How to Get More Voltage from the PicoTurbine Windmill

Question
Hi Madeline,
My son and I are working on putting together his Pico Turbine for his 4th grade Science Fair. I am not sure if you are intimately familiar with this project, but I have a question…

We have been able to get the expected 1.5-2.0 volts from the turbine by checking the output with a digital multimeter.  But it does take a good amount of spinning the rotor to get to that point. 

My son wants to know why we can’t get more voltage from the thing, and it made me question another configuration.  Now, if I get 8 magnets instead of the 4 you sent in the kit, and position them every 45 degrees (and still reverse polarity each magnet) I should be able to double my output voltage, or at least allow my son to have to only turn the rotor half as fast to get 2 volts. 

 This leads to my question:  Do you know the rating of that dual color LED that came with your kit?  By my expectations, I should see 3 to 4 volts on this turbine when I get it to spinning the same speed as before; I just don’t want to smoke the LED in the process. Mike

Answer
More magnets would help achieve more voltage!
You would not smoke the led! Many have done this in the past.

4 thoughts on “How to Get More Voltage from the PicoTurbine Windmill

  1. Mike says:

    I tried using 8 magnets as I described above, but I actually got less voltage output. Now, granted the magnets were probably half the width of the original ones, but they were positioned every 45 degrees and reversed polarity. My next attempt will be to add 4 more wire coils so there are double the lines of flux to generate more power.

  2. sunshine says:

    The strength of the magnets has a lot to do with it.
    so by not using the same size/type of magnets the
    voltage will of course decrease.As you may feel like
    your gaining with more magnets your actually losing
    because they are fighting against.

    Mike

  3. Mike says:

    Okay,
    The pico turbine was upgraded with 4 more stator coils to give it a total of 8 rotor magnets and 8 stator coils, and to our suprise, made over 9 volts when spun at a constant wind speed! Turns out that you cannot improve on one part of the project without improving the whole thing, stator and rotor. Which is the basis of my son’s project now. Thank you to the forum group for your input, and to the group responsible for providing this great learning project.

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