Introduction: Lenz2 Wind Turbine

Picture of Lenz2 Wind Turbine

This instructable will show you how to build a Lenz2 wind turbine from materials you have around the house.

The design was developed and tested by Ed Lenz of

The Lenz2 VAWT (Vertical Axix Wind Turbine) is 4 foot tall and 3 feet in diameter. It is a basically a Savonius style turbine but with the refinement that the three wings are shaped to provide lift as well because or their teardrop configuration. In the above link Lenz describes how he placed an ananometer inside the stational turbine and showed that the windspeed picked up passing past the solid portion of the wings. This turbine is more efficient than a pure Savonius in that it provided both drag and lift.

In my design I scaled down the diameter to approximately 18 inches and the height to 21 inches. (In hindsight, I should have made the height 18 inches so that there would be more of the center axis free on both ends for flexibility in mounting.)

I was able to use materials I had on hand to build the turbine. When I tested it in a 15 mph wind, it worked so well that I was afraid to stop it for fear of getting injured. The only downside of what I produced is that it seemed to produce very little electricity. This is not due to the design of the turbine but to the nature of the DC motor that I had it attached to. The emphasis in this tutorial will be on how to construct the turbine itself. Full credit for the design and some of the instructions goes to Ed Lenz.

[Note: Since this instructable was published, I learned more about how the wings should be shaped. The construction details for the lenz2 provided in this instructable still hold but the dimensions of the wing in Step 2 should be substituted for those given in the newly inserted Step 3.]

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

The materials you will need are listed below. Substitute alternatives freely if you think they will work.

Plywood (quarter or half inch)
Steel strapping with holes in it (other alternatives are possible)
Nuts and bolts
24 inch allthread rod (half inch diameter)
.5 inch nuts that fit on the althread rod (about 6 of them)
Roof flashing, thin sheet metal, or even some sort of flexible plastic
9 pieces of lumber, .5" x 1" x 18"
Hardware for mounting your turbine (you will have to design this)

Drill and drill bits
Tin snips

Step 2: Cut Out the Wing End Pieces

Picture of Cut Out the Wing End Pieces

[Note: The design for the wing in this step will not give the best lift. Please look at step 3 for a better design. It will show that the sides of the wing are not symetrical. Step 3 will also give a procedure for sizing the wing based on the diameter of the lenz2. (added 1 June 2008).''']

The teardrop endpieces will provide the aerodynamic shape of the wings. You will be building three wing so you will need 6 end pieces. The size I used was half the size the the end pieces described by Ed Lenz. They basically look like ice cream cones.

I recommend that you cut out a cardboard template and use it to draw six images of it on half-inch plywood. Here's how to draw it:
1. Cut a rectangle of cardboard 3.5" x 7.5"
2. Draw a center line along the long axis
3. Make a mark on this line 1.75" from one of the ends (let's call it this the top end)
4. Draw a horizontal line through that mark to the side edges so that it intersects the vertical line at 90 degrees.
5. Using a compass, draw a 1.75" half circle on the top side of that mark. It should intersect the two side edges and the top edge.
6. From where the center line intersects the bottom edge draw lines to the points where the half circle intersects the side edges.
7. Cut out the template.

Use the cardboard template to draw six images on the half inch plywood. You can nest them in such a way that you don't waste the plywood.

Use a jigsaw to cut out the end pieces.

Step 3: Revision: a Change Inthe Shape of the Wing

Picture of Revision: a Change Inthe Shape of the Wing

The original shape of the wing presented in this instructable is not quite according to the plan posted for the Lenz2. After consulting with Ed Lenz, I became aware of the mistake that I have made in interpreting his plans. The new design is illustrated in this step.

Notice that the angle labeled "Angle A" is 90 degrees. Side A is at a right angle to the diameter line of the rounded end of the wing. In the original design that I presented in this instructable, the two lines forming the pointed end of the were of equal length and their angles to diameter line were identical. That cone was symetrical whereas in the change being shown here, the cone is not symetrical. Making Angle A to be 90 degrees will give the wing more lift

I have resized the design so that I can drive a minigen generator that had been sold at (but is no longer available). The basic steps in fabricating the lenz2 are still valid.

Basic Calculation:
I now understand better how to determine the size and proportions of the wing. You first determine what the diameter of lenz2 will be. The easiest way to do this is to decide what the distance will be from the center axis of the lenz2 to the outside edge of a wing. This will be the radius of the lenz2. You double it to get the diameter.

In my new design, I made the assumption that the diameter of lenz2 will be 16 inches (that is, the distance from the center axis to the outside edge of a wing will be 8 inches).

To determine the diameter of the wing, multiply the diameter of the lenz2 times .1875. In my example, 16 inches * .1875 = 3.0 inches.

To determine the length of the wing, multiply the diameter of the lenz2 times .4. In this case, 16 inches * .4 = 6.4 inches. The length of Side A is 6.4 minus 1.5 or 4.9 inches.

I will be creating a new instructable that will include this design in a lenz2 that drives a minigen generator

Step 4: Cut Out the Ribs

Picture of Cut Out the Ribs

You will need to have three ribs to connect the two end pieces of each wing. The length of these ribs will be determined by how tall you want the wings to be. I chose 21" because that's what I thought I could mount on the vertical axis allthread bar.

The ribs should be .5" deep and 1" wide and whatever length you choose (21" in my design).

You will be cutting out .5" x 1" notches in the end pieces where you will dock the ribs. I suggest that you trace the end of the end of one of the ribs on a piece of card paper that you can use as a template for drawing on the end pieces. You could measure the rectangle but by tracing it, you can be sure that the notches will be just large enough.

Step 5: Prepare the End Pieces

Picture of Prepare the End Pieces

Use the .5" x 1" carboard template for the rib notches to draw three notches on each end piece. Two notches will be on one side and one on the other.

There will be a notch on each side of the end piece at its widest point. Since this will be on a curve, make sure that depth of each side of the template full fits into the end piece. This will make sure that the rib will be flush with the outside edge of the end piece.

On one side of the end piece near the pointed end draw a pattern that is about one inch from point. The rectangle will be parallel to the slanted side. The side with two notches will the back side of the wing (the side that faces the center of the turbine.)

Cut out the notches with a jigsaw.

Step 6: Plan the Wing Angle

Picture of Plan the Wing Angle

The pointed end of each wing will be rotated 9 degrees back towards the center of the turbine at 9 degrees off being parallel to the center of the turbine. This measurement was empirically determined by Ed Lenz. I chose that angle and the turbine seemed to work fine. You will have the ability to adjust the angle after the wings are mounted if you feel that you want to prove it to yourself.

First drill a hole in the center of cone part of the end piece. This will be the point where the vertical and horizontal lines meet. The size of the hole will be the diameter of the bolt that you will use to attach it to the strut leading from the center axis.

From somewhere along staight portion of the back edge of the end piece (the side with the two rib notches) draw a line across the end piece that is at right angles to the side.

From where that line intersects the back edge of the end piece, draw a line 9 degrees to the right of that 90 degrees line (this will be on side that is closer to the hole). This line will the one that the bar connecting the wing to the center axis lines up with. If you don't have a protractor, see step 8 for a link where you can download a protractor image.

Do this with all six end pieces.

Step 7: Assemble the Wing Frame

Picture of Assemble the Wing Frame

To assemble each wing you will insert a rib into corresponding notches on top and bottom end pieces. Make sure that the rib does not protrude beyond the top and bottem pieces. They should should be flush.

With a rib in place, pre-drill a single hole through the rib and into the plywood. Screw the rib into place with a 1" wood screw. You could optionally glue these ribs into place but this isn't necessary unless you are building a turbine that you actually intend to use outside to produce electricity.

Attach the other two ribs to form the wing.

Step 8: Attach the Skin of the Wings

Picture of Attach the Skin of the Wings

The round part of the wing and the back side (the side with the two ribs) is covered with some sort of skin. I chose to use aluminum flashing material that I had left over. You may have some other kind of material that might work.

My roll of flashing was 6 inches wide. I discovered that if I cut two pieces 6" x 21", I could cover the leading edge and the back of each wing. I was able to attach one piece of flashing from one rib to the other around the leading edge. I anchored each piece with a few metal screws. Some of these went into the ribs and others into the edge of the plywood end piece. Then I attached the second piece of flashing to the back part of the wing, They were screwed into the back ribs. This piece of flashing can overlap a little with the one going around the leading edge.

Do this for all three wings.
Now you are ready to attach the wings to the center axis.

Step 9: Prepare the Struts and Center Disks

Picture of Prepare the Struts and Center Disks

The wings will be attached to the center axis (the allthread bar) using two circles of plywood and struts that connect these to the tops and bottoms of the wings.

Cut two 8 inch circles of half inch plywood. Using a full-circle protractor (I downloaded one from
), I marked lines on each circle that were 120 degrees apart. These will be the lines that the struts follow out to the wings.

drill a hole in the center of each of the circles. This hole will be the same diameter as the allthread bar.

For struts that connect the circles to the wings, you have a variety of choices. The easiest might be to simply to make these out of wood. I chose to use wood for the bottom struts (because i wasn't sure that the metal strap that I bought would support the weight. For the top I bought a 4 foot piece of zinc plated metal that had holes punched in it along the center line of the strip of metal.

I cut the struts to 11 inches in length. Then I placed the end of each strut 1 inch from the center of the circle along one of the 120 degree lines. I drilled two holes in the strut and one through the circle of plywood. I bolted these firmly in place.

About one inch from the other end of the strut I drilled a hole the same diameter of the hole in the end piece.

Step 10: Mount the Wings to the Center Axis

Picture of Mount the Wings to the Center Axis

Thread a .5 inch nut onto the bottom of the axis (the allthread bar) so that it is about 2.5 inches from the end. Slip one of the plywood disks up from the bottom of axis to where it meets the nut. Then thread another nut up the bar to where it meets the disk. Crank the two nuts toward each other so that the disk sits firmly on the axis.

Attach the second disk to the other end of the axis. You may have to adjust the position of the disks so that they accomodate the height of the wings and also leave room for attaching the axis to a generator or some other structure. Note that there is very little axis sticking above the top of the center disk. I had decided to make the wings 21 inches on a 24 inch axis bar. This was a mistake. In hindsight, I suggest that you make the wings shorter so that you have much more of the axis sticking out the bottom and the top for flexibility in mounting the whole turbine to a generator or other structure. I probably would go with 18 inches.

Now you can mount the wings. With the covered side of a wing facing towards the axis, bolt the struts to the end pieces. These can be fairly tight but loose enough to rotate. Now line up the top strut with the 9 degree line you drew and then tighten down the top and bottom nuts. This angle the wings towards the center axis the right amount.

Do this with the other two wings.

The turbine is ready to be mounted to a generator or some other structure.

Step 11: Mount the Turbine to the Generator

Picture of Mount the Turbine to the Generator

Somehow you will have to mount the turbine to a generator or possibly some sort of support framework that will let it spin freely. In this project I mounted it to a 24 volt DC motor that I had saved from a battery-operated lawnmower. The motor was used to spin the blade of the lawn mower.

The motor has plus and minus spade connectors at one end and a shaft protruding from the other end. Unfortunately the shaft was half inch in diameter with fine thread. This makes it very difficult to mate with something like an allthread bar with is half inch coarse thread.

The way I solved the problem is to bolt an L-shaped bracket to the shaft of the motor. Then I used a piece of metal that I had saved from an old tiller. It is U-shaped and has holes on the side and a threaded hole on the top. The threading is half inch coarse thread, just perfect for mounting the allthread bar. Finally, bolted the U-shaped connector to the L-bracket.

I cut a hole in a piece of plywood large enough to insert the motor. After inserting the motor to the plywood, I bolted it down. To try out the turbine, I placed the whole affair on top of a heavy wooden box.

Step 12: Demonstrating the Turbine

Picture of Demonstrating the Turbine

You can see in the videos that the turbine spins very well in the fairly strong wind that was blowing. I would estimate that it was about 15 mph. It worked so well that I had to temporarily tie the turbine to the box to keep it from falling over. You can clearly see that it is spinning very fast but also bouncing around. The reason for this is the mount of the turbine to the motor is not perfect. It is slightly off-kilter and this can never be improved with this setup.

Does it generate electricity? Sad to say, not much. The problem is the motor. I have no idea about the design of the motor. You will notice a wire leading from the turbine to out of the photo. This is an extension cord with the male end cut off and attached to the motor. With this setup I can insert the probes from a multimeter into the female end. It turns out that I am barely generating 1 volt with the turbine running very fast.

This is the point where another project needs to start. There are numerous discussions on the internet on how to build your own generator. It is also possible to use the right kind of automobile generator or something from a washing machine.

If you don't have a generator in mind, I would suggest you test your handiwork by mounting the turbine on some sort of structure where the wind will catch it. This might be a wooden frame or something made of PVC pipe. This way you can see if the design works and if you have to make adjustments to the angle of the wings. You can also measure what windspeed is need to start the turbine turning.

If you are interested in what the average wind is in your area, you can visit an application that I have on my website that will let you pick a NOAA weather station near you and see a plot of wind, temperature and pressure for the past 24 hours. My application plots these data and gives them in a table. What you want is the average windspeed over the past 24 hours. If you visit your favorite location periodically, you will be able to take note of how the average changes. The link is:


maartenj1 (author)2017-10-24

For a school project we're building a lenz2 type windturbine. in addition to the practical realization we also need some theoratical information and calculations. but we can't really find any information on the internet. does someone maybe have some useful information?

iainlikestocook (author)2014-01-07

Fantastic! I have had the frame or skeleton of the blades and PMA for this project but I have not found out how or where to find sheet aluminum. Buy it online I guess?

rhackenb (author)iainlikestocook2014-01-07

You might try flashing that is used for roofing. Not sure if that is aluminum or galvanized steel.

iainlikestocook (author)rhackenb2014-01-07

Sweet Thank you very much. The flashing sounds promising. I am sure I will find a way to deal with it even if it is steel. I might need a little more weight on the blades anyway. Thank you again

stncilr (author)2008-08-05

What if you built the wings with balsa wood and mylar sheets, of carved out foam? cound that reduce the weight and make them spin easier.

dkskinn (author)stncilr2013-08-14

To make it durable and weather resistant you could make it from foam or balsa and just fiberglass it. that'd make it super light and still very durable in high winds.
I have been playing with the idea of skinning the ribs with fabric or hardware cloth and fiberglassing it to see what i can get...

rhackenb (author)stncilr2008-08-05

Sure, that would work. However, I wonder about the durability in rain and strong wind. It would make a good demo model, however.

gingengineer (author)2013-03-22

what kind of motor did you use as tyour generator?

Robert_13 (author)2011-07-07

Oops! That last part of the math expressions should have read:

1/2.618034 = .3819661, 1 - 0.3819661 = 0.618034

Robert_13 (author)2011-07-07

I wonder whether this design was arrived at empirically first and then tweaked to conform to the interesting mathematics of it, or the reverse. I notice that the proportion of outside degrees of arc corresponding to vanes and to the open spaces between them is right on the Golden Mean (1.618034 or its reciprocal, 0.618034). The angle of the vanes with respect to a tangent to the circumference has a tangent very close to 0.618034 (3/4.9 = 0.612, or a 0.9% difference).

I would think the rationale behind this is that the Golden Mean has very interesting self-referential and scale invariant properties. Since air is essentially scale invariant macroscopically at low wind speeds, I would expect the self-referential nature of the Golden Mean to produce a high probability of self-reinforcing aerodynamic behavior. (1/1.618034 = 0.618034, 1.618034^2 = 2.618034, 1/2.618034 = 0.381966 = 1 - 1.618034, etc.)

DeanC993 (author)2009-02-15

hi are Vawts less efficent than Hawt's?

rhackenb (author)DeanC9932009-02-16

I'm not an expert on this but I think VAWTS are less efficient but they tend to have a lower cut-in speed. This means that they start producing power at lower speeds. That's important because they can be mounted lower to the ground where you can get to them for maintenance. You can also mount them on the top of commercial building and not worry about an ugly tower that will ruin the architectural appearance.

Robert_13 (author)rhackenb2011-07-01

Sorry! This next-to-last sentence:
This both controls optimizes efficiency speed and offers a relatively loss-less way to control speed. Other advantages are simplicity and the resulting low cost,

...should have read:

This both optimizes efficiency and offers a relatively loss-less way to control speed.

Robert_13 (author)rhackenb2011-07-01

The Lenz has lift, which your reply seems to ignore. Lift is a big game changer. I've designed a different, but also 3-blade turbine that has even more lift than the Lenz and maintains some of its characteristics in terms of the Savonius or drag aspect.

I can put wind on either side of my VAWT and it will spin in the same direction. The lift pulls it forward on the side moving into the wind, although very slowly. That's better than simply neutral and way better than just less drag on the side moving into the wind as in the Savonius. There is much stronger lift that pulls it toward the side moving with the wind even before it gets to 90 degrees to the wind. Then it takes off like a rocket and pours wind into the next blade forward as well. The wind through the turbine wraps way around the back side so you can channel a fan into the most productive side and feel the wind coming out about two thirds around from a normal to the front facing the wind.

So lift is a big deal and potentially increases efficiency a lot over a straight Savonius or drag-based turbine. Other huge advantages, besides not having to swivel windward to maximize power, combine to favor VAWTs. Examples are no gears and the potential for magnetic levitation (maglev) and the lower losses to friction that brings.

Maglev can simply be a bi-product of a generator built right into the turbine. Ideally the coils and magnets should be placed just inside the outer edge where the maximum speed exists. The stator can use speaker magnets (very powerful ones available). The coils can pass over the statro magents underneath or potentially even through C-shaped magnets placed on the outside of the bottom rotor rim. You can even wire the coils so at low speeds you use only half or a third of the coils (evenly spaced) and cut the others in as wind speed increases. This can be built into a control system and optimized for the specific power versus wind speed curve of a particular design implementation. This both controls optimizes efficiency speed and offers a relatively loss-less way to control speed. Other advantages are simplicity and the resulting low cost,

vikolord (author)rhackenb2010-04-27

ok im agree with you when you say " that they start producing power at lower speeds" but i'd like to know how many rpm does your VAWT need to generate power? i mean.. your 24DC motor...

DeanC993 (author)rhackenb2009-02-16

Thanks i like the design of the lenz 2 i like the way the Vawts dont need a tail fin

mhkabir (author)DeanC9932009-08-29

Derrius-type Vawts do need a kind of complex tail fin

macrumpton (author)mhkabir2010-04-22

Actually that is not entirely true. The original Darrius turbines with eggbeater type blades are fixed wing devices, but other VAWTs like the Gyromill and Cycloturbine change the angle of their blades using a tail fin.

Heygalicious (author)DeanC9932009-05-22

That's they're beauty, they don't need to be pointed at the wind! Great build by the way, i'm building something slightly similar myself hope to have it finished and up here in a week or two.!

trike road poet (author)2010-04-26

One thing to consider is making the wings out of Styrofoam with a PVC 'axle' tube glued down through the foam. (if you're not sure how, check with RC fliers in your area, many make their own wings with a hot wire cutter and can make such a shape easily.) 

Add plastic bushings for easier rotation, and consider an upper frame to hold the top bearing end of the center axle rigid, so the energy lost in the wobble at speed is regained. (such a frame will be outside the circle through which the wings move. It ought not to affect the wind to the rotor assembly.

stackerjack (author)2010-04-25

What you say is correct, BUT, if you haven't got enough torque, the turbine will not be able to drive the generator at the desired speed.

kat49242 (author)2010-04-24

Why notch them at all? Would it still work if you just glued & screwed the wings on top & bottom of the ribs?

stackerjack (author)2010-04-23

If you move the wings further from the central shaft, the shaft will rotate more slowly. Imagine a wind speed of 10 ft/sec, then, the wing, in theory, will move 10 ft. in 1 second. If this corresponds to a circumferential dimension of 10ft. then the speed of the shaft will be 1 revolution per second.
If the circumference is 20ft., then the shaft speed will be only 1/2 revolution per second.
It will however have more torque, because the arms will be longer.

rhackenb (author)stackerjack2010-04-24

What you say is correct but if you are building a very simple turbine, you will want a non-geared generator.  Generally, you want the rpm to be as high as possible to increase the voltage output.

Bitty (author)2008-03-14

Very nice, thanks for posting this. I'm at the drawing stage of a smaller version of it myself. After seeing the concept in action, it looks like I won't have to spend all that time building a proof of concept first. :oP

rhackenb (author)Bitty2008-03-14

Thanks, Bitty. What do you plan to use in terms of a generator?

Bitty (author)rhackenb2008-03-14

I'm going to be building off his idea for a scratch built axial field generator. I'm also playing around with designing a star-delta switching circuit to more efficiently collect the power. The big challenge right now is deciding what to use for bearings. I want to mount the thing on a single pole (like the hub of a bike wheel with the pole being the axle).

rhackenb (author)Bitty2008-03-15

I've played with the idea of extending the axle of a bicicyle wheel for the axis. There are some aspects of that approach that I haven't solved in my head. How do you get some kind of axle that is long enough and also how do you mount it to the bottom frame? You really have to get the whole axis straight vertical so that there is no wobble. The threading on a bicycle wheel is fine and I think it would be hard to get a fine-threaded bar long enough for what you want to do with it.

instructable gave me some ideas but it will require using both wheels for support. It also has the advantage of fixed gears on one of the wheels. That could be used to an advantage for getting higher RPM.

freddysserpent (author)rhackenb2010-04-24

use pipe with  bicycle wheel nuts tacked  or puddle welded in place

macrumpton (author)2010-04-22

It seems like with a little metal bending to close the back of the "D" on the blades you could do away with the framework except for the end plates.

Also that turbine looks like it would go twice as fast if the shaft were not so wobbly.

dimovi (author)2010-04-22

This is really cool.
Can you provide the cad drawings?
I want to have it laser cut

batonas (author)2009-10-18

eweryone are useing sheet metal for wings, can it be replaced by thick chelophane or plexy plastic ?

Roy smith (author)2009-03-28

Instead of the "u" shaped metal strap just have one 1/2"(.5) coarse thread nut welded to a 1/2"(.5) fine thread nut! Much stronger and more simple (maybe)! Thanks for Your hard work!!! Roy.

clafever (author)2009-03-13

Nice project. I just love how people do totally inappropriate stuff in their pristine carpeted living rooms :) When lifting the generator up after taking pictures I would probably have a huge grease ring on the carpet :) Good Luck!

conntaxman (author)2008-11-04

Isn't the width of the wing to wide for the length?when making a large wind turbine isn't the Diameter to large? say the diameter of the wind turbine is 8 foot. that would mean the dia. of the wing is 18 inches.and the length is only 38.4 inches.Isnt the "bucket" diameter of 18 inches too large to cut through the wind? Im wondering which is more important,the length or the bucket. tks Johnny I had made one that is Y i ask.very low rpm,.Mine was 3 blade,hight of blades were 54" length 46" Bucket diam was 19" Next I want to make a 5 blade one and trying to figure out a smaller diameter bucket so it would cut through the on comming wind. Yes it did have alot of tork

boognishmofo (author)2008-08-22

Cool!! I was looking at another one thinking of using its design, but I think this will be much better. I was pondering the idea of "trying" this out of almost all recycled aluminum cans. Do you think this would be possible. I was thinking of coffee cans for the top and bottoms of the wings and support bars and soda for the actual wings. Just thinking cheap, durable, light, and recycling in the same time. Would you need several of these for a car alternator?Any help would be greatly appreciated.

rhackenb (author)boognishmofo2008-08-23

Sounds like it would work if you can get enough material from a single can for each wing. You don't want to get into trying to bond two cans together. Give it a try.

-Aj- (author)rhackenb2008-09-14

pvc piping from the hardware store works well. just cut it out to the desired cup depth.

awoodcarver (author)2008-03-14

Very nice I will use this with a student at sons school scaled down to fit a small electric motor for his science project ...he is testing sail designs for windmills

rhackenb (author)awoodcarver2008-03-15

I'm thinking of scaling this down to about half the size and finding something better than metal flashing to use. You definitely want to avoid metal flashing for a school project. It's difficult and dangerous to work with and once it's spinning, there area lot of sharp edges that can cut people who try to stop it with their hands. I keep thinking there is some sort of plastic laminate that is relatively sturdy but flexible enough to bend around the round part of the wing.

tornadoboy (author)rhackenb2008-06-04

You could try making them out of fiberglass cloth and resin, if done right it should be relatively light and extremely durable

tornadoboy (author)tornadoboy2008-06-04

In fact if you wanted to get cute, and could skip using wood for the ribs and just mold them out of fiberglass right onto the wings, then they would REALLY be strong!

rhackenb (author)2008-05-26

I have been in contact with Ed Lenz and he pointed out that I don't have the right shape for the wing. The way it is right now, it won't get the lift he designed into it. I will make a change to the the instructable but here is the critical change: The plywood endpiece of the wing is now shaped like an icecream cone. The two sides leading to the pointed end are currently of equal length. What needs to be done is to have the the side that that is covered with sheet metal be at a right angle to the diameter line of the half-circle. In the current posting, that angle is less than 90 degrees. If you draw it at 90 degrees, it will make the other side (the open scoop side) to be at a much more accute angle and for the open side to be longer to the closed side. I will make changes to the instructable as soon as I can.

kahles77 (author)2008-05-26

Nice job, been thinking of trying to make one of these for a while now.

3thumbsup (author)2008-04-18

This is just too much! I have been mulling this idea around my melon for months, and here I find like minded thinkers. The concept is the same with just a few tweeked parrameters. I have a realy rough drawing I did on paint, but it suffices. However the scale is about 10-fold. As soon as I get a proto, I will show. Tks

explosivetron (author)2008-03-29

general DC motors are very inefficient at generating electricity, ii have learned from experience that proper dynamo's are a lot more effective because with one I had at home and stuck a fan on the shaft I was able to achieve about 8-9 volts with a hair dryer (pointless i know generating electricity with electricity) but anyway... here in aus i get them from dick smith's but in USA i think it would be radioshack? just ask them

fieldman (author)explosivetron2008-04-06

Hi. I'm the new kid, in here at least. I don't know the general technical level of most so if I go on about the obvious just tell me to shut up. Here's my 2 cents on generating devices. Any generating device is usually designed to run at a specific (and constant) speed and wound with wires sized to create the appropriate fields at specific voltages and currents. An automotive alternator is probably the most versatile generator you will find dollar for killowatt. If you open one up you will notice that they have slip rings and not a commutator. This will tell you that they are AC generators. It is possible to manipulate the force it takes to turn it (and thus its output) with the stuff you can still get a Radio Shack.

rhackenb (author)explosivetron2008-04-04

I am not sure what a "proper dynamo" is. Radio Shack seems to be getting away from any serious electronics. They just have a tiny project motor. I am still looking. Right now I am visiting Chile and cannot believe the amount of wind down here and I have see only one windmill in the whole country. It was a HAWT with a 2 foot blade on a remote park station. They do not have transmission lines in Patagonia so something small near a house that is cheap to build and erect would be great. I assume there is a great need for this world wide.

explosivetron (author)rhackenb2008-04-06

sorry i wasnt very specific. A hobby motor is designed to just be useful for exactly that, hobbies, such as cars etc, they are designed to have electrical input not output, i am not entirely sure but i think dynamos have stronger magnets, and the shaft is harder to turn (pointless on a hobby motor) links to the different products

Daenni (author)2008-03-22

That looks really cool. What kinda things can u run from that power its producing?

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