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Author Topic: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!  (Read 17868 times)

Offline Northern-Lights

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Hello all!

I'm new here, and this is my 1st post.

I am actually an electronics tech, but it has been many years since I have worked in my field, and I have forgotten ALOT since back in the day when I was even designing my own circuits, making my own PCB's, and "inventing" new things...LOL.

What I'm wanting to do is to create my own wind generator, nothing huge, just to generate some watts to charge the few Deep Cycle Marine cells that I have, which are currently connected to an el-cheapo Chinese solar regulator, and only two 15 watt solar cells to charge them.

I'm hoping that I can build a cheap and dirty wind generator to add a bit more charge to the system, and eventually, when I get more serious (and have more MONEY) I'll actually expand on the system, and make something worthwhiloe, that actually WILL save me a bit of money on the monthly power bill.

Until then, I just want to start off small, get a firm grip on what I'm doing, and build it up as I can.

I have a  fairly good idea how things work, but have forgotten many things, so I'm hoping someone here can set me on the right path and get me building something that is not too complex, and will just generate some power.

I actually have a very small permanent magnet motor, it's a Baldor 90VDC 1725RPM .04TE HP .25AMP permanent magnet brush motor, that when I simply connect an LED and a current limiting resistor to the power supply leads to the motor, and spin it with my fingers, the LED glows brightly, so I know it will generate a fair amount of current, and I'm hoping I can for not utilize this small motor for a generator, even though it is really small, just until I can afford to buy a proper motor to make some real current with.

I know the "proper" way to do things is to start off with the "right" things first, but in the way I'm going to attach the motor to a bearing and shaft driven prop, i can easily just replace the motor later with a better one.

what I want to know is "how" to connect it to the charge controller? Do I need to put a diode in line with the output of the motor? If so, where?

I notice that the LED only lights up if I turn the motor in one direction, indicating that the polarity will change depending on which way the shaft turns, so which way "should" it turn, clockwise, or counter-clockwise??

Do I need to worry about the motor spinning too fast and burning something out, or is that not a concern?

I've just never used a motor to generate electricity before, so I am wondering what the basic circuit is to connect it to the charge controller, and to ensure it not only is protected properly, but also to ensure that I don't either damage the motor or that charge controller, or whatever else I don't even know that I don't even know!

I'm sure that there is something written "somewhere" in this forum, I "did" look first before asking, so please forgive me if I'm asking the same redundant question that everyone keeps asking over and over!
Thanks!
Chris ;)

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy


Offline neptune

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 02:11:52 PM »
I assume that the motor terminals are marked poitive and negative . Connect it to a battery and note which way it turns . Arrange if possible for it to turn in that direction when wind driven . I f you want to charge a battery you need a diode in line , and also an amp meter .  In order to charge , the generator voltage needs to exceed the battery voltage . Connect the positive motor terminal via the diode to the battery positive . connect the motor negative to the battery negative .Break the circuit at any point and connect the amp meter accross the gap . Hope this helps .

Offline Northern-Lights

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 05:39:20 PM »
I assume that the motor terminals are marked poitive and negative . Connect it to a battery and note which way it turns . Arrange if possible for it to turn in that direction when wind driven . I f you want to charge a battery you need a diode in line , and also an amp meter .  In order to charge , the generator voltage needs to exceed the battery voltage . Connect the positive motor terminal via the diode to the battery positive . connect the motor negative to the battery negative .Break the circuit at any point and connect the amp meter accross the gap . Hope this helps .

Thanks for your reply.

Can you be a bit more "specific about what I need to do please?

The diode, what kind of diode should I use, what voltage and current rating? Also, I have a few multimeter laying around, if I connect one inline to monitor current, "why" am I doing that? What am I looking for?

Which lead should the diode be on, the positive, or negative, or both??
Is there a specific current I'm supposed to be watching for, meaning to ensure it does not fall below "X" number, or rise above a certain number also?

I thought I needed a charge controller to be between the batteries and the wind generator (which I have), do I still need a meter inline if I have the charge controller?

Thanks!
Chris ;)

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 05:39:20 PM »
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Offline neptune

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 06:56:45 PM »
The diode needs to be cabable of carrying the max charge current which is dependent on wind speed , state of battery and max output of generator .With home built system , you will need to experiment a bit . Fit the diode [ start with a 5 amp diode ] in the positive lead . To check that the diode is connected right way round , connect your generator to a lamp or led with diode in positive lead . If it is right way round , the lamp will light when generator is spun . In a low power system , a charge controller is not important  . I have no experience of these , but it may be that if you use a charge controller you don't need a diode . You would use an ampmeter or multimeter to monitor the charge current to see if it works , and how well . The purpose of a charge cotroller is to prevent overcharge of the batteries .I would guess that at this stage that will be the least of your problems . The purpose of the diode is so that if the wind stops , your batteries can not discharge by "motoring" the generator .

Offline Northern-Lights

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 07:21:21 PM »
Thanks Neptune for that info, it's all basic stuff, stuff that I SHOULD know myself, being involved with electronics for so long. The truth is, I'm disabled due to a brain injury, and my memory is severely effected, so it's very difficult for me to remember certain things. Oddly, I could calculate the wavelength of a helical wound antenna at any given frequency, but I can't seem to add 2+2...LOL

I get the diode things, about ensuring battery drain does not occur, but I was wondering if it needed to be on BOTH leads, or just one lead, and if there was a certain "standard" about which direction the turbine spun in. Obviously, which ever direction that it spins dictates the polarity of the voltage generated, and I would connect the proper leads accordingly based on that polarity, but what I also was wondering was what if the prop spun tremendously fast, and ALOT of current was generated?

Is there a chance that the motor would over heat or anything, or that "too much" current could be created for this system?

I like a charge controller, because it STOPS the amount of current from entering the batteris if the batteries are full, thus preventing over charging. I actually DO have those other two 15 watt solar panels currently connected to the batteries via that charge controller, and just wanted to add this wind power to that power input.

I'm really just wondering what measures need to be taken to ensure that this system is built properly, and won't be a fire hazard, and want to ensure nothing blows up, over heats, or otherwise destroys itself if the wind gets to be too much, as it is REALLY windy here in Nova Scotia Canada right now!

Also, eventually, I'll be pulling this tiny motor, and replacing it with a larger unit eventually, and wanted to have a system already set up to accommodate that when the time comes.

I didn't want to confuse things by asking too many questions at once, as my questions don't "all" seem to get answered that way, but additionally, I was wondering which is the better way to go, once I get serious about this later, should I wind my own generator type device using high powered magnets, or, should I purchase a permanent DC motor on ebay or something?

Which will yield the best power, a motor, or a home would generator with magnets? Which is the best route to go?

Chris ;)


Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 07:21:21 PM »
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Offline neptune

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 08:06:03 PM »
If you have the tools and skills , I would say a home made permanent magnet generator , home built, is the way to go . Brush motors are not designed to run 24-7 and brushes wear out . For any rotor larger than 2 feet diameter you are going to need a governor[ furling tail mechanism ] There are some excellent designs at Otherpower.com ., To connect your generator up use the heaviest wire you can find , remember cable losses =I2R . If you live in area of high average wind , you WILL need a charge controller . My experience is limited to small home built systems bback in the 1970s . but am happy to help if I can .

Offline mscoffman

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 08:36:44 PM »
While a basic DC electric motor might work to generate some current it
would need to be a DC motor that has a internal mechanical commutator  -
semiconductor controllers not designed for that function (and most aren't)
will not work.

Blades spin only one direction, DC generate in only one direction with unidirectional
shaft rotation so only one (high power Schottky) or Germanium diode is required.

There are number of different solutions for a wind generator. In general energy
will need to be buffered in a battery bank because average wind speed is low
and highly variable. In general I would stick to a design already proven for
wind energy application;

BTW really large windturbines have automatic transmissions.

a) vehicle like alternator - regulated by modulatable field strength regulator.
    - easy but not optimised. Speciality regulators are available for alt. energy apps.

b) vehicle alternator with rotor field replaced by permanent magnets -
     (only regulation then has to throw away excess energy as heat)
     Raw unloaded voltages can exceed 1KVDC from a twelve volt alternator!

c) a synchronous alternator from a low RPM multipole AC motor. AC grid
    interactive only. Power only switched on above certain rpm's - runs meter
    backwards.

d) a specially designed multipole DC wind generator. There are a couple
    of these designs available out there.

:S:MarkSCoffman

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 08:36:44 PM »
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Offline Northern-Lights

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 09:25:58 PM »
Thanks everyone for your help. Basically, what I'm getting out of this is to NOT use my DC motor for this application, and build something that is "proper" and recognized as a standard design.

but can't I just use this motor until it eventually burns out it's bearings or useful "mechanical" life, or the brushes wear out ect?

I really hate it when I have some components for something that "could" be put to use, and are better than nothing, but people all say that it's a waste of time and effort. Isn't SOME free electricity with ZERO money invested better than NO free electricity, or having to invest money you don't really have right now?
i say YES, it is.

Bit that's not to say that I WON'T invest later, but only when I can afford to.

I just want to make use of the things around the house, even if they aren't optimal, just because I already "own" them, and THEN I'm gonna get serious about building something!!

So, when I DO build a generator, which you've given me GREAT info about (thank you very much!), where is the CHEAPEST place to buy the magnets, and what would be considered a GOOD price for them?

Also, what "size" magnets do I need, what "N" number rating should I use, and which "N" number is the "lowest" I can get away with using, and also, how many coils of wire, turns of wire, and gauge of wire should I use?

Basically, I guess I'm looking for a cheap and easy design to build a magnet generator where you would mount the magnets on a spinning circle of wood or something, and have the coils mounted on a non-spinning platform.

I don't want to build anything too big or expensive, just something that will charge batteries and give at least as much, or maybe a bit more than the flimsy 30 watts of solar cells I currently have connected to the batteries!

thanks again I really appreciate your guidance!
Chris ;)

Offline neptune

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2011, 09:45:51 PM »
As I said earlier , you need to experiment a bit . By all means have a play with what you have . Remember batteries can bbe dangerous . Have a fuse in the generator circuit . Otherpower.com have several permanent magnet designs with recomended magnets . Shop around . Above all stay safe and have fun!

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2011, 09:45:51 PM »
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Offline brian334

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2011, 09:46:39 PM »
The equipment you need to make and store electricity will always cost more than buying electricity from the local utility.

Offline Northern-Lights

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 09:56:09 PM »
The equipment you need to make and store electricity will always cost more than buying electricity from the local utility.

Then what's the point to all this then if it costs more??

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 09:56:09 PM »
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Offline Northern-Lights

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 09:56:45 PM »
As I said earlier , you need to experiment a bit . By all means have a play with what you have . Remember batteries can bbe dangerous . Have a fuse in the generator circuit . Otherpower.com have several permanent magnet designs with recomended magnets . Shop around . Above all stay safe and have fun!

Thanks Neptune! I appreciate your help!!

Offline tbird

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 10:16:24 PM »
hi,

have a look at this website....

http://www.windstuffnow.com/main/

he even has a few kits for sale too.  mostly, for you, it's good reading.

tom

Offline Northern-Lights

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2011, 05:36:21 AM »
Does it matter what size the magnets are, what shape they are, either round or rectangular? What about the "N" rating, what is the minimum "N" rating that is suitable for making a generator?

And wire, how many turns in what gauge?

I've been looking at many plans online, but none of them really tell you this info, they just "show" wire being wrapped around a jig, but don't say exactly how many turns, or any of that stuff.

Thanks
Chris ;)

Offline Cherryman

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Re: NEWBIE Needs direction and assistance building a wind generator!
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2011, 12:30:25 PM »
Here is a video tutorial

Look for flux generators

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bseit46ezOo&feature=related

 

OneLink