School Project Help

1 Posts
Aug 25, 2008 03:04 pm
School Project Help

Hello all, I am new to the altE community however i would love if if you could help me out here

I am currently doing a school project researching alternative energy . I need to create 3 types of generators, i was thinking one solar one wind powered and another one...
however i know nothing about this topic, these can be small scale models but they need to work and my budget will be about 250$.
I need a consultant and any and all advice i can get...any input will be appreciated
97 Posts
Aug 26, 2008 12:20 am
Re: School Project Help

Taylor, one thing that comes to my mind is the old hand-crank telephone generators that put out enough voltage to provide a substantial shock to the skin.  This is a small device, but perhaps hard to locate in this day and age of electronic phones.  Or, perhaps a DC generator connected to an exercise  bike?
184 Posts
Aug 26, 2008 09:30 am
Re: School Project Help


If you need to create a working model, a hydro-generator might be the easiest to create.  A small permanent-magnet motor could be used for the generator.  Make and attach a paddle-wheel, or an impeller with spoon-shaped spokes.  As you open a water valve, the force of the water turns the impeller, creating electricity.  Use a small light bulb, or a voltmeter to show that electricity is being created.  Good luck!
73 Posts
Aug 26, 2008 04:30 pm
Re: School Project Help


try this link..they sell very inexpensive alternative energy kits that might be right up your alley.

220 Posts
Aug 27, 2008 01:03 am
Re: School Project Help

hi taylor,

  that sounds like a fun project you have there. of course the big three immediately come to mind (photovoltaics, wind powered electric generators, and hydroelectric.) if this is a class effort i'm sure you will see mostly these kinds of generators. as well you should because they are the workhorses of todays renewable energy production.

  now, if you have posted a request for information here i have to assume that you are taking this project quite seriously and have looked all over the web and have seen all kinds of ways to harness power. from the big solar concentrating Sterling turbines to the long life thermocouple powerplants on some spacecraft. energy is everywhere constantly changing forms. it's ours for the taking. and take we do and how! ..we.. as humans always like to take the easy way out. so for the past hundred years we have been picking all the low hanging fruit on the tree. (namely fossil fuels) now the bus is running out of gas and the cheap ride is close to over. do we get off at this stop, the next, or just stay on it till the end of the line? it looks to me as if we might need an executive order in the magnitude of the "manhattan project" to pull ourselves out of this mess. blah. blah. blah..end of rant.

  when i first saw your post i thought of the old lemon battery trick. a non organic lemon could easily be found for under $250. then there is the hamster powered wheel generator. but we probably don't want the equal rights for rodents people out in front of the school with their signs and megaphones.

  perhaps you have come across the term piezoelectric in your reading. you might consider building a quartz effect generator for your project. it would cost very little and the effect is fairly impressive. "amaze your friends" and all that. the click type lighters have an assembled piezoelectric actuator in every one. the discharge of a single click has enough power to light (blink) a standard compact floresant lamp (cfl). it might be neat to mount eight or ten on a stationary hub and fire them off in rapid
succession with a cam mounted on a wheel of some sort and feed them to a cfl for constant lighting. something to look into. rube goldberg rest in peace.

read, research, experiment. above all have fun! more specs on request.
« Last Edit: Aug 27, 2008 01:14 am by david ames »

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