Introduction: LED's Powered by Human and Stored in Gravity Battery

About: For the past decade or so I've been very concerned about the planet remaining habitable in the foreseeable future. I'm an artist, designer, inventor, who's focused on sustainability issues. I have focused on a…

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I'm excited by the idea of being able to have electric light, and storage of power, with a no battery, low tech solution.

This is a byproduct of my research into recycling "hoverboard" motors into alternators for very low speed high torque VAWT's. I'm the inventor of a VAWT that I'm really excited about, and if you know much about VAWT's, you'll be sceptical of. You can find more about it here, and here.

This is a work in progress, and I'm entering it into the Instructable's "Glow" competition, which closes on the 27th.

I'll add a lot more detail before then.

In essence what I've done is taken an alternator that produced around 12V 2-4 W at 200 rpm and changed some things in the wiring (more about that later) so that it produces around 12V 2-4 W at around 40 rpm. This is less than 1 revolution per second, so it's prettyyyyy ssssslllooooowwww. At that speed, with the right resistance LED load, it generates a surprising amount of light.

I've been testing it by wrapping a rope around it and attaching a weight then dropping it so that the weight gives the alternator a constant load.

This made me realize that it could be used as a gravity powered light source. If it could only store a minute or so's worth of power, it might still be useful, but it would have to be easy to reset and ideally could be reset with a pedal that could be pumped or treaded.


-Used Hoverboard Alternator (eBay 30$-50$). Another alternative might be a wheel motor from a scooter, like all those scooters lying around in the street.

-Used Bike freewheel


some pulleys

Details will be added to fill out a couple of alternative versions.

Version A- all recycled material - no 3D printed parts

Version B- mostly recycled parts - some FDM printed PLA parts

Make it Glow Contest

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