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Old 17-04-2012, 09:18   #91
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

Well if I may, when I was a little younger, the project/challenge/learning experience would have been half the fun. The bonus would've been a working windgen (or some such other outcome depending on the project).
Now I'm older, wiser (maybe) and definitely lazier so buying one would be the more likely route to take for me. But the idea of the project still ignites a spark. Just not a very strong one anymore. ;~)
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:26   #92
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

You must be my age cos thats about the same place im at.
Sure, the buzz of wanting to invent, bodge and get a result is still there, but its tempered with knowledge and experience, which in turn makes for wisdom.

That wisdom says, 'leave it'


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Well if I may, when I was a little younger, the project/challenge/learning experience would have been half the fun. The bonus would've been a working windgen (or some such other outcome depending on the project).
Now I'm older, wiser (maybe) and definitely lazier so buying one would be the more likely route to take for me. But the idea of the project still ignites a spark. Just not a very strong one anymore. ;~)
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Old 17-04-2012, 13:45   #93
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

Free energy has been an interest of mine for a long time. A few years ago I set my truck up to run on used veggie oil, which I gathered for free from around town, cleaned and used as fuel.
While the idea definitely worked and saved me a pile of money over the cost of diesel fuel, the most valuable part of the exercise was the realization that nothing in life is free. There is always a cost. For that project, the cost was in set up and labour and then in time/labour to collect and clean the fuel.
I still consider it a success and am toying with the idea of doing it again, now that the price of fuel is once again going through the roof.
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Old 17-04-2012, 21:05   #94
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Don't know much about it, but the rare earth magnets are being sold on every chinese free shipping website. They were very "rare" and expensive a few years ago.
I wonder if it's that hard to build a generator with them. I saw a lot of plans for domestic use on the web. Very easy and cheap ones.
I remember the mention of some old computer tape drives motors as very good option.
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Old 19-04-2012, 00:49   #95
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

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Originally Posted by anjou View Post
Have you buit your windgen yet?
Are you any the wiser as to why people just find the money to buy one ready deisgned, tested and certified, and which WORKS ?

If it was that easy, everyone would be making their own. Look closely and you see that all which glitters isnt gold.
tsk tsk gimme a chance, im still testing my windvane self steering unit (saved about $8000 by re-inventing that wheel), i'll have to come back to the windgen when/if i've had a chance to decide on a design. (not doing it is still an option)
(by the way - what did the socialists do to you? and where'd you find any to do it?)
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Old 19-04-2012, 03:58   #96
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
It still comes down to why you would make a wind generator when you can buy a working tested one for less.
1.So you can fix it yourself.
2.Makes a great talking point on the beach.
3.Same reason people climb mountailns or go to sea in little plastic boats.....cause they can.....
My Thoughts
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Old 19-04-2012, 09:58   #97
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

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Originally Posted by charliehows View Post
tsk tsk gimme a chance, im still testing my windvane self steering unit (saved about $8000 by re-inventing that wheel), i'll have to come back to the windgen when/if i've had a chance to decide on a design. (not doing it is still an option)
(by the way - what did the socialists do to you? and where'd you find any to do it?)
Humm! I only spent $4300 for a brand new Monitor with shipping and a parts kit. It took two weeks to get delivered and 12 hours to mount the thing.

I feel cheated.
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Old 19-04-2012, 13:24   #98
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

I'm somewhat hesitant to add more fuel to the fire here but in regards to using Delco style housings for assembling user serviceable wind charging systems on boats; Here's the possible motivation for even considering the notion of going with anything other than a ready made Airbreeze marine wind unit. ( the most popular unit roduces about 160 watts in a 28mph wind) for comparison, that's $1000 bucks / 160 watts = say $6.00 per watt.

if you are so inclined, it is entirely possible (and arguably practical) to lay down $320 for a preassembled PMA ( such as the wind blue ) add a set of $99.00 airex replacementy blades from ebay and have a system that can produce over 700watts at 28mph. ( this assumes a 25:1 RPM per volt output with a reasonably efficient set of blades) so, if you have a little extra time and initiative, you can assemble a system that is 100% servicable in most cruising destinations for around 1$/watt. ( this assumes that you drop $500 for all the stuff to assemble your delco based PMA unit then a couple of hundred for a decent charge controller.

Bottom line here: to each their own.

Option 1. If you don't mind paying six times the cost, buy an airex, kick back and sip margaritas with clean fingernails. ( maybe realizing that if the ready made wind unit stops working, your only real solution is to throw it over board and buy another one. )

Option 2, if you want to kick back, sip margaritas with a little grit under your finger nails, you can create about 4 times more power and have money left over to buy margaritas for everyone in the marina.

Note: I don't condone drinking Margaritas and sailing at the same time. Nor do I believe that it is very enjoyable to sit on deck with a 28 mph breeze blowing.
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Old 23-05-2012, 12:18   #99
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

I have been thinking of doing something like this also. remember those old bicycle generators that rubbed against the bicycle tire? those little things put out a lot of power for a little generator. I dont think I would go with a wind propeller, I might drag a light weight prop setup in the watter behind the boat, and use a household fan and a pulley system to carey the motion up to the little generator. this generator might not give you much power, but over time, it might charge your battery up. you could even mount the entire unit on top of the mast and use a wind vane to orient it into the wind. also if you do go with an alternator, you will have to get a rectifier to convert it into DC, thats not hard, I bought a rectifier from a alternator rebuild shop for $8 once, I used it in an old clasic motorcycle restore, it saved me $142 and it was way more powerful and durable than a motorcycle rectifier. rectifiers are simple, all they are is 3 diodes soldered in series or something like that, and they have a heat fin to keep them cool. I just finnished my AAS in machine tool tech, and a year in welding and fab, and I love to design and build stuff like this, also I own a virticle knee mill and a nice birmingham `12x36 lathe and I have a lot more machines and tooling also. so the mechanics of such a build is a piece of cake for me, but as far as exactly what setup to use, and what alternator to use, I may need some more info to persue it without scrapping an assembly a time or two.
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Old 26-04-2013, 04:30   #100
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

I thought Id revive this thread as Im in the process of building one now and can add some info. Ebay has many kits for making a wind gen from an alternator. The pmas are going from around $100 to $250 mostly using the delco 10si case. My reason for building my own is the high price of replacement parts of the wind gens. Sw windpower wants $189 for a stator. I can get one rewound for use as a wind gen for $45 for the 10si. The charge voltage can be controlled by an mppt controller which can also control solar panels. everything is readily available for building at reasonable cost. The biggest investment besides mppt controller is the rare earth magnet rotor. Still only between $79 and $150 and they are durable and should only have to be bought once. Im using a closed case for mine to keep corrosion out. Time will tell how often I have to replace stators from excess heat. The new generation controllers also have solved the problem of braking. The one Im looking at has adjustable voltages where braking will happen which is done by shorting out the field to ground after being isolated from the battery bank. I will be using the airx body for the windgen as it has slip rings which seem to be lacking in the windgen kits. Maybe a lot has changed since this thread was started but the problems seem to have been worked out.
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Old 26-04-2013, 07:58   #101
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

What exactly do they gut and replace from the alternator? And how do they handle high speed or shutdown?
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Old 26-04-2013, 08:14   #102
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

I'm just wondering how long a standard automotive alternator would last getting hit with salt spray. Even with an enclosed case, it probably would not be very long before it is a blob of rust.

The cost with marinized equipment is in the use of non-ferrous metals and the fact that in general, there is a much smaller economy of scale to production.
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Old 27-04-2013, 12:43   #103
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

inside the alternator is basically 3 components, the rotor , stator and a bridge rectifier. The braking as I understand it is accomplished by disconnecting the battery lead then shorting out the fields to the ground which acts a magnetic brake. The controller I was looking at had an adjustable voltage setting where the braking would occur. The same controller also converted the voltage to an adjustable point for charging the batteries. It is an mppt controller and was capable of handling many inputs from solar wind hydroelectric or whatever. The alternator Im using is an enclosed case. I will also powder coat the outside, and seal everything when assembling. With the enclosed case I will be setting the braking voltage of mine to where 20 amps is created as this is the maximum recommended amperage for the enclosed case. This is the controller I will be using with the added midnite clipper for overspeed control.

http://www.sunelec.com/midnite-solar...er-p-1736.html

With this setup i can carry several spare stators as they are as low as $45 apiece delivered
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Old 27-04-2013, 12:44   #104
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Re: Car Alternator as Wind Generator?

the inside of the air x is not non ferrous. the rotor and stator are steel. mine has been sitting outside waiting to be thrown out and is rusty.
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Old 27-04-2013, 13:07   #105
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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 don't think it's about money. At least, it's not just about money.

The reason I've been reading is a reason I'll call "The Pardey Point ", for lack of a better title.

It's about knowing exactly how it was built, and, therefore, exactly how to repair it, eight days out.
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