Craftsman's Corner

LIGHTWEIGHT WIND GENERATOR. By Chuck Larsen. EAA Designee Director. IVEN THE SIMPLEST of homebuilts and ultra- lights have been touched by ...
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Craftsman-Corner Edited by Chuck Larsen, Designee Director

LIGHTWEIGHT WIND GENERATOR By Chuck Larsen EAA Designee Director

IVEN THE SIMPLEST of homebuilts and ultralights have been touched by refinements and accessories needing electricity to function. Many have found modern, high capacity, rechargeable batteries to be the best answer for power. Some have used solar cells to charge batteries or as the sole energy source in spite of their expense and inability to function efficiently in other than bright sunshine. This third alternative to the weight and performance penalties of installing an electric system on your powerplant is a wind powered generator. New semi-conductors and nickle cadmium batteries, in conjunction with a small DC generator, makes a very lightweight, voltage regulated generating system possible. The system shown in the photo consists of a bicycle generator, turned by a "windmill" blade, a semiconductor voltage regulator, bypass capacitator, switch and fuse. The posts on the right are terminals to make electrical connections for this display only. This system feeds a set of eight nickle cadmium batteries for voltage stabilization and electrical energy storage. The generator blade is mounted in the prop blast of your airplane or ultralight to provide the motive force for the system. The windmill blade was fabricated from a disk of aluminum. The number or pitch of the blades doesn't seem to greatly effect the speed at which it turns. The diameter of the disk and inefficiency at high rpm apparently work together to govern its speed. The 12 VDC (