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Mar 07, 2011, 08:26 PM
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Electrical expertise needed for building a small generator (school project?

We are trying to make a wind powered generator project that can be done by students. We had two of our more advanced students build one to light up an LED using a savonius wind mill. We have some sort of success but I know we can potentially do better. We got some magnet wire maybe like .062 thickness and made 4 coils and used 4 magnets. Ive looked for resources and have found a lot of people trying to sell kits. Has any one seen any how to's on a very basic level? Any tips or ideas? I am going to try gear reduction but that is not something the students can really set up on their own. The goal is to build a simple windmill using easy hand tools with hot glue at the lowest cost. An LED shines bright at about 1.8V. Right now ours is working with a rectifier made from diodes and a small transformer. Any advice is appreceated but we are looking for ideas on the best magnets, wire size, number of coils etc.

Mar 08, 2011, 08:39 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
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The easiest is probably to use an existing DC brushed (permanent magnet), motor. Then experiment on propeller size and different pitch angles to see what output can be achieved.

The two wire brushed motor can be from almost anything, toys etc.

The more powerful home-built wind generators use alternators, that would make it more complicated.

As a brushed motor output is not constant or regulated, you could always add a voltage regulator to control the output so that a LED wouldn't be overloaded. Or use a filament bulb instead. The filament will brighten with speed, until.........Hey!, who switched the light off...

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