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Hydro/Wind/Wood/Geothermal And other types of alternative energy

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Old 01-10-2013, 08:19 PM
Ottis Male Ottis is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: WVa
Posts: 69
Default permanent magnet alternator for wind?

I was wondering if anyone has tried that? I'm kinda' new to the wind/ solar energy subject, and so far my research seems to conclude that automotive alternators just aren't efficient enough for the job. Old auto/ tractor generators don't produce at low RPM and the DC motors that work best are getting hard to find and pricey...

My old Harley ('71 FLH) has a 35A permanent magnet 3 phase alternator, reliable and simple, charges good at idle. I see used ones at swap-meets and on e-bay for reasonable prices (from where ppl have upgraded to higher powered setups, new "kits" can be a bit pricey) and I'm a Machinist by trade so I can make my own mounting plates shafts etc.. and I'm sure it would require a 1:2 or more pulley to step up the RPMs a little.

I know some other older motorcycles used permanent magnet alternators but I haven't found which ones yet. (My '75 Honda 750K doesn't..)

So, any thoughts on the subject??
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:22 PM
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175lt2 175lt2 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Gender: Male
Posts: 19

I have been playing around with wind power for about 6 years now and I have wasted a lot of money on many different things so I'll share what has worked for me. The small Ametek type motors on ebay do make good power at low rpm but are very pricey, when you consider the amps produced compared to price you would be far better off spending the money on solar panels.
The permanent magnet alternators on ebay are a total waste, they are hard to turn so a large set of blades are required however the larger the rotor the slower the RPM. These alternators produce very very little power for the price.
The best producing wind generator I have tried is a home built axial flux alternator, this isn't a beginner project and can be very expensive and time consuming, recently the price of neodymium magnets doubled so in my opinion this option is no longer cost effective.
The most cost effective wind generator I have and has been in use 3 years now is a Big Industrial permanent magnet motor. it is 180 vdc 1800 rpm 2 hp , motors like this can be found on ebay as industrial surplus or new, I got mine for less than 100 bucks. I added an 8' fiber glass rotor set (also on ebay) to this motor, it hits 12 volt at very low rpm and in my average wind produces about 6 amps much more in high winds. Honestly wind power is expensive and requires a lot of maintenance but it is fun watching something you built producing the energy you use.
If you have considered solar power check out they have high quality panels at the best prices I have found, check out their solar kits!
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:22 PM
Valiant Male Valiant is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Northeast Texas
Posts: 11

Dunno if you're still following this thread Ottis, but another of the self-sufficient magazines ran a three part series a few years ago on building your own wind-powered generator. I can't find it right now.

It used the front hub & brake disk from a junked car, did a little machining work on the disk, glued on magnets, etc. Building the "stator" looked to be the involved part requiring winding coils and "potting" the whole thing.

It certainly looked useable and addressed the very problem you mention about automotive alternators needing high RPMs to make them work.

I wanted to try this one but honestly already have a couplea dozen more projects on my list than I can handle already.

If I find the magazines, I'll post it here. (if you're still interested)
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:51 AM
wywhitewolf Male wywhitewolf is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 69
Default Dan & Dan have made a living out of building brakedrum windgennies. I attended a few seminars by them a few years ago. Just decided that the maintenance required for them was more than I wanted to handle.

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