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Water powered LED circuit (but run backwards?)

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xtremerunnerars

New Member
Hey guys, first year EE student here.

We're doing a sustainability and green energy design project and my group came up with the idea to power LED street lamps with a nearby running stream.

Our goal is to utilize Lego Generator to power 360 degree RL8-W110-360 Specifications.

The lego motor specs are given, but those are for voltages applied to the motor rather than created by. We're going to build the turbine using strips of plastic wedged into a styrofoam cylinder that'll rest inside the stream.

We have complete control over how quickly the water flows and how much water passes through the turbine--we just aren't quite sure how to set the whole thing up. We're probably going to wire 4 or 5 of these LEDs into the circuit as well.

I'm not asking for you to flat out tell me how to wire everything up--just looking for what motor would work the best and a general sense of how to figure out what we'll need to do with the water and LEDs.

Thanks in advance!
 

cobra1

New Member
hi
i have done a lot of work with turbines and also hydrogen fuels as well as an engine running on hydrogen derived from water (using chemical electrolysis) , what are the specs for the motor you are using??


as a general rule of thumb you need a motor with a high voltage and low rpm

lets assume its a 12v motor @ 1000rpm

this would meant that to generate 12v you need to turn the motor @ 1000rpm, so this would need some kind of gearbox as you wont get 1000rpm from the stream

not wanting to put a downer on this but if your only running leds, would solar fuels be better for you??? if you got a generator to work from a stream, then it would be capable of running a lot of leds.

is this a hypothetical scenario or do you actually have to buid it??

if you need any help feel free to pm me
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I live near Niagara Falls. It is a pretty big stream with a pretty big bunch of generators that provide electricity to many street lights, homes and businesses.

It is more than 100 years old. Why are you copying it?
 

cobra1

New Member
i assume he/she would be copying it because the university/college he/she is at asked her to.

why do people copy a lot of things, to learn and improve them i guess.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I live near Niagara Falls. It is a pretty big stream with a pretty big bunch of generators that provide electricity to many street lights, homes and businesses.

It is more than 100 years old. Why are you copying it?

Chatsworth House (nice little pad) not very far from me has been doing it since 1893 :D

Slightly smaller scale though :rolleyes:
 

The Mad Professor

New Member
Will keep an eye out downstream for a large piece of styrofoam trailing some Lego behind it.


After all engineering would never advance without the occasional disaster, it's that old addage about theory and practice not quite being the same thing.

Gold star for your tutor.
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Why don't school-kids learn new things or learn things by themselves??
They should not be copying old things. *** people do that.
 
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MrDEB

Well-Known Member
styrofoam!! are you serious??

the turbine won't last 5 minutes, lucky for 1 minute
depends on if you want speed or torque?
look at using a 2 or 3" section of pvc pipe with a spiral blades inside. think of a jet turbine.
then maybe you might generate enought voltage to get the leds to light.
even several tube turbines .
the hard part might be generating the 60ma the LEDs have listed in the data sheet.
IF I am reading it correctly??
 

cobra1

New Member
looking at those motors the PF XL will be your best choice of motor, you will somehow need to achive about 250-300 rpm, possibly with the use of a gearbox, 300rpm is pretty quick, 5 revolutions per second.

also to consider is that when using a motor to create power, the load put on that motor acts like a brake, so you will also have to have a fair amount of torque there to drive it, the only way your going to get torque is with

A, Big blades
B, Lots of water

can you not use other ways to light these leds, like geothermal, wave power, solar, wind etc would be much easier to accomplish in my opinion
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Like the guy who used a little computer fan as a generator to power his bike's light.
It didn't work because the little fan could not provide enough current.
 

RODALCO

Well-Known Member
Get hold of some old stepper motors from a photo copier or printer.
These give easily 10 - 12 volts at low RPM.
Put the leds in series and "generate power"

I did that years ago on the beach to show my children how to build a small power station with a dam some pvc pipe and impellor.
 

xtremerunnerars

New Member
Hey guys,

thanks for the replies. Our group was assigned hydropower and every group is doing some sort of mill or other lame project. We wanted to try to make this work.

Also, we're not putting this into a real stream. We're going to make a fake stream by pouring water down some sort of track/ramp so that it flows through our turbine.
 

mbarazeen

Member
modify a permenant magnet DC motor to have more winding with small cable, it will give you good excitation at low RPM. you can slect quite good size motor with two pole rotor. since the current is less it may work good with your applicaiton.

EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN INVENTED YEARS AGO, DOING IT BY OURSELVES IS A BETTER WAY OF LEARNING
 
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