Wind Power

I was given an old, broken motorized wheelchair today.  If you don’t know me, you may be wondering why I would want something like that, and why I’m excited enough to blog about it.  If you do know me, you’re probably cringing already.

I’m planning to build a wind turbine.  I’ve been on the lookout for a good motor for a while, but everything I’ve found has been ill suited for turbine use.  (An electric motor also works as a generator.)  Most wheelchair motors run at a high RPM, which for turbine use means either low voltage output or using gears or pulleys to spin the motor faster.  Using fuzzy math, a motor rated for 24 volts and 3000 RPM will produce 2.4 volts at 300 RPM.  The turbine would have to be spinning dangerously fast to produce a practical amount of power.  My motor is rated for 125 RPM at 24 volts.  With a properly sized rotor, I should be able to produce plenty of power to charge a 12V battery bank.

I’ll take some pictures of the process and document my progress.

I’m also considering turning the frame into a garden cart of sorts for Bethany.  It’s a three wheeled chassis with a pivoting front wheel so stability won’t be the greatest but she won’t be hauling huge loads anyway.  I think I can hinge the steering column and let that function as the pull handle, but that will depend on if it can support that much force.  It may need to be reinforced.  I’ll document that project when I get to it, too.  Actually, the garden cart will probably be tackled first.