Anything that produces rotational movement can be used to turn a DC motor and generate power. Some people use wind power, but others use water power. Water power is more complicated because you have to have a way to keep parts from getting wet and rusting. Rust can damage or seize parts.
- You can use the fan blades and fan blade hub from a small, cheap house fan, and hook it up to a DC motor, and stand.
- Pringles wind tunnel. You can reverse this and use the DC fan to generate power. Very creative!
- This wind generator uses wind coming out of an air conditioner, so that energy doesn't go to waste.
- A small wind generator suitable for kids to make age 10-18. It uses PVC and a DC motor. You can use almost any DC motor. If you apply DC electricity (batteries) to a DC motor, the axle will spin. If you spin the axle, you get power out of the leads.
- This page contains several wind generators. The bigger ones get more expensive.
- Another wind generator (MotherEarth news) which uses 4 basic parts. It looks like 2 parts are an auto cooling fan and an alternator. With fewer parts, this one would be good for beginners.
- This simple generator from the UK will help illustrate how the basics work.
- Solar Generator in a toolbox for about $200.
- Info on wind generators including output, graphs, tables you might find handy. Also, avoiding scams,
- Vertical axis wind generator. If you don't like the vanes you can make them simpler somehow.
- Pringles can generator. Eat the chips while you build it.
- Dandelion wind generator. This is a bit more complicated for beginners, but you can adapt the parts to make it simpler.
That's it for now! Maybe I'll do a post on simple solar power setups with battery banks.
Where to find cheap or free DC motors (to generate power)
- CD players, including computer CD players
- Old VHS players.
- DC computer fans.
- Old computer tape drives.
- Clothes dryers.
- Car starter.
- A DC powered fan, like this one for $15usd.
- Old remote control toys, cars, boats, etc.
- Look for these items at Goodwill.
- Look at electronics surplus stores. Google "electronic surplus DC motor".
- Ask on Freecycle.org. There is a Freecycle site for most major US cities. Find your local Freecycle here.
- If you want to buy a small DC motor go to a hobby shop.