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I want to experiment with wind power on a small scale. What type of salvaged permanent magnet motors work best? Thanks! Answered


I have a 155V DC generator @15 amps. I could not get the speed to get more than 50 volts. I build a pulley system with a ration of 4 to 1. Works beautifully how ever I cannot make the pulley shaft and bearings maintain concentricity for very long. There must be a system out there already in use so that I don't have to re invent the wheel. Do you or does anyone out there know of someting that is already in use? A gear drive would work even better!!


A stepper motor salvaged from a printer or scanner will be a reasonable starting point for small scale experimentation - BUT don't expect to be producing commercial amounts of electricity from it.

Avoid ones that work at ridiculous speeds on lowvoltages. The toy motors can be 8000 RPM on 3V !

You want ideally a nice big 1500 RPM, 120V DC motor, so that you can get reasonable speeds on the blades, into the motor - in the example 1500 RPM @120 V would be, roughly 150 RPM= 12V. Such beasts DO exist.

You MUST have the speed at the motor, so you'll need (lossy) belts or gear drives otherwise.

'small scale' -- depends how small. Most any PM motor will work, just add diode bridge!.

The size/cost tradeoff will show its ugly head quickly as the size increases, the cost can get pretty ugly.