Help! Can you wind a generator with steel wire?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by chasone, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. chasone

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 18, 2009
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    Ok, I am helping a (nut case) friend build an axial flux generator for his wind turbine. He just knows that if he substitutes steel or iron wire for copper wire that he is going to generate more electricity.

    I know he's wrong. He just knows this is some "secret" being kept from the public like Teslas' car.

    What can I tell him to expect?

    Thanks
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    A great deal of frustration.

    The steel wire is hard to handle, hard to insulate, and resistive enough to lose a lot of energy as heat. That can lead to the whole device burning up a relatively modest power levels. Using aluminum wire is hard due to the difficulty of making joints, but would be significantly better in performance.
     
  3. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Steel has nearly 10 times the resistance as copper. If his goal is to waste power or make a heater, he is on the right track. If he wants to "up the ante", he can go for stainless steel, 53x the resistance of copper, or nichrome wire, 65x the resistance of copper. For metallic conductors, as their temperature increases, the resistance also increases.

    Aluminum has about 1.55 times as much resistance as copper; thus would be a much better choice than steel. As Beenthere implied, oxidization of aluminum is a big problem.

    Silver has about 94% of the resistance of copper, but it's cost is prohibitive.

    Gold is about 1.4 times the resistance of copper. It's used in electronics as a plating because it is so stable; it oxidizes very slowly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  4. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
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    If he is not professional it would be better to buy a generator and attach it to the wind turbine. It will be more efficient because it is designed by professionals.
    Otherwise, if he does it for hobby he can experiment!!:p
     
  5. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    There is a company that sells small gauge, coated steel wire for experimentation to people like him. I forgot the URL, but found it interesting.

    I remember a discussion on some blog about them a while back for selling 'bad wire", since their steel wire didn't outperform copper in the turbines they made, which their ideas showed it should have performed better. I believe a google search will find that discussion. I'd look for it, but I don't want to damage my brain intentionally.
     
  6. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    They probably sell the same stuff to people trying to make Stanley Meyer over unity HHO generators.
     
  7. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
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    I'd say humor the guy. Nothing tells the truth like abject failure. :)
     
  8. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Googling "axial flux generator" brings up more commitment than science. Awfully fancy name for a PM alternator.
     
  9. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    I did it.

    At current rate from the grid, this turbine would produce $3,000 worth of electricity per year. Yet, the entire set, mast, turbine, blades, is only $100,000!

    How many places have continual wind speed over 5mph, enough to average over 10mph?

    Free Power!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. DedeHai

    Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
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    In addition to the iron beeing less conductive: it is olso ferromagnetic, short circuiting the magnetic flux. the performance of such a generator will be below awful.
     
  11. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    At a guess, it's an interest in the magnetic properties, rather than the electromagnetic ones that prompts the interest in steel wire.
     
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