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Old 13-04-2012, 18:47   #46
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

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Originally Posted by RabidRabbit View Post
Could someone maybe post and briefly explain why you need to do any of this? I really am trying to understand. This wheel has been invented and almost perfected. Boats contain hundreds of repairs/fixes and if this is how time is spent I'd be scared to see what other money saving ideas are on a boat with the delco wind genny. Please enlighten us.
I agree, if for no other reason than that there won't ultimately be any cost savings. Not accounting for the labor, by the time all the necessary materials are purchased or fabricated, you will have already been able to purchase a comparable wind generator ready to go in the box.
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Old 13-04-2012, 19:33   #47
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

These permanent magnet alternators make nice generators:

Permanent Magnet Alternator Wind Blue Low Wind
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Old 13-04-2012, 19:47   #48
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

It still comes down to why you would make a wind generator when you can buy a working tested one for less.
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Old 13-04-2012, 19:53   #49
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

Twenty years ago I designed and built my own wind generator. In fact I built 11 of them. I used a Ford 100 amp alternator as my starting point. Next I used a mechanical engineer to help me with the mechanical design so the unit was completely enclosed and not subjected to the saltwater environment.

I took my mechanical drawings to Marlboro Foundry in Massachusetts to have a pattern made by a pattern maker so I could have the foundry make aluminum castings. The castings consisted of two identical pieces which I machined in my basement to accommodate the stationary armature along with the rotating field. Other pieces that I fabricated including a base which was sandwiched between the alternator proper and a 2" aluminum pipe that contained half of the slip ring assembly that I designed.

My field used a neodymium iron boron permanent magnet whose flux density was about 12 killogauss, the highest flux available in a permanent magnet at that time. I stumbled with the magnet, could not get it built here in this country without spending big bucks. I found a company in China who made them exactly to my very tight mechanical specification. That magnet looked like a donut. I was mounted between the pole pieces of the old electromagnet field which was scrapped. Note, the pole pieces required machining which I was able to get done on my basement lathe by my Son who is a machinist.

I worried about the armature!!!! The typical auto alternator is designed for high RPMs and slow RPMs I know would cause magnetic saturation in the armature's metal. So I redesigned the armature for a lighter gage wire and had them rewound in a shop somewhere in NY.

Many more details but skipping ahead, I studied propeller design so I could make my own. I had special tooling made for my 5HP wood shaper in my basement. I wanted the cutters to remove most of the unneeded wood stock which it did. Then I build a jig so I could cut the propeller down to where it should be using a router. Afterwards, it still required a lot of sanding using a belt sander.

The propeller ended up being 4 blades, 5' in design. The reason for a large blade is captured wind energy is equal to 1/2( d*A*S^3) where d is air density, A is the blade swing area and S is the wind speed.

My machine developed about 12 amperes with winds just over 15 knots. Even with the redesigned armature, I could see core saturation occurring at low RPMs when I rotated the shaft on my lathe while looking at the armature waveforms with a scope.

I planned to market this thing!!!! FEAR OF LIABILITY stopped me from manufacturing them.

So you want to build your own windgenerator!!! GUYS, think what is involved to do right before you do anything.

Foggy
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Old 13-04-2012, 19:57   #50
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

The alt in that link cost $329. This is a troll thread if I'v ever seen one.
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Old 13-04-2012, 20:10   #51
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

Rabid-
I think the points are:
1-A conventional wind generator cannot be integrated into any other charging system. Generators use "dump regulating" and have to be treated separately.
2-A conventional windgen operates over a limited speed range. Again, that's generators versus alternators (although the terms are often used interchangeably). A generator requires either dump regulating, or mechanical braking systems. An alternator can just spin, with the exciting current cut off.

Windgens just have their own needs and limits, mainly because of the way generators work. Alternators don't have the same baggage, but they require substantially higher speeds to operate. If you can beat that "one" small speed problem, everything else about having a second alternator aboard a boat would integrate very nicely.

Sometimes there are simple solutions to long standing problems: The Homer Simpson Moments when you go "D'OH!" and realize how easily a problem can be solved if you just see the light.

I had one of those a couple months ago, and now I can calibrate all my multimeters with a little gizmo I soldered up on the kitchen table. Calibrate, as exactly 10.00 volts from the gizmo and if any of my meters doesn't read it as 10.00, I know for sure the meter is off. No more guessing whether the alternator or battery or regulator is off by 2/10's or 4/10ths--which is not uncommon on meters as they age. And cheaper than the shipping alone to sending each meter out for calibration every year.

Better minds have spent more hours on the generator problem, but as Bullwinkle said to Rocky, "wanna see me pull a rabbit outa my hat?" (yeah, ooops.)
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Old 13-04-2012, 20:16   #52
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidRabbit View Post
Could someone maybe post and briefly explain why you need to do any of this? I really am trying to understand. This wheel has been invented and almost perfected. Boats contain hundreds of repairs/fixes and if this is how time is spent I'd be scared to see what other money saving ideas are on a boat with the delco wind genny. Please enlighten us.
Also if we all had this train of thought we would still be driving around in Model T's......

No offence or insult intended......
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Old 13-04-2012, 20:20   #53
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Rabid-
I think the points are:
1-A conventional wind generator cannot be integrated into any other charging system. Generators use "dump regulating" and have to be treated separately.
2-A conventional windgen operates over a limited speed range. Again, that's generators versus alternators (although the terms are often used interchangeably). A generator requires either dump regulating, or mechanical braking systems. An alternator can just spin, with the exciting current cut off.

Windgens just have their own needs and limits, mainly because of the way generators work. Alternators don't have the same baggage, but they require substantially higher speeds to operate. If you can beat that "one" small speed problem, everything else about having a second alternator aboard a boat would integrate very nicely.

Sometimes there are simple solutions to long standing problems: The Homer Simpson Moments when you go "D'OH!" and realize how easily a problem can be solved if you just see the light.

I had one of those a couple months ago, and now I can calibrate all my multimeters with a little gizmo I soldered up on the kitchen table. Calibrate, as exactly 10.00 volts from the gizmo and if any of my meters doesn't read it as 10.00, I know for sure the meter is off. No more guessing whether the alternator or battery or regulator is off by 2/10's or 4/10ths--which is not uncommon on meters as they age. And cheaper than the shipping alone to sending each meter out for calibration every year.

Better minds have spent more hours on the generator problem, but as Bullwinkle said to Rocky, "wanna see me pull a rabbit outa my hat?" (yeah, ooops.)

Not sure if I understand how you are using the meaning of generator. To my knowledge, the only real wind "generator" out ther is made by 4 Winds, the others that I am aware of are all alternators.

And you cannot or should not let most alternators just run unloaded! The problem is with the prop spinning out of control. Now some props are designed to flutter during high RPMs so that provides a sort of breaking action.
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Old 13-04-2012, 23:42   #54
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

For what it's worth, I've had a permanent magnet alternator fitted with air-x style carbon blades mounted on the roof of my shop for over 5 years now. I live in the columbia river gorge where summer time winds exceed 40 knots on a regular basis. What I have learned is that for about 1$ / watt you can build a rugged weatherproof wind system using PMA's and ebay blade sets or buy a ready made air x system for around 2 to 4$ / watt.
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Old 14-04-2012, 00:02   #55
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

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I agree, if for no other reason than that there won't ultimately be any cost savings. Not accounting for the labor, by the time all the necessary materials are purchased or fabricated, you will have already been able to purchase a comparable wind generator ready to go in the box.
I agree, but you're ignoring the value of the entertainment and education gained from the project.


Sometimes the whole value of a project like this is the fun along the way. I've done many similar projects and found the experience and education to have significant value - even if it is learning to simply go buy it in a box. As I age apparently it takes a lot less to entertain me. (Or it might be that I value my time more)
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Old 14-04-2012, 00:12   #56
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

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Also if we all had this train of thought we would still be driving around in Model T's......

No offence or insult intended......
I think you missed the point - this is the rambling of creative minds evaluating the possible but not likely practical

I thoroughly enjoy the discussion though. It is one that tends to highlight the creativity (though probably not the practicality) of the contributers. I really do understand the interest in the topic and appreciate the discussion - thanks guys
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Old 14-04-2012, 01:05   #57
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

well now most places in the world aren't like Florida, nice and comfy if you got big piles of cash to throw at your problems, but most places in the world you can find an old car alternator to get your power up - try replacing/fixing that perfectly invented wheel in the Marquesas or Stewart Island in NZ.
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Old 14-04-2012, 02:26   #58
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

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well now most places in the world aren't like Florida, nice and comfy if you got big piles of cash to throw at your problems, but most places in the world you can find an old car alternator to get your power up - try replacing/fixing that perfectly invented wheel in the Marquesas or Stewart Island in NZ.
Have a walk around Hiva oa in the Marquesas, satellite dishes solar panels , wind generators, fuel driven Generators and the vehicles where all newish including Scooters. and with the internet spares for everything are a couple of weeks away.
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Old 14-04-2012, 05:20   #59
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

thanks for all the info - all-in-all i feel pretty encouraged to come back to this idea and see if there is a simple solution to the basic problems.
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Old 14-04-2012, 05:58   #60
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

A car alternator needs about 2000 rpm for correct function. That you will not get by way of a propellor.
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