when wandering the fields and forests armed with richard maybe's classic book "food for free" all you need besides maybe patience is a basket to collect a meal sized amount of edible things, and if it's a moonless night then a light is useful.... this basket is the answer!
a beer can windmill is directly mounted to the screw-like spindle of a floppy drive stepper motor( the one that positions the read/write heads) and this motor is attached to the front of the basket, where it will catch the wind. the output from the stepper goes into a transformer, a 240:12 step down transformer, but into the 12v end, so it serves as a x20 step up transformer, as a white led needs 3.3V and output from this stepper at wind driven speed (this was a simulated wind) was only a few 100mV.
unfortunately the bearings aren't so good, once removed from the floppy drive chassis, requiring the spindle to be pressed down to run freely, so all outside tests failed and it took a air compressor to light the led.
this project was inspired by a cousin of mine in one of the most windy parts of ireland (the north antrim coast) so when i visit there again we can build one and test it outside!
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.