Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Small electric generator

  1. May 21, 2003 #1
    Hello all:

    I was wondering what is the most efficient and practical way to make a small electric generator for turning compressed gas into electricity. Gas turbines are much too large for the small project I'm trying to build.

    Should I use an electric fan for the turbine? This is the cheapest, easiest way but I wonder how efficient it is.

    What about a piston/camshaft set up. Pressurized air could be introduced into piston and allowed to expand, moving the piston.

    What about using a model plane mini gas turbine and turning it into a little gas turbine? I think this would be the most efficient design, but the hardest to build.

    Please offer me your input, or ideas for websites for me to visit.

    Thank you.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2003 #2
    MikeKowal, Welcome to PF !!!
    I don’t know but take it that you are not worried about the efficiency of compressing the gas (air?... I think maybe 15%, but don’t hold me to it)?
    You mean like a 12-volt automotive type fan? Yeah, probably it would be easy but not very efficient as the blades on those things are made to drive the air, not be driven by the air.
    This sounds pretty slick. Is this what led you to;
    These are little two-cycle engines aren’t they? My gut is telling me that a 4-stroke might be better, but even if it were I don’t know where you could get such a tiny engine.

    I think my gut was wrong, thinking we were compressing.

    I think I once saw a model airplane that you charged with compressed air and the air would push a piston which turned a crank that spun the propeller. I’m now thinking to try a hobby, or toy store, and look for such a thing. Replacing the propeller with a small DC motor might just do the trick.
    Good luck

    I'll see if I can find you a link or two.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2003
  4. May 21, 2003 #3
    Check this stuff out;

    Whoa, this isn't what you had in mind, but it sure is a piece of work;

    Interesting info on propellers;

    Getting warmer now;

    I can't believe I actually found one;

    Get after it with a coke bottle;

    Discontinued??? what a bummer!;
  5. Jun 5, 2010 #4
    if there was a such thing as a water proof air ducted fan you could use that and make it like a water power plant, even with plastic blades, it can still be used, just dont get the blades too hot or they'll melt lol, which wouldn't be good and a big waste of money, im doing a project of a electric turbine jet engine which is on the same basics as a jet fueled turbine engine, but only compresses the air and keeps compressing for max amount of thrust, made one from a kool aid bottle and 12 computer fan, 100w micro capacitor and when i turned the switch on it scooted across the table. mind you i was only 12 yrs old at that time and im 25 now.

    So if i am able to compress air to the fullest with computer fans, it can be done the same for power if the fans were water proof lol. bestest luck to ya and hopefully what i told ya helped.
  6. Jun 6, 2010 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I guess you didn't notice the other posts in this thread are more than seven years old... :uhh:
  7. Jun 6, 2010 #6
    lol no i didnt see the date lol or i wouldnt of replied to it
  8. Jun 6, 2010 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Don't feel bad about it. "Necroposting" happens surprisingly often here, so you're far from alone. Just let it be a reminder to be careful when you find an interesting thread in a forum search. :smile:
  9. Jun 6, 2010 #8
    ok thanks, i have a thread that could be intresting for ya, check it out, im gettin some great feedback upon my project
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Small electric generator
  1. EMP Generator (Replies: 1)

  2. Small Laptops (Replies: 15)

  3. Hamel Generator (Replies: 4)