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Lift 1 kg weight using wind power from a fan

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by PhysicsStudent, Jan 17, 2015.

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  1. PhysicsStudent


    Jan 17, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    I am a physics student that is relatively new in the world of electronics and I would like to incorporate electronics in my upcoming project. I do not have a very strong background in electronics, but I am definitely ready to learn. So please have patience with any of my dumb questions or ideas. Here it goes:

    For the project I must lift a mass of 1 kg a specified height using only wind power from a fan. My plan is to create a wind turbine/generator using a dc motor. I would then convert the dc voltage to ac using an inverter. After that I would run this current through a transformer and later convert it back to dc in order to power a motor to lift the mass up an inclined plane. So here are my questions...

    Is my plan even reasonable/possible?
    If so what is the best way to go about building the step-up transformer and inverter?
    Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much, and I apologize once again in advance for any dumb questions/ideas.

    Thank you for your time!!!!
  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    Don't bother with so many conversions. You loose energy each time you do that.
    Would be best to take the output directly from the generator which is usually AC, but could also be pulsed DC.
    You can rectify this to a clean DC value, and use a boost converter (switching power supply) to get a higher voltage out than you put in.

    Please note that doing so will decrease the amperage, and while voltage will provide the speed for the motor to turn, you will need enough current to actually do the work. Yes voltage and current function in relation to V=IR, but in real life, if you attempt to pull too much current the voltage will drop.
    So, at this time I would strongly urge you to start out small, and get some measurements from a generator you plan to use.
    davenn likes this.
  3. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    Agree with GRYD3

    forget all the transformations, they will cost you a large % of the small amount of power you will have available
  4. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    Why convert to DC and back? I don't understand. Surely all you need is a propeller on a shaft, with a cog and chain or a wheel and cord, to raise the weight?

    If you really want to convert to electricity and back, then as Gryd3 said, just power the motor from the generator.

    In either case, a ratchet mechanism would stop the weight from falling when power isn't available, and a cluch or a switch would control the start and stop of the motion.
    Arouse1973 and Gryd3 like this.
  5. Laplace


    Apr 4, 2010
    Is it a correct assumption that the fan will be just a small table fan? In that case the wind turbine will be low power and the motor will be even lower power. So the motor will need a gearbox to increase the torque. Is the mass on wheels, or does the motor need to overcome sliding friction also? If the object of this project is to learn about power conversion loss, then your plan will succeed. However, if the object is to raise the weight, then would it not be easier to couple the wind turbine shaft directly to the gearbox?
    Arouse1973 likes this.
  6. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

    Dec 18, 2013
    If you choose the electrical route then do you need to consider varying wind speed which will have an effect on the available power.
  7. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    As a physics student you should know that "work" is moving a certain weight a certain height for example.
    Then the rate of doing that work is "horsepower".
    I would consider that in your calculations also.
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