adjusted to the height and distance of each teams nozzle, does that mean the impulse wheel will be in some sort of stand?
    The impulse wheel is a movable arm so it can be adjusted however your team needs, if it needs to be raised we will have a stand for the arm to rest on. I have enclosed a picture of the set up and if you check out our website we have more pictures and a video of the impulse wheel.
  15. 1/28/18
    Finally, do we bring our dam to the competition on the day of the competition or do we need to deliver it to an ASCE coordinator, before the day the competition?
    You will bring your dam to the competition on the day of the competition. You will not be delivering it early.
  16. 1/28/18
    ay the nozzle be placed at a 45 degree diagonal angle?
    Yes the nozzle may be placed at a 45 degree angle.
  17. 1/29/18
    I was wondering how near, can we place the impulse wheel from the nozzle, horizontally and vertically? And can it be adjusted after the experiment has begin? 

    Also, how long can the nozzle be?
    Your team will have ten minutes to set up the impulse wheel to make sure it works properly and actually powers the wheel. You may adjust the wheel to whatever angle you need and you may place it as close as you need to the nozzle. The nozzle may be whatever length you would like.
  18. 1/29/18
    In the photo of the box apparatus on the website, the width of the box is labeled 7” in permanent marker. The diagram and the rules indicate that the box is 8” wide. Can you post as-built dimensions for the box?

    I’m surprised you caught the 7″ I appreciate the attention to detail! The dam I used for the picture was one of the practice dams that I constructed while designing the competition – that was an accident on my part. The dam that is built for the actual competition matches the drawing that is in the rules. The dimensions that are provided in the rules are the inside dimensions of the dam – so the 7″ you see in the picture is actually 8″ for the competition dam that will be used.
  19. 1/30/18
    Is something along these lines permitted (sketch attached)?

    You are allowed to do that! I love the ingenuity!  
  20. 1/31/18
    Are we allowed to hit the propeller from the side (sketch attached)?
    That is fine too! I can say that the propeller is pretty finicky and needs a lot of adjustment when you’re setting it up but once the water hits it right it will get going! The propeller works pretty well at an angle.