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Picture of 400 Farad Super Capacitor Flashlight.  Build This One. It's Easy.

Wouldn’t you like to have a flashlight that does not need batteries that will last a lifetime? Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to shake it every few minutes to keep it lit up? Then what you need is a super capacitor flashlight.

 
luxstar (author) 2 years ago

Drakekay,

I have been running tests with different motors of various sizes.  I have a test set up with a large wheel with a crank/handle on it to step up the rpms on the motors I have tested.  It is easy to light up leds with motors but charging a large super-capacitor is a lot harder.  My goal is to get 1 hour of light for 2 minutes of cranking.  I have only one motor (out of the 20 or so I have collected over the years) that is big enough to meet the goal but it is too big to be portable.  I have given the half-hearted effort to making a generator but that has not met my goal.  For now I am not pursuing it since the overall goal was to have a way to have lighting off the grid and without batteries for an extended period of time if necessary.  That goal can easily be met by having:

 A solar panel as small as 5 watts

A junky old car battery (does not have to be good enough to start a car).

A 12 or 14 volt linear regulator (LM7812, LM7814)

A charging circuit for this flashlight.

And a couple of super capacitor flashlights.

 

So since I have the great big motor in case there is a problem with the solar panel / car battery set up, I’m still prepared.  If I do pursue the generator thing in the future I have my eye on this one to connect to a bycicle:

http://www.small-generator.com/Small-Alternator-YAF-80B.htm

$49.00 here:

http://small-generator.com/buy/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=9

I Think I will only be needing 2- 3 amps at under 6 volts.  After 2-3 minutes on the bike I get on with my life.  Thanks for the comment Drakekay.

 
luxstar (author)  luxstar2 years ago


The Solar set up mentioned in the Sep 10, 2012. 7:03 PM comment is here:

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/Uses-For-Dead-Car-Batteries-And-Sealed-Lead-Acid-B/?ALLSTEPS\

 

luxstar (author) 2 years ago

By the way if you don’t want to build a supercapaitor flashlight but you would like to own one, here is a review of the Lightstorm CL1 flashlight with a crank:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7Pw6xURVT0

It looks like a good option if you don’t mind winding every 20 minutes. The high beam appears to be very bright. It is a mechanical device with gears so it will wear out over time if used often. Perhaps owning both is the best of both worlds.

Drakekay2 years ago
Hey Luxstar, Greet concept. :D Why not add a hand turned rotor with magnets attached to it, encased in a coiled stator to charge that cap?
luxstar (author) 2 years ago

Note: When I ordered my capacitors I accidentally clicked on the 2.5 volt capacitor instead of the 2.7 volt. They make both. So I am stuck charging at 2.5 volts. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Lux