My wind mill doesn't produce enough voltage can I use a series of capacitors to make it run a bulb or LED? HELP!!

I originally thought it would be simple to get this to work but I was sure wrong.  I bought a small hobby motor and had the guy at the hobbie store fit a propellar to it.  Thought it was just that simple.  I put a volt meter on it with it in front of a fan and found it only produced a 0.5V signal with the fan on high.  The smallest bulb I could find was a 1.5V incandesent bulb.  I finally got it to barely fire when I had this thing in the 20mph wind.  This is a science project for my daughter. So I'm asking does anybody have any Ideas on how I could make this work?

Picture of My wind mill doesn't produce enough voltage can I use a series of capacitors to make it run a bulb or LED? HELP!!
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kjsrocks3 years ago

here are some


vsop1 (author) 3 years ago

Where could I find a low voltage meter that would show .5 volts? I dont want to change the whole set-up because she has already written the report for that part.

A bigger prop and gear it up, that is the same motor used as a generator in a crank flashlight.

If you can find an emergency flashlight you turn the crank try it out you will see that you don't need to turn it fast to charge up the light but it takes a little power to turn it so you will need a much larger blade on your prop to turn the motor at the RPMs needed.

So a much larger prop for power and a series of gears or pulleys to make the motor spin faster.

petercd3 years ago

1. You chose the wrong type of motor initially, those are typically high rev motors 1500 rpm +, what you need is low rpm dc motors, ungeared.

Perhaps a small brushless motor with a diode on each of the 3 leads to sum the currents to the bulb.

2.You could try a voltage tripler circuit with diodes and capacitors, doubler might not give enough for your bulb.


A little hobby motor won't produce much unless you can get it to it's max RPMs. What is that a 3V hobby motor. Even at it's max RPMs it won't be bale to put out a full 3V. But it's best to use a wind mill to charge a battery and use the battery to run the light.

Rather that lighting a bulb or LED just demonstrate that you are creatign a votlage by hooking up a small volt meter to it.

Put some pulleys in to make the motor turn faster, and/or use a red LED not a bulb. The LED should take a lot less current to run.