Can i build one simple generator that is powered by wind or water? How?

wind generator

Can i build one simple generator that is powered by wind or water? How?
I am testing wind and water for my science fair project. I need to add wind and water to the same generator and see which one produces more electricity. Does anyone have instructions for this type of generator, Since wind and water are similar types. THANKS!!!

Best answer:

Answer by Raymond
The only "generators" I know that take both power sources are the windmills that were in use in Eastern North America around the 17th and 18th century.

They were "windmills" that were build right next to a river, at a point of great water slope (e.g., rapids), with a channel bringing the water through the base of the building.

The miller could choose to have the grindstone be driven by the water (paddles) or by the wind (from the wings); not from both at the same time. On one such mill that I studied, it was more often used with wind than with water.

The change of level in the water was relatively small and the wings -- driven by the wind -- were rather large. Therefore, if there was any kind of acceptable wind, that would provide more energy (to that particular mill) than the feeble river current.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

2 Responses to Can i build one simple generator that is powered by wind or water? How?

  1. Mark V

    (1) A water wheel. Just like an old-fashioned American waterwheel – the overshot vertical kind, will give you the most energy. Then you just need a good loop of copper wire, some strong magnets. You’ll need some brush contacts to connect your rotating circuit to your actual distribution network. I won’t type out the actual instructions, but you can figure it out – check out the links below.

    (2) Make a simple horizontal wind generator. It too will run a number of loops of copper wire within a magnetic field, creating electricity (electromagnetic induction.

    Good instructions below. Have fun! The total efficiency is going to depend on your design, the efficiency of your individual induction network, distribution network. As for which is better? Neither. Assuming that everything else is the same, the only thing that will change the amount of energy will be how much energy you put into it (wind or water). If you put in the same amount, and everything else is equal — then you’ll get out the same amount.

  2. linlyons

    The question i’d ask is, is this about building the generator, or about comparing the difference between wind and air?
    it’s my guess that it’s the latter, so the source of the generator is not as important.
    i’d suggest going to the flea market to see if you can find an old brush type electric motor, with permanent magnets for the stator.
    that’s the essence of a generator.

    then you only need to design the connection between the fan and the water wheel.
    in either case, you’ll need to gear up the connection because neither will go fast enough to make much juice.

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