Looking for advice on motors for a small windmill (for kids)

In summary, this class speaker is looking for a small wind turbine that can be powered by wind to light an LED. He has found a motor that might work, but is
  • #1
hugo_faurand
62
10
Hello everyone !

I speak about energy to a fifth grade class. I want to build small windmills made of paper cup for the blades.
The goal is to light a LED when the windmill is running. I was looking for a small motor to do the alternator. I found this one and I wanted to know
if it could fit for what I want (or if you have any other suggestion).

I am not looking for a high efficiency device. They are kids, just seeing the LED lighting up while the blades are spinning is incredible.

Thanks in advance :)
 

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  • #2
Have you considered a wind turbine kit? Here is one for the price of a hamburger which the kids can probably assemble under your guidance. Other options are available, of course.
 
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  • #3
hugo_faurand said:
I am not looking for a high efficiency device. They are kids, just seeing the LED lighting up while the blades are spinning is incredible.

Easy seeing of lighting depends on the color (threshold voltage) of the LED and whether the windmill will be "geared up" to increase speed on generator. Maybe a higher voltage motor would be easier. Probably need to experiment a bit.
These would probably do well. Worth a shot and cheap!! I would try both the 12V and 24V motor. I don't know this supplier.
 
  • #4
This is a kit with a dynamo whose only purpose is to light a LED.
 

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  • #5
I wonder what is better: LED or a normal, old school incandescent bulb. LEDs are rather fragile and easy to burn if you don't control the voltage/current (not a problem to add a driver, but it breaks the simplicity of the design), bulbs are much more robust and there will be much more visible difference in their brightness depending on the rotation speed, which is another great teaching moment.
 
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  • #6
kuruman said:
Have you considered a wind turbine kit? Here is one
Is that one of those new-fangled ones that run forever on one set of start-up batteries?

1676917547821.png
 
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  • #7
berkeman said:
Is that one of those new-fangled ones that run forever on one set of start-up batteries?

View attachment 322596
I don't think that this is a putative (dare I say it?) perpetual motion machine. It looks like the fan on the left is connected only to the LED between the fans.
 
  • #8
The efficiency of LEDs make them a far better choice for this experiment, particularly if you wish modest cost and size and want to use wind as the power source. They will be current limited by the setup and I think the chance of burning them out is very slight. Also they cost essentially nothing (in any quantity). The fact that they are polarization dependent need be remembered.
The other thing that works with LED because it is so low power and fast response is to use a rare earth magnet and a small coil to build a magneto. Lotsa fun.
 
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1. What is the best type of motor for a small windmill?

The best type of motor for a small windmill depends on the specific needs and goals of the project. Some popular options include DC motors, stepper motors, and servo motors. It is important to consider factors such as power output, efficiency, and cost when choosing a motor.

2. How do I determine the appropriate size and power of the motor for my windmill?

The size and power of the motor needed for a small windmill will depend on the size and design of the windmill blades, as well as the desired rotation speed. It is recommended to consult a wind energy expert or use online calculators to determine the appropriate motor size and power for your specific project.

3. Can I use a motor from an old appliance or toy for my windmill?

Yes, you can repurpose a motor from an old appliance or toy for your windmill project. However, it is important to ensure that the motor is suitable for use in a windmill and can withstand the outdoor elements. It may also require modifications to fit the windmill design.

4. How do I connect the motor to the windmill blades?

The motor can be connected to the windmill blades using a shaft or pulley system. The motor should be securely attached to the base of the windmill, and the blades should be attached to the shaft or pulley, allowing the motor to rotate them. It is important to ensure that the connection is strong and balanced to prevent damage to the motor or windmill.

5. Are there any safety precautions I should take when using a motor for a windmill?

Yes, it is important to take proper safety precautions when using a motor for a windmill, especially when working with children. Make sure the motor is securely attached to the windmill and that all electrical connections are properly insulated. It is also important to supervise children and ensure they do not come in contact with any moving parts of the windmill.

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