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I am trying to build a small contraption/artwork to be mounted on a wall indoors. Ideally it will solely solar powered from a small solar panel (10cmx10cm). It needs to spin slowly anywhere between ~5rpm-~30rpm (this can fluctuate). The load that will be spinning is relatively light (~100grams) so high torque isn't essential.

Most DC motors tend to be high speed and then geared down to low speed, which also comes with the bonus side effect of higher torque. But this high starting speed requires a relatively high starting current (?). Could someone please advise of a suitable type of motor with minimal power consumption for this application?

Perhaps a pulse motor, or solar engine would be the better way to go...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Geared DC motor is my recomandation, but ~100g has no meaning, you have to specify torque and speed. If you want to spend more, then geared bldc motor. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4 '16 at 19:55
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If you can do some mechanical calculations for your system, determine the power needed to drive your load. This is the most important part of selecting the right motor.

It is very unlikely that you will be able to find a small motor that spins with such a slow native speed. Do you want to vary the drive speed from 5 to 30 rpm or will it be fixed somewhere in that range? My recommendation would be to pick a small motor that has enough power for your application and then gear it down to speed. If you want speed control a simple off the shelf pwm driver should be fine, set the speed and forget it. For more advanced control an arduino project might be in order.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you think that before Arduino, there were no motors and regulators. Not neccessarily the Arduino can make thins better, it's just your's opinion, becaue you think that arduino is kind of miracle that you can do anything, but for real with bunch of cheap ICs you can do even better. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4 '16 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Marko, I'm not suggesting that an Arduino is a magical device, but it is an easy platform for developing more advanced control/IoT type projects. \$\endgroup\$
    – PeterTecks
    Apr 4 '16 at 20:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer Peter. I will try do some approx torque calcs and post them up here. The speed (rpm) can be anything between 5 and 30 and it can vary during operation within this range. Anything faster and visually things blur too much, too slow and, well, it's not even moving! \$\endgroup\$
    – Stacker
    Apr 4 '16 at 20:22

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