I'm trying to run a mini project about wind generator for charging electronic devices(smartphones, mp3 player, powerbank, etc). Rough project description; I want to have several usb ports and the supply is from wind generator. Mostly electronic devices that use 5V . So the questions are:

  1. Type of suitable motor for wind generator(small in size because it's mini project)
  2. Suitable current output
  3. List of components that I need(please recommend)
  • \$\begingroup\$ what wind speed is avail and roof top generator size can you accept \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Nov 12 '16 at 7:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TonyStewart.EEsince'75 i plan to get wind of fan in my room. Is it strong enough to rotate the blade? \$\endgroup\$ – Ammar Mahadi Nov 12 '16 at 8:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ not even to power an LED \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Nov 12 '16 at 8:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ how "small in size" do you wish ? wind vs blade need space. don't you think of it ? \$\endgroup\$ – Bianca Nov 12 '16 at 8:13
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Aha. just don't think too much about today's youtube no-make-sense techie vids. I did with those kind of motor (taken from TAMIYA) on my fifth grade elementary school. It did turns on a LED, but not that bright. Later on, i use motor from bicycle generator, the one that stick to the tire. It is working. The blade size 80 cm. \$\endgroup\$ – Bianca Nov 12 '16 at 8:34

Use of a fan will give minimal power without very tight aerodynamic coupling. Direct access to the fan's power source would be far more efficient.

Various small WT (wind turbines) are available commercially that claim to be able to charge a battery pack and power electronic portable devices. All I have ever seen are junk.

Available power from an air stream is Power = 0.6 x A x V^3 x K Watts
V = air velocity in m/s A = cross section area of WT rotor in m^2 0 <= K <= 1 = efficiency.
K = : 0.4+ is available in large (MW level) well designed commercial WTs.
Magic needed.

0.2 - 0.3 DIY ascended masters and savy commercial startups.
Magic helps.

0.15 - 0.2 achievable with very well designed and built DIY devices. Not at all easy.

~= 0.1 - creditable achievement for small DIY units.

Assume k=0.1 From above - Power = 0.6 x A x V^3 x K Watts

At 1 m/s air velocity you get 60 mW per square meter. At 2 m/s you get 480 mW / m^2- the cubed term in V helps At 3 m/s you get 16 W/m^2.

A 100mm dia rotor has an area of 0.00785 m^2. Wow.
At (even) 3 m/s you get 16 x 0.00785 = 125 mW.

To charge an eg cellphone at 5V. 1A you need 5 Watts.
A 700mm dia WT rotor has area = 0.385 m^2.
Power at 3 m/s with K=0.1 = 6.2 Watts - about right for a 5W cellphone charger. About right to charge a 1400 mAh battery (iPhone etc).

3 m/s =~ 11 km/hour "breeze".

A 700mm dia = 2'-4" dia WT in a 3 m/s wind (across whole disk) is about entry level for your requirement using the above assumptions.


Typical pretty looking garbage:

enter image description here

From here

Think about these specs - rotor size, power out and needed wind speed. The claimed spec amounts to an achieved K of about 0.15 (at about 15 kph wind speed).

  • HYmini is a handheld hybrid mini ‘green’ power station. Measuring only 5.4 inches (134mm) X 3.4 inches (87.5mm), it uses three power sources: renewable wind power, solar power, and the conventional electric power outlet. The energy collected by the HYmini is stored in its internal battery, providing the user with a compact, portable device that can be used to recharge cell phones, MP3 players, iPods, PDAs, digital cameras or other 5V devices.

    HYmini can harness wind power via its built-in micro wind power generator – a supplemental power source with a 65 mA capacity. It requires a minimum 9mph wind speed in order to start recharging.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The type of voltage output generated from wind turbine is AC voltage or DC voltage? I'm a bit confused. Does it depend on type of motor we use? \$\endgroup\$ – Ammar Mahadi Nov 13 '16 at 16:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AmmarMahadi Brushed DC motors make DC. AC motors with permanent magnet rotors make AC. Brushless DC motors make AC but you need yo bypass the control electronics if fitted. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Nov 13 '16 at 22:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.