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Diy generator

Discussion in 'Electronics Homework Help' started by Sparky_zap, Jan 11, 2021.

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  1. Sparky_zap

    Sparky_zap

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    Jan 10, 2021
    Hi all, I'm in a group project and have been tasjed with making a DIY generator from appliances, because it's a school competition we want to think outside the box. Most people will use washing machines/hoover motors with a shaft turned by peddles to generate power.. Does anyone have any better suggestions?
     
  2. Audioguru

    Audioguru

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    Sep 24, 2016
    Usually electricity is produced by windmills and waterwheels driving the generator. Can you use Nuclear in school?
    Many homes today have solarpanels on the roof making electricity.
     
  3. Sparky_zap

    Sparky_zap

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    Jan 10, 2021
    No we don't have nuclear, and we're looking into wind. However constructing it withing the school is possibly going to be a problem.
     
  4. bertus

    bertus Moderator

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    Nov 8, 2019
    Sparky_zap likes this.
  5. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    When you're looking for inexpensive ways to generate electricity, using a motor in reverse operation is the more or less obvious idea. Therefore it's no wonder "everyone" will come up with very similar ideas.
    Separate your quest into two pars:
    1. Where will you get a motor/generator from? There are heaps of other sources than the ones you mentioned. A washing machine motor may be a bit on the heavy side. You'll find smaller motors in other appliances.
    2. How will you power the generator? Apart from cranking manually or via pedaling, which other sources of mechanical energy can you imagine? Come on, there are so many more...
     
  6. Sparky_zap

    Sparky_zap

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    Jan 10, 2021
  7. Audioguru

    Audioguru

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    Sep 24, 2016
    Windmills need something to prevent them from spinning too fast in a strong wind and hardly any load. To prevent the "shovel blades" from flying apart and injuring nearby people.
     
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  8. WHONOES

    WHONOES

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    May 20, 2017
    If you go down the windmill route, you could have a bean eating contest before hand as a possible source of free energy!!
     
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  9. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    Pedal generators are nothing new, Alfred Treager invented one for the flying doctor back in the late 1920's.

    Everything else related to generators ( on this planet at least) have pretty much been done so out of the box thinking may not be much help.
    Traeger.jpg
     
  10. Nanren888

    Nanren888

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    Nov 8, 2015
    Competition?
    Judge how?
    Most innovative? Most efficient? Most powerful? Least dangerous? Smallest?
    Help us by defining "better"?
    .
    Strictly "generators"?
    Chemical? 100 potatoes?
    Energy harvesters?
    .
    have to say it, old washing machine motors were collected here too as they made good wind generators.
     
  11. Sparky_zap

    Sparky_zap

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    Jan 10, 2021
    Yes its strictly generators, as for the parameters of judging I can only assume innovation, efficiency and safety
    As for defining better.. Anything that isn't standard or likely to be dome by another group.. Were trying to standout
     
  12. Sparky_zap

    Sparky_zap

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    Jan 10, 2021
    Having an outside the box idea is not going to be easy, we're just looking for something different and easily achieved, something to set us apart from the other groups
     
  13. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    Oct 5, 2014
    I'd say come up with an idea here yourself and others may help decide if feasible or not.
    Other than that, it has to be your work/idea if you want credit for it.

    hehehe....love it.
     
  14. dave9

    dave9

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    Mar 5, 2017
    Outside the box generator from appliances...

    Sure, get a carrot out of the refrigerator, dangle it in front of a horse, and let it run on a treadmill with motor reverse wired. ;)

    You really don't have much headroom here, that if you have to use salvage from appliances all there is from any "normal" appliance is the motor. SO, whether it is a peddle shaft powered by humans, or some other input method... depends on what other input methods you have available... a fuel powered engine would be nice, but a horse would work if a fuel powered motor isn't allowed.

    I think a fuel powered engine is viable (arguable as acceptable) because even 3rd world scenarios, organic material can be broken down into alcohol for fuel.
     
  15. WHONOES

    WHONOES

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    May 20, 2017
    Further to DAVE9's comments, a Stirling cycle motor might be worth considering. It is sort of a combustion device but can be run on waste energy (heat). I did think some years ago about adding a device that collected the waste heat from my heating system to collect useful energy using a Stirling cycle motor and generator that I could store in a battery.
     
  16. Nanren888

    Nanren888

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    There have been a couple of Stirling designs promoted for power to rural communities. There are likely designs online for ones that can be made relatively cheaply, either for this application or DIY or hobby. Still need that motor, if you insist on electrical output.
     
  17. dave9

    dave9

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    Mar 5, 2017
    I should have asked a question or two.

    What exactly does "making a DIY generator from appliances" mean? Does it mean you will be provided with a source of appliances and have to MacGyver something out of what you have in front of you, OR does it mean that all you have to do is make a rational argument that the components you used, might be found in something considered an appliance?

    If the latter is true, this widens your possibilities a bit, for example using peltiers. TEC is found in some so-called appliances, the cheap mini-fridge or wine coolers, so there is the argument for source and they can generate power from a temperature difference. What you use to produce that difference, would depend on how much power you need to generate.

    Done crudely as a quick school project on a limited budget for R&D, it would probably be fairly inefficient, but if using waste heat then there is an argument that the efficiency doesn't matter as much as construction and upkeep cost. I mean if the project is just "make this with nothing but the appliance parts", then it is way out there as unrealistic because reasonably, you will use tools, materials, components, even if just talking about connectors or solder.
     
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  18. dave9

    dave9

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    Mar 5, 2017
    The way to stand out is to use the more rational, real-world solution argument which is that instead, the appliances should be repaired and sold and then the proceeds from sales, put towards a product engineered to meet the specific need. We don't live in a vacuum, anything has value and you might as well extract the full value of something (appliance remaining as an appliance) rather than gutting it for some random part(s) and still needing great time and further components to make it all work.

    Besides, it is often a consideration of mine, if I am cannibalizing something for parts, which of the parts has enough lifespan left to be fit to be deployed into a new widget with a new tour of duty and hopefully long enough lifespan to bother. If you extract some (motor or whatever) from an appliance retired because it failed, how much life is left in that part? I am going off on a tangent here because you can clean a motor out, check brushes or bearings for wear and lubricate them, check for signs of thermal stress, etc, but just the simple yank it out and reuse it, is not really a sound plan for old appliance parts that have a finite lifespan.

    I'm just throwing some arguments out there to devalue your competitors efforts with motor as generator because I suspect this is some pretend-solution to world power problems and the judge is trying to put students to task brainstorming along the lines of solving real world problems, but it isn't necessarily a solution to build something that isn't long lasting or sustainable (in the real world sense, not the lofty "it grows on trees" (lol) sense).
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  19. Sparky_zap

    Sparky_zap

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    Jan 10, 2021
    It's the first option, we're given a old/broken washing machine, and cbasic tools to disassemble it.. The state the machine is in is yet to be determined... If we wish to use other pieces ie wood scraps to build a stand, a bike to power it we need to source them ourselves.
     
  20. Sparky_zap

    Sparky_zap

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    Jan 10, 2021


    This is what we've decided as a group to do.. Or at least a variation of this.. Are there any immediate issues that were perhaps overlooking? The only 1 that comes to mind is the gear ratio.. Perhaps changing it to be faster.
     
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