Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

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Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:53 am

My son and I have built a wind turbine following the plans on: Build your own Wind Turbine Designed by Dave Mussell http://www.re-energy.ca/docs/wind-turbine-cp.pdf.
These plans were inspired by the Picoturbine: http://www.picoturbine.com/products/Pic ... sic--.html and http://www.scribd.com/doc/34403202/PICO ... l-Children.

We used 30 AWG gauge wire at first, but didn't get enough voltage to light the Light Emitting Diode (LED). So, we re-wound the coils with 300 turns of 27 AWG wire and we still don't have enough voltage to light the LED.

The turbine spins nicely, and the voltmeter reads around 47 when set to DCV 2000m.

We want to know why the LED is not lighting up.

Any suggestions would be welcome!

I'll post pictures in follow up posts.

Thanks,
Mike and son
Last edited by MikeShelton on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:05 am

Here is the turbine:
Image
We used CDs instead of cardboard for the stator and rotor.
Last edited by MikeShelton on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:06 am

Here are the coils, the small ones were 190 turns of 30 gauge magnet wire:
Image

The large one is 300 turns of 27 gauge. This is what I have now.
Last edited by MikeShelton on Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:10 am

Here is a shot showing the gap between the coil and the magnet. Looks like it is about 1 millimeter, like the directions recommend.
Image
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:11 am

Here is a voltmeter reading.
I'm not an expert at reading these, but I think this means -0.047 volts DC.
Image

The readings jump around a lot while you spin the turbine, but this is a typical reading.
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:21 pm

OK, we decided to give up on winding our own coils after much trouble. We had some old toys that contain motors, and we were able to light the LEDs with these motors. We decided to set up a pully similar to http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys/Generatorfrommotor.html. I'll post pictures when we are done.

Unsolicited advice to anyone trying the Picoturbine: buy their parts, don't try to make it with Radio Shack wire and magnets.

Thanks,
Mike and Son
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:22 pm

When we are done our concept will be very similar to: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Energy_p036.shtml


Mike and Son.
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby kgudger » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:19 am

Hello and welcome to the forums!

I apologize that you have not received any answer on your posts yet. I know this seems like an earth science project, but you will probably get better results in the physical sciences forum. I will ask the moderator to move your posts.

Your original generator generated AC voltage, not DC. The pdf you referenced says to use the AC setting on the voltmeter. You used the DC setting, which explains why the results jump around and are so low. The model that can be purchased (from your link) uses a bi-color LED which is wired so that one color turns on for each polarity. The pdf instructions just used a simple LED, which will only turn on for one polarity voltage.

When you switched to using a toy motor, you are now using a DC generator. If the LED is connected correctly, this should work. If you would like to get your original model working, here are a couple of suggestions.

Did you use rare earth magnets? If not, then the magnets may not have enough of a magnetic field to create much voltage in the coils.
Did you carefully follow the "clockwise" winding instruction when placing the coils under the magnets? This is very important. Also note that all magnets must have the same pole facing downward.
Try using the AC setting to measure the output voltage of your generator.
Make your coils thickness as uniform as possible so that you can get the magnets as close as possible.

I hope you succeed with this project. Building a generator is a great project, and I hope your son gets to see success! Thanks for posting.

Keith
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Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:21 am

Keith,

Thanks for your suggestions.

We re-built the project to use the toy motors, and we ended up buying two identical hobby motors from Radio Shack. The motors lit up the LEDs when we tested them (spinning by hand), but somehow don't work when hooked up to the pulleys. We've tried both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.

We were able to read voltage measurements off the voltmeter, so we made our graphs off this. I'll include a photo of the completed project after it is judged later this week.

Thanks again, I really appreciate this forum for a place to share my thoughts and get advice,
Mike Shelton and son
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby MikeShelton » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:53 am

Here are some shots of the completed science fair project. My son won fourth place in the fair!

Image

Image

Lesson learned, directions on the internet are not always as clear as you may think at first.

Thank you,
Mike Shelton
MikeShelton
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42 pm
Occupation: Parent: 5th Grade and 3rd Grade
Project Question: Wind Energy
Project Due Date: March 24, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Picoturbine - wind turbine and LED voltage question

Postby donnahardy2 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:44 am

Hi Mike,

Thanks for posting the pictures and for your comments. Congratulations to your son for his excellent project! We do appreciate hearing back from you.

Donna Hardy
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