Alternator to generate power?

If got an old car alternator and want to connect it to a battery, I'm using a waterfall to turn a bicycle weel with blades, to turn the alternator. is the slow speed going to be a problem?

Question by HermannR6 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Alternatives to kite power

I was looking though my old MAKE magazines, and found the schematics for a Kite Aerial Photography rig. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's a camera attached to a kite that allows for aerial photographs to be taken remotely. However, I live in Texas, and the only time the wind blows here is when it rains. And rain means lightning. So, rather than risk electrocution, I'd like to come up with some alternative methods of lift. I was considering a large helium balloon (like a weather balloon), but I was wanting something that I could say I made myself. Then I considered hot air, but I'm not sure how large a homebrewed hot air balloon would have to be to lift a camera. Any suggestions?

Topic by ninepound 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Car alternators... Answered

Isnt a car alternator just an electric motor that is acting as a generator? is there anyway to put two old matching ones on a base, attach tires, and power them with a car battery?

Question by hellstudios 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Alternative for 2n1613? Answered

Hi, i cant find 2n1613 transistor here in my city. i want ur help in letting me know of any alternating transistor that i can use for my project. i'm making a mini variable power supply using this transistor but because of the shortage i'm unable to complete my project. i need ur help asap.  THANKS

Question by pizzadox747 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Alternative power sources for a coilgun?

I was wondering if there was any other method to power the firing coil of a single stage coilgun without using capacitors.  My main reasoning is to try to reduce recharge time, and to also avoid making massive groups of capacitors and finding a place to put them. It needs to be able to be powered by some form of battery, meaning I could connect voltage to this circuit (1.2 volts up to 12 volts.  I'm not picky) and shouldn't consist of hard to find components. I'm not looking for the greatest efficiency in the world, just making a step (okay, maybe a stomp) toward building a 'capless coilgun'.

Question by Madrias357 8 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Power supply alternatives for Desktop ? Answered

 I  want to know wind or solar power is good to power up my PC,DIY link please ? Do you know any other alternative solution ? 

Question by milans 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


No category for environment or alternative power?

Well I just submitted my first instructable under the new organization, it may be my last. There doesn't seem to be a "category" or "channel" or whatever silly thing that covers things like environmental science or alternative power source or most of the 20+ instructables I have posted. Anybody else feeling left out? Since I must now apparently put in mandatory keywords for community posts I used the keyword "unhappy author"...

Topic by egbertfitzwilly 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Help!! Hydro power

Hello! I need step by step instructions which shows how to build a hydro power system. I have to do this for a small hostel in the mountains. It needs to make 12v atleast and will use a alternator.I will need lots of help from you guys to build it all.Particulatly on the runner(what type for best efficiency,how to build it, cost, tools)and on the housing for the turbine(what material to use,it will have to be very durable and strong).I am an electronics expert so no need to explain to me what is what. Include a circuit which can charge a 12v battery bank . I am aware how a rectifier can be used to convert the alternator's AC to DC.I would like the rectifier circuit too.Added bonus if you show me how to make a housing for the turbine.Also I would like a homemade charge controller circuit too.The controller will have to have dump load options as well.If you can give a good way to water proof the whole thing... Kudos to you I will need all the plans for this project Alternator, Charge controller ,Blades, How to best wire battery bank etc. Please explain what materials to use etc. And please be aware this will be a rather low budget project.I prefer maximum efficiency and please do not worry yourself about where i will get flowing water etc.And please post your own pics if possible.It may not be possible for me to use power tools and a welder,I prefer simple tools, if not, no problem.

Topic by mhkabir 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


High Frequency Alternators

Look at a picture of some arcs from a common spark-gap Tesla Coil, and then compare it to the arcs from a solid-state. What makes the two so different? The difference comes from the Solid-State Tesla Coil to operate in CW (constant wave) mode. This means that its power supply is uninterrupted, whereas in a spark-gap type, power is being switched on and off hundreds of times per second. If the output terminal of a CW coil doesn't have a brake out point, no corona or spark will occur. For anyone who's investigating wireless power transmission or Tesla's version of radio, this is a very helpful feature, since corona only wastes energy. And if it does have a brake out point, it can create some pretty interesting spark displays, as I mentioned above. An arc to a grounded object increases the current in the arc to such a point that it turns into a white-hot "flaming" discharge. All-in-all, a CW type coil is a pretty interesting kind to observe. But solid-states can be pretty difficult and annoying to build, and expensive as well. Since solid-state technology obviously was not available to Tesla, he found a different way to operate his coils in CW mode- a generator that was specially designed to produce radio-frequency power. He had originally created it for high-frequency arc lighting. Today, I have seen absolutely no coils run by a high frequency alternator. Of course, an alternator would be admittedly difficult to build, but since it could probably deliver more power than a solid-state coil, it would be worth it. Does anyone know if there are any companies that still make these alternators? Would anyone be interested in recreating it? Should we even bother? Thank you for listening. Peace!

Topic by ElectricUmbrella 9 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


MP3 + Speak alternative power supply???

I have posted this this in 'Kids' forum also, I hope that is ok? MP3 Bedtime Stories ..... Battery  Hi, new here so please bare with me.....long story cut short. My Grandson is five years old and I thought it would be great, and get him to sleep quicker at night, if I could come up with some method of playing MP3 stories. I know, CD player, etc. nope, at five years old they want to take EVERYTHING apart. So no mains leads, CDs, etc. What I came up with was buy a simple and cheap (£2.99) MP3 player off ebay, pair it with a small battery powered speaker (£5.99) and away we go.....doh!   Both items are amazing and just right for the job BUT both are battery powered (will go flat after he falls asleep and they are left on) and two, they both have on-off switches underneath which stops me mounting them on a surface. Sorry this is going on so long....... What I thought of doing is getting a loooooooong lasting battery source (would 9v last a lot longer) and bringing ing it down to 1.5v (x2 one feed for each device). Then it wouldn't matter if they were left on overnight a few times -  or am I deluded.  Or better still, can anybody please advise? Both the speaker and MP3 player have internal rechargeable batteries but they rely on a VERY busy mum recharging them daily so I am looking for an alternative. thanks

Topic by TN1946 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


How to power a light with a car alternator? Answered

I have made a system where i have a car alternator attached to a stool.  Attached aroung the wheel of the alternator is medical tubing wrapped around a wheel.  This wheel is held up by two pieces of wood.  I have attached handles on either side of the wheel.  On the alternator where the power is dispersed, I have soldered wires to an 1.5 Volt light.  I am spinning the wheel left and right.  But, it will not light the light.  So the questions that I am asking are, which way do I need to spin the alternator wheel if I was looking at the wheel from the front, and how fast I need to spin the wheel.  Any help would be appreciated!!! Thanks!

Question by Goalie1 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Need suggestions for alternating power in circuit? Answered

Hi all, I am working on a little circuit that uses a potentiometer to send a pulse to a piezo, I would like to install another pot with different settings and automatically alternate the pulse between the 2 pots. Power would need to be redirected to each potentiometer alternating for approx 15-20 sec. So when I power on, there will have a 20sec pulse using potentiometer #1 then 20 sec using potentiometer #2 and so on... The circuit works on a 1.5v to 4.5v dc power source. There could also be a delay between the 2 different pulse. What would you suggest using as the switching hardware  ... ic ... chip? The circuit is working right now but uses only 1 potentiometer with 1 set pulse, I just want to add another pot. Thanks for all inputs, looking forward to hear from you. Lion_Heart

Question by Lion_Heart 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Alternate power supply for an old laptop? Answered

For those who it may concern, thanks if you can help. Got an Toshiba 460CDT laptop that has everything inside (HDD, RAM, battery, etc), but there is one thing that concern me, the power supply. I didn't came with it, being super cheap (3$), so now I'm in need for a 15V 3A power supply which I don't have. So for my question, would another power supply, like a wall wart, would work with this old laptop? Is there a difference using a wall wart or a laptop power supply to power a laptop? Would any power supply, being 15V 3A or 10.8V recharge the 10.8V 3600mAh battery even if its a few units off? And say if the battery was dead when I do find a power supply, would this old laptop still use the power supply to power up the computer without the battery?

Question by BIO Wolf 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Alternative knex gun power source

I think this situation has happend to everyone once(pulls pin back)*SNAP!* "dang it, my rubber band broke"and let me say i HATE it when that happens, i got so tired of it that i decided to try an alternative, what did i use? Springs! I bought a pack of springs for $3 and lets say they work perfectly! they made my new sniper rifle fire over 80 feet before it hit the wall, so i dont know the exact range and i though i was set for a month of 2! ...well untill the 3rd day of useing them... the one i was useing got alot weaker i started to realise before i could hit the target on the wall without aiming upwards, now it dose not even reach 60 feet! (i noticed after i did my video) my first reaction was to check the breach load for any fragments of broken cartrages. none to be found. i thought "oh maybe the pin's tape has to be replaced (easy enough) as i took the main gun peice (the part of real barrel and breach load stuff not like handel or stock) it hit me! when i first used the gun my shoulder would pop and i could not get that strong in 3 days. and as i stared at the pin it seemed the spring had stretched! (this is a expantion spring so thats not good) now i am very upset cause i am on the 2nd spring and it took me forever! to get the pin exactly right the first time.so thats why this is here for any good ideas on how to have strong (yet long lasting) power sorces cause lets say RBs dont seem to like me and springs can get anoying and expencive.

Topic by Sypran 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Printed Batteries Provide Paper-Thin Power.

Check this out! A team of German scientists has invented the world's first printable batteries. Thin, flexible and environmentally friendly, the batteries can be produced in large quantities for a fraction of what it takes to produce conventional batteries. The new battery is also different in other ways from conventional batteries. The printable version weighs less than one gram on the scales, is not even one millimeter thick and can therefore be integrated into bank cash cards. The battery contains no mercury and is in this respect environmentally friendly. Its voltage is 1.5 V, which lies within the normal range. By placing several batteries in a row, voltages of 3 V, 4.5 V and 6 V can also be achieved. The new battery was developed by a research team led by Dr. Reinhard Baumann of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Chemnitz, Germany. "Our goal is to be able to mass produce the batteries at a price of single digit cent range each," states Dr. Andreas Willert, group manager at ENAS. The batteries are printed using a silk-screen printing method similar to that used for t-shirts and posters. A kind of rubber lip presses the printing paste through a screen onto the substrate. A template covers the areas that are not to be printed on. Through this process it is possible to apply comparatively large quantities of printing paste, and the individual layers are slightly thicker than a hair. Therefore, the battery is suitable for applications which have a limited life span or a limited power requirement, for instance greeting cards. The researchers have already produced the batteries on a laboratory scale. At the end of this year, the first products could possibly be finished.

Topic by YourSolarLink 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


can car alternator generate power without battery,please help?

I want to generate power without battery if its possible

Question by mikebassam 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 months ago


Bicycle-generated Power

I want to make an attachment for my bike that generates and stores power when I ride it. I'm thinking of using and old car's alternator, but I don't know much about electricity, so I'm asking for help. Also, how can I store the power? In a battery? I'm planning on hooking up a plug outlet, which might be removable to save space. Thanks!

Topic by jaredsalzano 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Solar "Generator"

Since I've always wanted to do something like this and I found this site, it's about to happen! I found a smaller version with what I wanted to do at Popular Science but I want to do something on a larger scale. I do have some questions though that I'm hoping someone can answer or point me in the correct direction.I'm going to describe what I'm doing with what and what I have questions with.I'm going to be buying this solar panel and charge controller kit. Sunforce Solar Panel With Charge ControllerA deep cycle 115 AMP Hour 12 V marine battery from Wal-Mart with Plastic Battery caseSalvaged wood Toy BoxMeter Question: How to meter how many amp hours I have left or how charged the battery is? What kind of meter to buy? Where? (not too expensive <20 bucks or so) how to hook it up.A 12 V accessory outlet with on off switch Question: I'm putting an inline fuse before the switch, 15A the line fuse goes on the + (positive) side correct?A 700 Watt 6.25 AMP DC to AC converter with 4 outlets connected to it. Question: can I put a breaker or fuse between the 4 outlets I'm going to be plugging into on the outside and the plug being plugged into the DC to AC converter? If so how?USB ports for charging with on off switch. Question: how do I convert the 12V to 5V in an easy way? I've seen some creative ideas on here for charging VIA salvaged USB ports but I don't want to have to hook it up to my power inverter if I don't have to. Cooling/ventilation for the entire thing. Any ideas how I might cool/vent it? Currently I'm thinking of using old computer fans and put them on both sides of the toy box and have 2 blowing and 2 blowing out. Having the fans run off of the solar panel during the day and either have a switch to change it to battery at night (if it's too warm in the house) or maybe photo sense it? Temp sensor to turn it on and off? Or a switch to turn it off completely. I'm just looking for idea's to keep the battery (and to expand to be more than one battery) cool/ventilated. If you have examples or detailed description on how to do it that'd be great. I'm not one to steal ideas so I'll credit the idea's I'm given if I use them =)I'm going to see how much I can run off of this and how long. Hopefully save some big time energy also!Thanks all!

Topic by oddie1212 11 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Is there any danger in using two different sine-wave inverters (UPS) to provide backup power for my computers?

I'm concerned that having two UPS units in close proximity could be the same as having two out of phase mains supplies and the potential for a rather nasty shock.  Or, are my fears misguided? Thanks.

Question by marto26 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


can a 25hp diesel engine power a 25kw alternator to power a 15kw motor?

I have a 25hp china single cylinder diesel engine and a 25kw alternator of 80% power efficiency.  I have a 15kw electric motor attached to a vegetables oil expeller that I want to power. Can I use the 25hp diesel engine to power the 25kw alternator to get 15kw out of it to power the 15kw motor?

Question by TyogaS 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


How to Make High Powered LED Alternate

Does anyone know or can tell me where I can get information on how to get High Powered LED's to alternate flashes like wig-wags for a vehicle??  Wondering what I need and how to wire it.  I really wanted to have about 3 or 4 high powered LEDs (either Luxon Stars or something of the sort) on one side and 3 or 4 on the other side, and each side to alternate flashes back and forth.  I need help at a beginner level and Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks

Topic by CrazyBob62 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Texas Windpower = Big Money

Texas is now far ahead of California, and the rest of the country, in production of wind power.From the NYTimes:Texas, once the oil capital of North America, is rapidly turning into the capital of wind power. After breakneck growth the last three years, Texas has reached the point that more than 3 percent of its electricity, enough to supply power to one million homes, comes from wind turbines.Texans are even turning tapped-out oil fields into wind farms.

Topic by canida 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


More Alternative Merit Badges.

Scoochmaroo showed us the Nerd Merit Badges a couple of years ago. Now you can award a merit badge to your favourite over-achiever. These twelve badges cost $10 each, or $114 for the set, so I doubt they'll be adorning many sleeves, but they're a great idea, and super inspiration for those who design their own digital patches. Left-to-right, and top-to-bottom, they are... Survival - getting out from behind the 8-ball The Illusionist - for being good with your hands Zen Stones - for living a life in balance The Big Dipper - for dreaming big The Sprout - for growing from adversity The Hypnotist - for superior powers of persuasion Voodoo Doll - for using your powers for good, not evil Dopamine Molecule - for believing in love Serotonin Molecule - for finding happiness Inkblot - for facing your inner demons Optimist - for always believing the glass is half full Heart - for giving a s**t Go, be inspired, be inspiring.

Topic by Kiteman 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


How do car alternators work?

I am working on way to charge electronics at long festivals.  There is no electricity and then my camera dies.  My solution is to bring a car battery and charge USB devices using car power/usb power adapter. My questions is about charging car batteries.  I noticed that the highest charge setting on my wall-power car charger is 6 amps.  A car alternator on the other hand supplies 65 amps.  Why such a huge difference?  When you jump start dead car battery and then charge the battery with the car running the alternator is the battery really charging at 65 amps?  That is 10 times more current than from a wall charger.

Topic by Noblenutria 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Battery power and power consumption help!

I have a geocache project and need help with the power supply and power consumptin inside it. The basics of the project: It is a large wooden box. The box has a on/off switch. It also has various various coin slots. Flip the switch, turning it on, to supply power to the solenoid inside. Dropping a coin through the correct slot will trigger a momentary micro switch which activates the solenoid and springs out the drawer of treasures. Take your loot. Close the drawer. Turn off the switch and leave it for the next adventurer. And it works! Yay! Commoonents the question:  The solenoid is a 12v  door latch solenoid. https://www.adafruit.com/products/1512 The battery is a 12v 5ah sealed lead acid battery.  The coin micro switch is: https://www.adafruit.com/products/820 My question. This geocache that lives, protected, about 3 blocks from my house. I obviously won't be charging the 12v battery very often. Since this setup only has momentary power draw once in a while. Say once a week. Maaaaaaybe. Does anyone have any alternate power recommendations? I am okay with changing out the batteries once in a while. But I'm hoping for a once every few months. I originally used a new lead acid battery but it seems to have died. Possibly from letting the charge fall to low and then sulfation occured. I'm considering using a 11.1V Lipo Rc battery instead so I can recharge it at various levels of depletion. Thing is I need it to last a worth while amount of time without loosing power but also killling the battery from just sitting there.  Thoughs woukd be GREATLY appreciated.  -McG

Question by McgCache 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Electricity Recycler? Stupid Question?

I was laying in bed a few minutes ago thinking about my idea to change the world, as i do every night before bed. I thought why can't or hasn't anyone made a electricity recycling generator? like why can't you take say..... a car alternator and make it produce enough electricity to run a small motor to spin the alternator as well as have enough energy left over to power devices? and then why couldn't this theory be applied to large scale generators? or why couldn't you electricly power a vehicle and somehow turn the wheels into basically 4 big alternators that generate power for the vehicle? going back to the alternator idea, is there no way to make an alternator type generator to use say 25 - 50% of its generated power to power itself and the other 50% to power devices? please point out the flaws its hurting my brain

Topic by chaoscampbell 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Say I've got a 12 volt power wheels motor....

Can I hook it to a power source and use it like an alternator to charge a battery?

Question by Funk_D 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


smallest power jack socket?

I'm looking for the tiniest power jack socket possible for charging an internal battery.  I'm considering micro USB, but it's difficult to solder (and it would be nice if the plug didn't have an up and down direction).  Can anybody suggest alternatives?  Thanks.

Topic by aliasjanedoe 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


DC Turbine Power/ can a car alternator be used for wind turbine service?

Question by wyndrider 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


how do i make a gear box with a 6to1 ratio so i can build a wind up power supply for emergency?

I want to build a generator that doesn't use gas but will turn fast enough to turn an alternator with a gear box system once i have the gear box built which will meet my requirements I will use three battery's two alternators. having this done ill use an invert er.    

Question by Lonnie W pagle Jr 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


What small replacements (preferably cell battteries) are there for two AA batteries?

I would like to replace two AA batteries with a cell battery or something smaller -  I have tried with a small 3v cell battery but it doesn't seem to work.  Is this because of the current?  Any tips on alternative power supplies?

Question by shmelfhelp 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Parallelized Wind Power

This started as a blog post on Make http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/05/parallelized_wind_power.htmlIt was suggested to head over to instructables and get some stuff going here and it seemed a good idea. Also, in the meantime I found (of course) a bunch of cool wind projects here (about 20). I really like the vertical Savonius turbines. I wonder if those could be stacked with a similar effect?I've been wanting to do a wind power project for a while, and it seems like a good one to work on with others. Here's a brainstorm to kick things off. Please add to it or suggest alternatives problems etc.- total parts cost < $200- leverage off the shelf parts as much as possible. - little or no machining.- over 100 watts, (ideally 300-500) (this could be totally unrealistic with a $200 price, not sure yet)- usable in small yards, urban roof topsThe guys who made the original did some research for a grant and the paper is available here: http://www.speakerfactory.net/TURBINES/GRANTS/Selsam%20EISG%2002-18%20Final.docAlright. Hopefully this is enough to kick off some discussion and gather up interested parties. I think the first step will be to tack down goals and solidify a general approach. Ideally in the end, we can come up with a good parts list from a minimal number of sources, and an instruction set that's relatively easy. A group might also leverage some purchase power by getting some of these parts in bulk (ie. a whole bunch of airplane props). Tim

Topic by timothy 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


help needed

CAN ANYONE HELP ME. IM MAKING A CIRCUIT AND IT REQUIRES THE USE OF A 74LS13 SCHOTTKY, I DON'T HAVE ONE SO ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATES I CAN USE INSTEAD. ALL SURGESTIONS WELCOME

Topic by carl1234 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


How powerful of a motor do you need to run an alternator? Answered

From questions I have read and step by step’s I have read a question came to my mind. How powerful of a motor do you need to run an alternator? I checked the Delco Remy alternator series from 10SI in 37 Amps, to the 40SI durable brushless model, in 240, 275, and 300 Amps. All their performance charts show rpm’s at the alternator not the motor. The pulley on the crankshaft is considerably larger than the pulley on the alternator, giving you more rpm’s at the alternator than at the motor. All their performance charts show rpm’s from 1200 to 8000 rpm’s. All their performance charts show at 3000 rpm’s you get 13/16ths of max power. The last 5000 rpm’s only gaining 3/16ths of power. The thing is none of the performance charts say the horsepower to drive the alternator. I decided to approach the problem from a different direction Typical alternator efficiencies are in the 54%-60% range. Brushless alternator efficiencies are in the 60% 70% range. A typical 12v 60 Amp alternator produces 720 watts at 55% efficiency. It needs just 1310 watts to drive it or a little under two horsepower at 1492 watts. This does not account for mechanical efficiency of connecting the alternator to the motor. With this in mind a three horsepower motor should drive a 12v 60 Amp alternator. This is just an educated guess but I would like a horsepower chart. 720 watts would do well at charging a battery bank while you sleep; however I could not run my microwave and charge batteries at the same time.

Question by Josehf Murchison 7 years ago  |  last reply 5 weeks ago


8 Reasons you'll rejoice when we hit $8 a gallon gasoline

This article in MarketWatch written by Chris Pummer mostly matches my opinions. My favorite is #2Here is the text:SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- For one of the nastiest substances on earth, crude oil has an amazing grip on the globe. We all know the stuff's poison, yet we're as dependent on it as our air and water supplies -- which, of course, is what oil is poisoning.Shouldn't we be technologically advanced enough here in the 21st Century to quit siphoning off the pus of the Earth? Regardless whether you believe global warming is threatening the planet's future, you must admit crude is passé. Americans should be celebrating rather than shuddering over the arrival of $4-a-gallon gasoline. We lived on cheap gas too long, failed to innovate and now face the consequences of competing for a finite resource amid fast-expanding global demand.A further price rise as in Europe to $8 a gallon -- or $200 and more to fill a large SUV's tank -- would be a catalyst for economic, political and social change of profound national and global impact. We could face an economic squeeze, but it would be the pain before the gain.The U.S. economy absorbed a tripling in gas prices in the last six years without falling into recession, at least through March. Ravenous demand from China and India could see prices further double in the next few years -- and jumpstart the overdue process of weaning ourselves off fossil fuels.Consider the world of good that would come of pricing crude oil and gasoline at levels that would strain our finances as much as they're straining international relations and the planet's long-term health: 1. RIP for the internal-combustion engineThey may contain computer chips, but the power source for today's cars is little different than that which drove the first Model T 100 years ago. That we're still harnessed to this antiquated technology is testament to Big Oil's influence in Washington and success in squelching advances in fuel efficiency and alternative energy.Given our achievement in getting a giant mainframe's computing power into a handheld device in just a few decades, we should be able to do likewise with these dirty, little rolling power plants that served us well but are overdue for the scrap heap of history.2. Economic stimulusNecessity being the mother of invention, $8 gas would trigger all manner of investment sure to lead to groundbreaking advances. Job creation wouldn't be limited to research labs; it would rapidly spill over into lucrative manufacturing jobs that could help restore America's industrial base and make us a world leader in a critical realm.The most groundbreaking discoveries might still be 25 or more years off, but we won't see massive public and corporate funding of research initiatives until escalating oil costs threaten our national security and global stability -- a time that's fast approaching. 3. Wither the Middle East's cloutThis region that's contributed little to modern civilization exercises inordinate sway over the world because of its one significant contribution -- crude extraction. Aside from ensuring Israel's security, the U.S. would have virtually no strategic or business interest in this volatile, desolate region were it not for oil -- and its radical element wouldn't be able to demonize us as the exploiters of its people.In the near term, breaking our dependence on Middle Eastern oil may well require the acceptance of drilling in the Alaskan wilderness -- with the understanding that costly environmental protections could easily be built into the price of $8 gas. 4. Deflating oil potentatesOn a similar note, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently gained a platform on the world stage because of their nations' sudden oil wealth. Without it, they would face the difficult task of building fair and just economies and societies on some other basis.How far would their message resonate -- and how long would they even stay in power -- if they were unable to buy off the temporary allegiance of their people with vast oil revenues? 5. Mass-transit developmentAnyone accustomed to taking mass transit to work knows the joy of a car-free commute. Yet there have been few major additions or improvements to our mass-transit systems in the last 30 years because cheap gas kept us in our cars. Confronted with $8 gas, millions of Americans would board buses, trains, ferries and bicycles and minimize the pollution, congestion and anxiety spawned by rush-hour traffic jams. More convenient routes and scheduling would accomplish that.6. An antidote to sprawlThe recent housing boom sparked further development of antiseptic, strip-mall communities in distant outlying areas. Making 100-mile-plus roundtrip commutes costlier will spur construction of more space-efficient housing closer to city centers, including cluster developments to accommodate the millions of baby boomers who will no longer need their big empty-nest suburban homes.Sure, there's plenty of land left to develop across our fruited plains, but building more housing around city and town centers will enhance the sense of community lacking in cookie-cutter developments slapped up in the hinterlands. 7. Restoration of financial disciplineFar too many Americans live beyond their means and nowhere is that more apparent than with our car payments. Enabled by eager lenders, many middle-income families carry two monthly payments of $400 or more on $20,000-plus vehicles that consume upwards of $15,000 of their annual take-home pay factoring in insurance, maintenance and gas.The sting of forking over $100 per fill-up would force all of us to look hard at how much of our precious income we blow on a transport vehicle that sits idle most of the time, and spur demand for the less-costly and more fuel-efficient small sedans and hatchbacks that Europeans have been driving for decades. 8. Easing global tensionsUnfortunately, we human beings aren't so far evolved that we won't resort to annihilating each other over energy resources. The existence of weapons of mass destruction aside, the present Iraq War could be the first of many sparked by competition for oil supplies.Steep prices will not only chill demand in the U.S., they will more importantly slow China and India's headlong rush to make the same mistakes we did in rapidly industrializing -- like selling $2,500 Tata cars to countless millions of Indians with little concern for the environmental consequences. If we succeed in developing viable energy alternatives, they could be a key export in helping us improve our balance of trade with consumer-goods producers. Additional considerationsWeaning ourselves off crude will hopefully be the crowning achievement that marks the progress of humankind in the 21st Century. With it may come development of oil-free products to replace the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, fertilizers and pesticides that now consume 16% of the world's crude-oil output and are likely culprits in fast-rising cancer rates.By its very definition, oil is crude. It's time we develop more refined energy sources and that will not happen without a cost-driven shift in demand.

Topic by Keith-Kid 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


transformer less power supply?

I needed around 500mA current to run my mini project, so i decided to go through the transformer less power supply instead of normal transformer used supply.Since the other power supplies are quite bulky. But the problem occurred is, the supply doesn't supplies minimal current to run the project. Please, help me with this problem and suggest some alternatives or amendments to be made.  I have uploaded a picture of my design.

Question by ShuvamP 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Lawn tractor magnito for wind power generation?

Lawn tractors have AC alternators built around the crankshaft with a rectifyer to DC. Would a wind generator using this for the power generator work, and how much power would it make?

Question by whitet6 9 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


need to covert 6v dc to 12v dc for CB radio

I want to build a 6-12v dc converter so I can use a CB or FM radio in an antique car (1930).  The car uses 6v positive ground power. There are small commercial units available for about $100  but there's got to be a less expensive alternative. Thanks!

Question by beast_3 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Alternative power source for power-tool enhancement design project? Answered

Hi this is my first post here :-) I'm a Design student in London currently researching power-tools. I've made this really crude prototype of a system that looks at enhancing the vibration of a power-drill by vibrating the user as they pull the trigger on the power-drill. It consists of a 12v 55AH car battery running through a 300watt 12v to 230v inverter which in turn powers a cheap 135watt 230volt orbital sander. It's all mounted to a British Army paratrooper clansman radio pack frame and has a very crude wooden arm with a temp on/off toggle switch mounted inside a vitamin c bottle :-) and tapped with gaffa tape, very much bricolage.... I used what I had to hand and what was cheap, i know it's not safe (yet) but i'd like some opinions on alternative smaller and lighter power sources? I know I could just use cordless sanders but there expensive and i need multiple units 2-3 and as this is only a small part of what I'm doing so cost is an issue. I'm considering looking at cheap 12v battery packs from cordless drills but don't fancy using lithium and blowing myself up? All suggestions and opinions appreciated! Thanks James

Question by le_bricoleur 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Alternative power source for power-tool enhancement design project?

Hi this is my first post here :-) I'm a Design student in London currently researching power-tools. I've made this really crude prototype of a system that looks at enhancing the vibration of a power-drill by vibrating the user as they pull the trigger on the power-drill. It consists of a 12v 55AH car battery running through a 300watt 12v to 230v inverter which in turn powers a cheap 135watt 230volt orbital sander. It's all mounted to a British Army paratrooper clansman radio pack frame and has a very crude wooden arm with a temp on/off toggle switch mounted inside a vitamin c bottle :-) and tapped with gaffa tape, very much bricolage.... I used what I had to hand and what was cheap, i know it's not safe (yet) but i'd like some opinions on alternative smaller and lighter power sources? I know I could just use cordless sanders but there expensive and i need multiple units 2-3 and as this is only a small part of what I'm doing so cost is an issue. I'm considering looking at cheap 12v battery packs from cordless drills but don't fancy using lithium and blowing myself up? All suggestions and opinions appreciated! Thanks James

Question by le_bricoleur 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Windbelt, Cheap Generator Alternative, Set to Power Third World

Working in Haiti, Shawn Frayne, a 28-year-old inventor based in Mountain View, Calif., saw the need for small-scale wind power to juice LED lamps and radios in the homes of the poor. Conventional wind turbines don't scale down well -- there's too much friction in the gearbox and other components. "With rotary power, there's nothing out there that generates under 50 watts," Frayne says. So he took a new tack, studying the way vibrations caused by the wind led to the collapse in 1940 of Washington's Tacoma Narrows Bridge (aka Galloping Gertie).Frayne's device, which he calls a Windbelt, is a taut membrane fitted with a pair of magnets that oscillate between metal coils. Prototypes have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines. Frayne envisions the Windbelt costing a few dollars and replacing kerosene lamps in Haitian homes. "Kerosene is smoky and it's a fire hazard," says Peter Haas, founder of the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group, which helps people in developing countries to get environmentally sound access to clean water, sanitation and energy. "If Shawn's innovation breaks, locals can fix it. If a solar panel breaks, the family is out a panel."'Frayne hopes to help fund third-world distribution of his Windbelt with revenue from first-world applications -- such as replacing the batteries used to power temperature and humidity sensors in buildings. "œThere's not a huge amount of innovation being done for people making $2 to $4 per day," Haas says. "Shawn's work is definitely needed.'http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4224763.html?series=37

Topic by ewilhelm 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago



is it possible to generate electricity by using a bicycle and an automobiles alternator?

I have been pondering this, and have searched the site but found nothing like this, but maybe using a larger inner tube and putting that around a bare rim and a spindle on an alternator to generate electricity? and would the rpms be enough to generate some charge? and also, it would be a\c charge? maybe it would be possible to charge up an automobile battery, if so it would be pretty neat, and useful.

Question by uLTIMA 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Power Sine Wave Circuit

Hi I am trying to build an economical circuit to power an AC electromagnet. The energy source has to be a battery, preferably less than 24v. The power draw of the electromagnet will be about 500W (the application requires a high-power alternating magnetic flux). I'm thinking of making a sine-wave generator and a simple transistor amplifier with high power transistors. Can anyone suggest circuits for this? My knowledge of electronics is not that great, but I'm quite enthusiastic about this and I believe I can give it a try. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks R

Question by Richy33 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


What kind of alternator and gearing for a steam project?

I'm in need of some help, I'm working on a project including a steam powerer tesla turbine which I want to harvest surplus energy going into a boiler, it'll also serve as backup power generator in winter when the P.V.s slow down. I'm looking at a 2m long, 300mm dia boiler witha 100mm dia flue running through it, not sure what sort of pressures I'm looking at. This comes after a thermal mass rocket stove style combustion pipe burning wood. The tesla turbine will be ally plates in oil drum based housing (572mm, 22.5" dia). Any ideas what sort of alternator would be suitable and should I be thinking about any gearing?

Question by JohnA391 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Higher efficiency (high amp) 12V regulator alternative to 7812

I need a high efficiency 12V DC regulator to supply my thermoelectric modules (they're very inexpensive so I had no choice but to use them). I found that the modules are most efficient at 12V @ ~7A each. I could use many 7812s in parallel but they are too inefficient and too much energy is lost to heat. Is there any alternative? Electricity bills are going up so it'd be very good if I can find an extremely efficient step-down or step-up regulator, short of using an expensive 'gold standard' ATX PSU (which are usually upwards of 500W so the power savings don't matter).

Topic by arikyeo 5 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Alternate Battery for my laptop, will it work?

I got my laptop with a dead battery and I got my laptop from a liquidation sale, now my laptop use one of those battery packs that have a bunch of batteries the size of a AA. Their total voltage is around 14.4v as the battery pack says so, meaning each of the 8 batteries is about 1.8v. The batteries are lithium ion ones but I want to know if it would work to make a battery pack of my own out of alkaline batteries? I got a whole bunch from disposable cameras and want to use them. Now besides that the power adapter says it outputs 18.5v. So which one should I follow when making the battery pack? I will be hooking the alternative battery pack to the contacts the dead battery was so I guess I should make a battery pack around 14.4v. Any comments? Would this work?

Question by Ideal_Ideas91 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Building a strong electromagnet, need advice Answered

Hi trying to understand how to build an electromagnet It must be 38-40 kg strong, and powered by 1,5-3v rechargeable batteries (operating for at least few years) and using as few amp as possible, it will be switched on and off 1-2 times per sec I know that it's possible cause it exists already; http://www.grainger.com/product/2KFP1?gclid=CjwKEAiAxNilBRD88r2azcqB2zsSJABy2B96VIJ19MORYbL2E3XKvdOrg6bK6_U-Ko7P7ZAGq3_UqRoC5Kvw_wcB&cm;_mmc=PPC:GOOGLEPLAA-_-Security-_-Locking%20Systems-_-2KFP1&ef;_id=VLan-gAAACg-Rw6I:20150114173308:s Mine just needs to be a little stronger and work 24/7 I would be thankful if you could propose any other source of constant energy (to replace the batteries) or a solution to make them last longer

Question by Maxc13 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Interesting and alternative uses for electronics components? Answered

At my school, old wise men teach us all kinds of circuits and concepts, many using components in ways they were never intended for. Thermal cutoff for a power supply uses normal 4007 diodes as temperature sensors. Hollow pieces of stripped wiring plastic, heated slightly and used as heat shrink. Reverse voltage of an LED used to detect daylight and guide a solar tracking motor. 21W light bulbs used as constant current sources because of their PTC characteristics. Fuses made from single strands of copper, doubled up to handle greater current. There must be more. Using components and junk in ways they weren't intended opens up all kinds of possibilities for electronics people and students on tight budgets who don't have access to components and technology. Are there other smart ways to put the characteristics of certain parts to smart use?

Question by Udon 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Potentially revolutionary idea concerning remote power?

I learned in physics some time back that directing radio waves towards a metal object will induce an alternating current. My question is: Could you power something with an external but unconnected power source? I'm thinking something like a guitar with no lead that still manages to send back sound data to the amp. NB If this idea already exists, please tell me.

Question by The Jamalam 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago