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 Post subject: Wind generators!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:10 am
Posts: 96
Location: Golden Valley
I have a small collection of stepper motors that I want to use as wind generators. They're low voltage and low amps but I think if I spin them fast enough they'll make useful electricity. As a test I made a small vertical axis wind turbine out of some old coffee cans but it appears that the wind really needs to be blowing somewhere around 7-8mph in order for it to start up on its own. I'll need to build a tachometer to measure volts/rpm, but for now I have a cheap and ugly test unit. I'm considering just plugging in some LEDs and putting it out in the garden.

Also, I just recieved a new treadmill motor, specs are: 260 VDC, 5100 RPM, 5A. I was able to spin it with my fingers and get 12v, so this should be perfect for about 300 rpm horizontal axis wind turbine and about 15v for battery charging. My first attempt at blades will be some simple PVC pipe cut into the proper shape. I'll also need to look into voltage regulator circuits and whatnot, which should be only slightly different than the charging circuit I made for the portable tunes box, because it'll need to handle a significantly higher current.

I have no idea what I need a wind generator for but I've always wanted one.

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 Post subject: Re: Wind generators!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:11 am 
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Once you have a better idea of volts & amps, then look at using a buck/switching regulator for higher efficiency and current. There are some 30V in 100+W 12A 95% adjustable regulators available on eBay for around $10 if those fit the bill.

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 Post subject: Re: Wind generators!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:10 am
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Location: Golden Valley
I'm going to start off really basic and build up from there. Here's the progression I'm planning;

1 - Use stepper motor to light up LEDs directly. Just throw in a resistor for each one. They should act as their own rectifier... I think.

2 - Make a small portable battery charger. I still need to figure out my volts/rpm on the stepper. Hopefully, I'll get +5v, but I'd be happy with 1.5v in light wind.

3 - Make a small vertical POV (persistence of vision) using an arduino, 16 LEDs, hall sensor, and the stepper motor. This assumes I can get enough voltage and current to power the arduino and the LEDs.

4 - Make a horizontal POV in the same manner as above. This should spin fast enough to create the needed power if the other one fails.

5 - Make a large, more permanent generator in my front yard to annoy my neighbors and charge some batteries, like the ones I'll use in my self-balancing unicycle. I still have lots of calculations to do to figure this one out, but it shouldn't be that complicated.

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Too many irons, not enough fire.


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