Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Alternator

One of the great things about making a wind turbine from scratch is making the alternator, Its quite surprising finding out that it is possible to build something your self that generates a useful amount of electricity.

The alternator is able to produce 500W of power and is of the axial flux design were 2 magnet rotors each containing 12 strong magnets rotate either side of a stator which contains 10 coils.

The Stator
The coils were coiled by hand, each coil has 80 turn of enamelled copper wire in it. Here's a picture of myself, Ben and Paul making one of the coils:

Once all the coils were wound they were all connected together. One wire end of each coil connects to the ring neutral. The other wire is routed out of the stator to be connected to the rectifiers.

The coils are all cast in fibre glass resin which keeps the arrangement of coils in the required ring shape. The resin also makes the stator very durable. Picture is of Don taking the mould apart which is quite a task:

The Rotors
Each rotor consist of 12 strong neodymium magnets stuck to a steel disk. A jig is used to fit them all in the correct position.

Each rotor is encased again in resin in addition to making them more durable the resin holds the magnets in place stopping them from flying off. Picture is of Sylvie, Don and myself pouring in the resin mix:

One of the rotors being taken out of its mould:

In order to assemble the alternator, the mounting is needed I will detail that next.

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