As the cost of fuel and electricity rises, more people become interested in generating their own electricity. Whether you are a budget-conscious homeowner or business owner or you just like to camp, you may benefit from owning an electric generator. An electric generator is a machine that can turn motion into electricity. You can build a permanent magnet rotor generator, the easiest sort to build, at home.
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Things you need
- 3 10-inch steel discs approximately 1/2 inch wide
- 8 neodymium magnets, 2 inches by 1 inch by 1/2 inch
- Axle with four-bolted hub, mounted in stand or housing at least 5 inches high
- 4 nuts with locking washers sized to fit axle bolts
- 6 2-inch iron discs, 1/2 inch wide
- 7 bolts with nuts and locking washers
- Spool of magnet wire
- Electrical tape
- 2 1-foot insulated wires
- 10-inch-by-1-foot plank
- 10-inch-by-3-foot plank
- 2 narrow 6-inch wooden strips
Drill four holes in the centre of two of the 10-inch steel plates so that they can be mounted onto the axle. Drill eight holes around the rim of one, 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the plate.
Insert the hacksaw into the holes in the second plate, and cut out rectangles 2 inches wide by 1 inch tall. You should end up with a ring of rectangular holes closely spaced around the perimeter of the plate.
Place the second steel plate on top of the first. Place one of the magnets into a hole. Slowly bring a second magnet close to the one in the hole. Orient it so that they repel each other. Keeping that orientation, place it into the hole next to the first. Repeat with a third magnet, orienting it so that it repels itself from the second. Work your way around the perimeter in this fashion.
Slide the magnet plate, or rotor plate, onto the axle. Attach it with lockable washers and nuts.
Drill holes in the centre of all six small iron discs. Drill six holes in the third steel plate 1 1/2 inches from the rim. Bolt the iron discs to this plate. Drill one hole in the centre of this plate, which is called the stator plate.
Wind the magnet wire into six coils of 100 turns each. The coils should be 2 1/2 inches on the outside and 2 inches inside. Wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the starting end of each coil. Sand the enamel off the ends of the wires.
Slide the coils onto the stator plate over the iron discs, so that the discs fill the centres of the coils, and affix with epoxy. Make sure all the coils face the same way, with the untaped wire ends all pointing either left or right. Label the coils 1 through 6.
Hold the untaped end of coil 4 to the taped end of coil 1. Connect them together using the electrical tape. Connect the taped end of coil 5 to the untaped end of coil 2 in the same manner. Connect the untaped end of coil 6 to the taped end of coil 3. Connect the loose ends of coils 1, 2 and 3 together with the electrical tape. Connect the other loose ends together. Hook each of these bundles to one of the insulated wires.
Screw the short wooden plank to one end of the long plank. Brace it with the wooden strips. Measure the thickness of the stator plate. Place the axle stand onto the long plank. Adjust it so that the rotor plate mounted on the end of the axle stand is just a little farther from the short plank than the stator plate thickness. Bolt the axle stand onto the long plank. Bolt the stator plate to the short plank so that it is at the same height as the rotor plate. The generator is now ready for use. The rotor plate’s axle can be hooked up a wind propeller, hand crank or any other impeller. The wires can run electrical equipment.
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