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Sugestion for a Electrical energy generation project

  1. Jun 16, 2010 #1
    Hello there,

    I'm new in this forum so sorry if this is not the right session to post my question.

    Well I'm taking a subject called Energy: Origins, Conversion and Uses (I guess this is the correct translation) and I need to do a final project which requires me to generate electrical energy.

    The problem is that there are many students, so there are going to be many eolic and hydroelectric projects. That's why I and my crew wanted to do something different.

    Would you guys have any suggestions? Anything would help a lot.

    Thanks in advance.

    Mano Jow
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2010 #2


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    make a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_engine" [Broken] that runs on the waste heat of everyone else's engines. :D
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jun 16, 2010 #3
    What's the scale of the generator? Do you have to make kilowatts or milliwatts? You could do something that makes energy from vibration or omnidirectional acceleration.
  5. Jun 16, 2010 #4
    That's a nice idea... but I think we are going to be evaluated separately... I heard something about using plants, do you lnow this way?

    The professor said nothing about the scale, but I think that if we can light up a lamp it's enough.

    What is "omnidirectional acceleration"? I know the meaning but I'm not familiar with the phenomenon (if that's a phenomenon).

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Jun 17, 2010 #5
    Omnidirectional basically means all directions. Think of something that vibrates a lot, like a car's engine, and then being able to capture some of that vibrational energy in any axis and turning it into useful energy (electricity). In doing so not only do you produce useful energy but you also decrease the NVH of the car which auto manufacturers make a big deal about these days.
  7. Jun 17, 2010 #6
    Try generating/saving energy which normally gets wasted (Don't know if its applicable for your project) e.g. generation of electricity from vehicle braking (Regenerative Braking) which is normally dissipated as heat in the brakes.
  8. Jun 17, 2010 #7
    I see. I googled for it and found this:
    http://www-mtl.mit.edu/~anantha/docs/journals/2001_meninger_vlsi.pdf [Broken]
    But it talks about that MEMS technology, which I'm not familiar with. Is that expensive? Because we are supposed to create a low-cost engine. Can I do it without spending hundreds?
    Thanks a lot Topher.

    Well, I guess that might work! What way of heat-to-electric energy conversion do you suggest? Can I use a stirling engine? I just need to check with the professor if I can use, for example, a vehicle engine or if I need to build it first. Thanks a lot!

    Edit: I forgot to mention... We have like one month, and it's just me and a friend, so the project can't be something too complex!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Jun 18, 2010 #8
    That eliminates regen-braking then. Doing such a thing, even in simulink, is extremely complex. As for a vibrational electric generator you could easily build one for under $100. It may not be very efficient but it can certainly be done, and built within a month as well. You don't want to use MEMS technology though, that will get extremely expensive/not possible.
  10. Jun 18, 2010 #9
    http://www.nistepkscience.com/Chemistry/9Electriccell.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Jun 27, 2010 #10
    You guys helped a lot! I'll talk to my mate so we can decide which one we are going to do and start tomorrow.

    Thanks a lot all of you!
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