Monday, February 13, 2012

How To Build a Small Homemade Wind Turbine From a Hand-Crank Flashlight


If you’re interested, there is a way to make your own wind turbine in the comfort of your home. For charging your batteries, if for nothing else! This is how it’s done:

Take a hand-crank flashlight, a very small screwdriver, 3 nails, a wooden ruler, a rubber band, 1 pencil with an eraser on top, 1 sheet of cardstock, a one-inch piece of dowel and some glue, without forgetting about a piece of cardboard for the rudder and a pole to put it on.

After laying them all down on a table, take the flashlight and open it up to see what’s inside. On the side where there’s the generator, the battery, the starting button and the LED lights, remove the circuit board. Preferably before going to bed, glue the one-inch piece of dowel on a propeller attached to the gear at the back of the generator.

Then, in the morning, with special attention to the wires, take the generator off the circuit board, put it on a vertical position and join it to one end of the wooden ruler. You can do that by using 2 nails and making them go through the exact same holes the screws were in. Then, use some rubber band to fix the rest of the circuit board on the ruler. The next move is to put the rubber eraser over the dowel.

Part two involves the making of the propeller. Take the cardstock and cut it into an 8 1/2 by 8 1/2 square, then shape it up as a pinwheel; but just where the pin should be, use a stapler to bring the flaps in an inch from the center. In the exact center, cut a square smaller than the eraser and push the pinwheel over the eraser to make it stable. If the pinwheel is spinning, you’ll know you’ve done a good job.

In the last stage of your project, think about making a rudder for the ruler’s other end out of tin or plastic. Get a hold of a scrap piece of foam core (10” by 7”), cut a slot in it and slide it over the ruler. No glue should be needed right now. A gesture as simple as balancing it on your finger should tell you the balance point, the place where you should make a hole. Afterwards, take a pole and put the wind turbine to the to the post with a flat head nail smaller than the hole.

Whatever you do, just don’t dig the nail too deep, or you’ll prevent the wind turbine from rotating easily. The result should be a nice spinning wind turbine! Oh! And about that batteries recharge I was telling you earlier, that’s still feasible if you tape them to the ruler and you put wires from the from their poles to the leads going to the 3.6 volt battery. 

After putting positive to positive and negative to negative, 2 AA or AAA batteries can be recharged without any problems. So, this little project does need a little hammering here and there, but it’s totally worth the effort and the satisfaction of having made it yourself! 
[via Rain]

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