I stumbled accross what appears to be a 3-blade microlite aircraft
propellor, and have ideas of using this in the construction of a small wind
turbine for charging a 12v battery. I'm looking for a suitable motor to use
as the generator/dynamo. From what I've gleaned, I gather a 240v DC motor
would be most suitable.
I have a Clarke submersible water pump (model CSE1A) which I could butcher,
but is the motor AC or DC? Nothing in the specs tells me. Here is a manual:
I suspect it may be an AC motor, since it is only required to run at a
If so, which common domstic appliances do contain 240v DC motors?
Thanks for the suggestion. That looks like an interesting option. However,
due to limited available time, I was hoping to avoid stator-building and
coil-winding. My hope was that I could visit a scrapyard or recycling
center and come away with a ready-made generator of some kind, salvaged
from a kitchen appliance, vehicle, or whatever.
I'm not looking to win any awards for the most efficient home-made wind
turbine; I just want to lash together something that will keep a 6v or 12v
battery charged up.
If I'm still enthralled by this field of pursuit after that, I might embark
on a bigger & better Mark II, perhaps with self-built rotor & stator,
special magnets and so-on.
To achieve generation from low speeds you need lots of poles per
turbine rotation. Your choice really is to either build a multi-pole
generator, or to take an existing generator and run it at high speed,
which would require you to build a gearbox. Given the ease of building
permanent magnet generators these days, they're the favoured choice
for a reliable small-mid wind generator that doesn't involve repeated
You can use a car alternator instead. This has good wide speed range
performance, although not quite so good at low speed as permanent
magnet. There are several reasons why car alternators are a better
choice than re-worked electric motors, particularly owing to their
rotor design. They're also cheap, widespread and the spares position
is good. Although it's possible to run them higher than 12V, this
requires you to understand how to rework their regulators and even
then they won't go up to a usefully high voltage (24V is probaby
If I had the time to go for another complicated turbine, I'd be
looking at vertical axis and something like a QR5.
On Sun, 10 Oct 2010 17:21:02 -0700, Andy Dingley wrote:
Or pretty much any hub from a vehicle with disc brakes, really. There's
also some guy making blades using cut-down bits of (4", IIRC) PVC pipe
and he claims that they're effective - I'd be interested in comments from
anyone who's tried that.
re. wire, you could try companies who make use of the stuff. There's a
company in town here who throw out a surprising amount (particularly when
they cock up an order), but they won't deal with private individuals -
but other companies might be better.
The right MacPherson strut gives you a swivel too.
The Volov people also have a pretty good website that's worth a look.
There's someone who needs to look at the difference between an impulse
and a reaction turbine.
Wind turbines are dead easy. Wind turbines on poles are much harder.
Making a practical power source is as much about getting a design that
works usefully on an affordable pole, rather than some poorly
efficient solid disk or Savonius rotor, then trying to find a pole
that can reliably support it and its varying side loads.
On Mon, 11 Oct 2010 07:52:06 -0700, Andy Dingley wrote:
For sure - but I doubt that Volvo's the only way to go; I'd suggest to
anyone embarking on such a project to scope out their local yards (if
such a thing's allowed any more - I know my local one don't allow people
to just wander in to see what they have) as there are probably all sorts
of things that might be suitable.
(I wonder how suitable a second bearing assembly, mounted vertically,
would be for providing the swivel functionality, given that they're
designed to operate with the weight of a car on them? It'd be relatively
easy to pull both bearing assemblies from a junk car, anyway)
Have a URL handy? If not, I'll take a look around... sounds interesting.
It certainly seemed a bit 'odd' given the kind of shape I'd expect for a
[wind] turbine blade.
Thankfully I have a barn here that's about 40' to the roof-line, so I'd
"just" mount any turbine that I tried to build up there, I think; it
wouldn't need much of a pole beyond what was necessary for the blades to
clear the ridge. For others though, yes I can appreciate that the
supporting structure is a major part of the problem.
Tapered rollers at each end of a tube would be find, both for lateral
and vertical loads.
Slip rings to get power out are perhaps a worse problem.
One way might be to use a bevel gear to take a vertical shaft down to a
statically mounted motor..step up would also net a decent RPM for the
As you are US based, you might care to gawp at this site
I have used them from the UK but what I thought I would pay doubled by
the time they had used the most expensive courier possible, and involved
me in a shitload of customs forms and extra charges.
On Mon, 11 Oct 2010 17:30:53 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
Hmm, I suppose on modern vehicles there must be some form of hole through
the bearing assembly for things like tyre pressure sensors? I wonder if
light-weight trailer bearing assemblies might not have a hollow path
through them, too.
Yeah, that had crossed my mind, too. Simplifies the power transmission,
but I don't like the extra frictional loss involved (unless, like you
say, there's a need to change drive ratios anyway)
Interesting - thanks. Bookmarked for future reference.
I'm lucky in that my local farm supply place is a treasure-trove of
bearings, linkages, pulleys etc. as spare parts, so I can just wander in
and take my time looking at this stuff on the shelves.
On Mon, 11 Oct 2010 20:08:37 +0100, Andy Burns wrote:
Hopefully someone will be along to say! I did always wonder. Hadn't
though of doing it via speed sensors, but I suppose that would be quite
sensible, assuming it was averaged over a period, and/or readings only
taken when the vehicle was travelling in a straight line etc.
Our van actually throws up a warning even though the tyres are OK, so
knowing how the system typically works might motivate me to go and
For charging a 12V battery, I'd have thought a car alternator *along
with the rectifier diodes and voltage regulation circuitry*, would be
the most suitable.
However, there's still a lot of work in *safely* mounting the blades
(i.e. well above the height anyone could reach into the blades) and
alternator at the top of a pole, and suitable arrangements to keep it
turned into the wind - and making it safe in storm conditions.
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