Windy-MagneticOrgy_IMG_4746 © 2011 . All rights reserved.

Linear Wind Eletricity Catcher.

Ini­tially Nel­son and I had decided to try to imple­ment the Wind­belt within the built envi­ron­ment but needed to under­stand how it worked to know how to imple­ment it. Our first ini­tial take of this imple­men­ta­tion you can see here. After some test with the sta­tors we then decided to build our own wind belt.

Our first test entailed that we pry open an air pump and take the sta­tors in there for experimentation.

We con­nected one of the sta­tors to an oscil­lo­scope and turned on the pump.

Inside the pump the two sta­tors sat side by side. When a cur­rent came through to one of these [the one we didn’t remove and was not con­nected to the oscil­lo­scope] the other was giv­ing us a volt­age read­ing on the oscil­lo­scope.  In the pump there are another 4 mag­nets. Two for each sta­tor. When a cur­rent runs through, these mag­nets move quickly in hor­i­zon­tally. These are in a way flip­ping back and fourth and affect­ing the polar­ity of the sta­tors. This gen­er­ates a volt­age and allowed us to power an LED.

First we tested if any elec­tric­ity was going to generated:

On our first attempt at build­ing the wind belt we used pack­ing strips from home depot and what­ever wood we had lay­ing around. The pack­ing strips were not as flex­i­ble as we had thought and didn’t move much in the wind. We used a fan to test this.

We tried some plas­tic mate­r­ial found on our school junk shelf. This gave us poor results. It also stretched out too quickly.

We tried using a roll of film for light­ness. It was too frag­ile and snapped on impact of the mag­nets. We still tested it though and got some good vibrat­ing movement.

We did a real wind test on the ledge of a window:

We then tried tape and taped it onto it self and wrapped it around as we had done with pre­vi­ous options. To make sure it was tight, and most impor­tant, that the belt did not slip, we placed neo­prene (any rub­ber strip could be used) between the tape and the wood that traps the belt on each side.

We got really good results with this and got about 4 volts with out a load with just one sta­tor I think. Ide­ally with two we would get more.

A stack or pil­ing of this wind belts is a real viable option, yo can make an array of belts on top of each other, so they do not inter­fere with one another, rec­tify each of them, make a series cir­cuit with them, and store them in capac­i­tors or recharge bat­ter­ies as how it was done with the kinetic energy exer­cises. They also do not make any noise at all. So in places with a lot of wind, and nor­mal mate­ri­als (found eas­ily, not high tech mate­ri­als, wood, diodes, scotch tape, cop­per wire, mag­nets and maybe some iron core to make your own sta­tors) you can build these elec­tric­ity wind generators

We then hit the draw­ing board and thought about how to imple­ment what we had learned into a piece that would used rever­ber­a­tion or would essen­tially move the mag­nets up and down along a mag­net. This would induce enough energy to flicker an LED. We thought about stor­ing it but opted to make some­thing that would be tem­po­ral and pos­si­bly sculptural.

Ide­al­iz­ing what it could be via draw­ing. We were hop­ing to build a net­work of  coils, wires, springs, mag­nets and lights. We wanted to pluck the springs and there­fore rever­ber­ate the mag­nets up and down along the hand­made coils. This would induce an elec­tric charge that would flicker LEDs through out the sculp­ture. Our first sketches involved a series of strings as you see below.

We then jumped into think­ing about the piece as a free stand­ing sculp­ture that was more like a cube and more free form. Its con­nec­tions and place­ment would be much like a web.

We then set out to wrap coils around bob­bins to make our own sta­tor like magnets.

We con­nected these wrapped coils to the oscil­lo­scope to test what kind of read­ings we would get when we moved mag­nets quickly from left to right along it and were get­ting absolutely no read­ings. We were get­ting more read­ings when we touched the coils than when we used mag­nets to induce a cur­rent. Surely our hopes seemed to have deflated at this time and we set out to rethink what we were doing. Next time around we need to get cylin­dri­cal or any mag­ne­tized metal to go into the core of the bob­bins in order for this to work like the stators.

We set out to sketch out what it will be with the avail­able mate­ri­als and knowl­edge at hand.

We built a frame out of wood and routed out a groove into it to slip a sheet of acrylic into it. This sheet would sep­a­rate the sta­tors from the magnets.

Sol­dered LEDs, in par­al­lel, into pre-drilled acrylic tube sanded down for matte finish.

Assem­bling the Parts…

Test­ing the parts.

We hope to make this piece big­ger and more 3 dimen­sional with more sta­tors or our own wrapped coils. The sta­tors are bulky and heavy but this is also prob­a­bly why we get the read­ings we are get­ting. With smaller or less strong mag­nets we wouldn’t gen­er­ate the amount of energy needed to flicker an LED.

When you dive into this world of think­ing about sus­tain­abil­ity you real­ize that “mak­ing” energy is not an easy task. That what we must do is change our lifestyle more than any­thing to make a mean­ing­ful impact. This too is true about an indi­vid­ual ver­sus a community.

As a soci­ety we are made unaware of our con­sump­tion or choose not to be more con­scious of our uses of energy. If we truly want to make an impact we must start with inform­ing peo­ple and be more mind­ful about what we make, with what we make it with, and why this thing we make is really needed.

I guess we made a huge leap huh?