Piezoelectric Generator

About: I love Arduino and anything related to the holy science of electronics. Sometimes I slip into C++ or C#. You're darn right I'm a nerd!

Intro: Piezoelectric Generator

Hello, welcome to my Instructable on how to make your own piezoelectric generator!

A piezoelectric generator is a device that generates electricity from movement! In this Instructable, I will show how you how to make one, and how to save that electricity for later.

Good luck!

-TheArduinist

Step 1: Getting Started

Gathering your parts:

#1 One piezo element - available at Radioshack (US) or Maplin (UK)

#2 One breadboard - available at Radioshack (US) or Maplin (UK)

#3 One bridge rectifier (or four diodes)

#4 One 47uF electrolytic capacitor - available at Radioshack (US) or Maplin (UK)

#5 One SPDT (Single Pole, Double Throw) switch - available at Radioshack (US) or Maplin (UK)

#6 One LED - available at Radioshack (US) or Maplin (UK)

#7 Several jumper wires - available at Radioshack (US) or Maplin (UK)

Step 2: Wiring the Piezo

Insert the positive (red) wire of the piezo into the red bus line on the breadboard.

Insert the negative (black) wire of the piezo into the black/blue bus line on the breadboard.

Step 3: Wiring the Bridge Rectifier

Insert the bridge rectifier into the breadboard.

Attach one of the wave pins to the red bus line.

Attach the other wave pin to the black/blue bus line.

More on the bridge rectifier:

A bridge rectifier converts an AC input to a DC output. Read more about it here.

Step 4: Wiring the Switch

Insert the switch into the breadboard.

Attach the left lead to the positive lead on the rectifier.

Step 5: Wiring the Capacitor

Attach the positive wire on the capacitor to the middle lead of the switch.

Attach the negative lead of the capacitor to the negative lead on the rectifier.

NOTE: Do not insert the capacitor backwards. It could leak or even explode!

Step 6: Wiring the LED

Attach the positive lead on the LED to the right lead on the switch.

Attach the negative lead on the LED to the negative lead on the capacitor.

NOTE: If the LED is inserted backwards it will not work.

Step 7: Testing

To test the circuit, replace the capacitor with the LED, wiring the negative lead on the LED to the rectifier's negative lead, and the positive lead on the LED to the middle switch lead.

Blow on or shake the piezo, and the LED should light up!

When you are done testing, place the capacitor and LED back into their spots, and flip the switch to the left to charge the capacitor.

When you are done charging the capacitor, flip the switch to the right and watch the LED light up!

Step 8: Have Fun!

If you have done everything right...

You should have a device that creates electricity from movement! Post any questions below! Thank you for using this Instructable!

-TheArduinist

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    9 Discussions

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    TheArduinistmiraheng

    Reply 2 years ago

    Is it just me, or is that red wire in the upper right corner of your picture that that is supposed to attach the switch to the LED in the wrong row of holes?

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    mirahengTheArduinist

    Reply 2 years ago

    I dont understand. i think its correct. left is to bridge. middle to capacitor. right to led. am i right? what else is wrong u think

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    TheArduinistmiraheng

    Reply 2 years ago

    Oh, you're right. It looked like the wire was in the wrong hole. My bad! Maybe the diodes you are using put up too much resistance. Bigger diodes put up bigger resistance most of the time. Try smaller ones.

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    mosquemouse

    2 years ago

    How do you attach a single pole double throw switch that has 3 legs to the breadboard?

    2 replies
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    TheArduinistmosquemouse

    Reply 2 years ago

    I soldered one jumper wire to each leg of the switch. Then I plugged the wires into the breadboard. The wires don't need to be too long, and you should make sure the legs of the switch never get electrically connected.

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    baecker03

    3 years ago

    to save energy, a person might be able to get a low forward voltage diode it even skip it altogether since the energy created may not harm the led.