Simple generator: AC electric generator for science fair



Why choose wikiHow?
wikiHow marks an article as reader approved once we have received enough feedback to know that most readers were able to successfully complete the task. In this case, we have also received several testimonials from our readers, who told us how this article truly helped them.

How to Make a Simple Electric Generator

Three Parts:

Electric generators are devices that use alternating magnetic fields to create a current through a wire circuit. While full scale models can be complex and expensive to build, you can create a simple electric generator easily. All you need to do is create a simple frame to hold the wire and magnet, wind the wire, connect it to an electrical device, and glue the magnet onto a spinning shaft. This even works well to teach electromagnetic properties, or display as a science project.

Steps

Building the Frame

  1. Cut the cardboard.Cardboard will serve as the frame and support for your simple generator. Use a ruler to measure a cardboard strip that is 8 centimetres (3.1 in) by 30.4 centimetres (12.0 in). Cut this strip out with scissors or a utility knife. This single piece will be folded to form the frame.
  2. Mark the cardboard.Use a ruler to measure along the length of the cardboard. Make your first mark at 8 centimetres (3.1 in). Your second mark should be at 11.5 centimetres (4.5 in), and your third mark should be at 19.5 centimetres (7.7 in). The final mark will be at 22.7 centimetres (8.9 in).
    • This creates segments of 8 centimetres (3.1 in), 3.5 centimetres (1.4 in), 8 centimetres (3.1 in), 3.2 centimetres (1.3 in), and 7.7 centimetres (3.0 in). Do not cut these segments.
  3. Fold the cardboard.Fold the cardboard along each mark. This will make your flat piece of cardboard into a rectangular frame. This frame will house the components of your electric motor.
  4. Slide the metal shaft through the support frame.Push a nail through the center of the cardboard frame. Make sure you go through all three pieces of cardboard that are folded into the center. This will create the hole for your shaft. You can now insert a metal shaft, or use the nail as your shaft.
    • The metal shaft does not have to be anything in particular. Any piece of metal that will fit through the hole and come all the way out the other side of the frame is acceptable. The nail you use to make the hole will work perfectly.
Score
/

Part 1 Quiz

What can you use as the shaft of your generator?

Creating the Circuit

  1. Wind the copper wire.Make several turns around the cardboard box with enamel coated copper wire (#30 magnet wire). Wind 200 feet (61 m) of wire as tight as you can. Leave about 16 to 18 inches (40.6 to 45.7 cm) of wire loose on each end to connect to your meter, light bulb, or other electronic device. The more "turns" or winds you make around the cardboard frame, the more power your generator should produce.
  2. Strip the ends of the wire.Use a knife or a wire stripper to remove the insulation from each end of the wire. Remove about 2.54 centimetres (1.00 in) of insulation from each side. This will allow you to connect the wire to an electronic device.
  3. Connect the wires to an electronic device.Attach the two wires you have loose at the ends of the windings to a red LED, #49 miniature bulb, or a 1.5V grain-of-wheat lamp. Or, connect the test leads from an AC voltmeter or multimeter to them. Keep in mind that you are producing a very low voltage, and larger devices (e.g. a regular light bulb) will not be powered by this generator.
Score
/

Part 2 Quiz

How much insulation should you strip from the ends of the wires?

Setting the Magnets

  1. Glue the magnets to the shaft.Use a high strength hot melt glue or epoxy to glue four ceramic magnets to the shaft. You want the magnet to be stationary with respect to the shaft. The magnets should be glued onto the shaft after the shaft has been inserted into the frame. Allow the glue to dry for several minutes (the instructions on the container can tell you exact drying times for your type of glue).
    • For best results, use 1x2x5 cm ceramic magnets (these can be found online for a reasonable price). Glue them so that two magnets are facing the coil with their north side, and two are facing the coil with their south side.
  2. Turn the shaft with your fingers.This allows you to see if the ends of the magnets hit the inside of the frame. The magnets must turn freely, but as close as possible to the walls of the frame. Again, having the magnet's ends as close the copper wire windings as possible will increase the "exciting" action of the magnetic fields the magnet produces.
  3. Spin the shaft as fast as possible.You may want to wind a string around the end of the shaft, then pull it sharply to turn the magnets. You could even just spin it with your fingers. As the shaft turns, you should get a small voltage (enough to light a 1.5 volt light bulb).
    • You could improve the power output by putting a pinwheel on the end of the shaft and connecting it to an electric fan to turn the wheel. Keep in mind that this is only good to demonstrate the operation of the generator since you use more electricity turning it than you create.
Score
/

Part 3 Quiz

How can you improve the power output of your simple electric generator?

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    Can the wires overlap?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, they can, but your generator might not be quite as efficient. It would be better to not let the wires overlap.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Is it essential to use a bar magnet?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Bar Magnets produce a uniform and strong magnetic field which, in many cases, is ideal for generating electricity.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Could I possibly add more copper wire and another magnet to produce more power?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, increasing the number of turns of copper wire or increasing the magnetic field by adding another magnet would produce more power.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What is the concept of simple electric generator?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The magnet applies a magnetic field to the coil. While applying a magnet field, this is combined with constant movement of the magnet, and an electric charge is created.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How many turns of coil is required? What is the relationship to voltage and current?
    bill beaty
    Community Answer
    If using a weak steel magnet, many thousands of turns of wire would be needed. Instead for a group of ceramic block magnets, you need 600-800 turns to light a red LED. For a rare-earth neo super magnet, you'd only need less than 100 turns of wire. The speed (RPM) affects the voltage, the number of turns affects the voltage, the strength of the magnet affects the voltage. To produce higher current, use thicker wire.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What are the principles of electricity and magnetism used in simple electric generators?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The magnetism pulls the electrons along the wire. If you connect both ends of the copper wire to a light bulb, the electrons would be able to flow around through the wire in a circuit.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How much winding is needed to produce a 5 volt current or to charge a smart phone?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    1666 ft in accordance with these instructions. However, you will need to meet additional requirements, so you don't fry your phone or electrocute anything else.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How does the magnet help in the process?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Magnets create a magnetic field. When a magnetic field moves past a conductor (the wire), it makes electricity flow in the wire.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can I attach this generator to any cycle?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you can, but the current produced would be limited due to the copper wiring.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How wide does the winding need to be for this project?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The wider the winding, the better. Keep in mind, however, that the heavier the winding is, the less efficient it will be.
    Thanks!
Unanswered Questions
  • Can I use circular magnet instead of bar magnet?
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Quick Summary

To make a simple electric generator, start by building a small frame out of cardboard. Next, wind the copper wire tightly around the cardboard several times, leaving 16-18 inches of wire loose on each end. Strip 1 inch of insulation off the ends of the wire and connect the wires to an electronic device. Then, glue the magnets to the shaft, turn the shaft until you see the ends of the magnets hit the frame, and spin the shaft as fast as possible to power the generator!

Did this summary help you?

Things You'll Need

  • #30 Magnet wire
  • Four 1x2x5 cm ceramic magnets
  • Thick nail or shaft
  • Cardboard box
  • Multimeter or electrical device

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Made Recently

Loading...
Add a photo
Upload error
Awesome picture! Tell us more about it?

Article Info

Categories: |

In other languages:

Español: , Italiano: , Português: , Français: , Русский: , 中文: , Deutsch: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Nederlands: , العربية: 

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,630,423 times.
Did this article help you?
of readers found this articlehelpful.
2 votes - 100%
Click a star to add your vote
100% of people told us that this article helped them.
Co-authors:
Updated:
Views: 1,630,423

B. J.

Jun 1, 2019

"I preparing for the country to erupt into war and or chaos. This article has help to increase my basicunderstanding of generating electricity in the event that I may need this knowledge to protect myself in the future."
Rated this article:

Dipangshu Paul

Jul 22, 2019

"It is simple and the best. I was searching for just this type of thing, because welding at home isn't possible andgiving orders to make our project isn't what I like."
Rated this article:

Adi Vishnu

Sep 24, 2019

"It is so useful. I am a 15 year aged boy and wanted to make a generator of my own for the school project. Thishelped me. Thanks wikiHow."

W. Tejas

Aug 20, 2019

"I was very tense because I have to do a generator for my school project. This article helped me a lot tosuccessfully finish my project."

Hajaru Yusuf Bash

Nov 18, 2019

"Am really happy today because my dream came true. I have been looking for a project idea like that. Thank youvery much for the help."

delnaz behal

Jun 20, 2019

"It was really helpful for me. I tried to search such a thing for more than a month and at last I got this fantasticthing."
Rated this article:

Princy Choudhary

Nov 7, 2019

"I liked it, and it helped me a lot. I never made any project before, but this I made with the help of this site."

Harsh Bistaniya

Aug 19, 2019

"A serious and helpful app where I found the instructions to make a dynamo for my school project."
Rated this article:

Johnny Zhu

Apr 14, 2019

"I love this idea, easy to understand while more practical than some professional procedure."

Robert Livingston

Aug 11, 2019

"I liked the whole article because it is a very easy way of making an electric generator."

Nathan Roberts

Sep 19, 2019

"Made a simple DC motor, needed something for it to power. This is just the thing."

chirag saxena

May 23, 2019

"The article and story helped me to have knowledge and improve my English. "
Rated this article:

Emma Stein

Oct 18, 2019

"I needed this article to make a generator in my physics class at school!"
Rated this article:

Muhammed Ayub

Jul 5, 2019

"The project was successful after I did it and I am so glad for that!"

Anonymous

May 22, 2019

"Thanks! You just really helped out a beginning prepper."

Shibin Gladston

Sep 8, 2019

"It gave me an idea to simplify an electric generator."

Praise Ukpabi

Jul 23, 2019

"I now know the best thing to do to pass my exams."

Rupesh Jamwal

Jun 5, 2019

"Thanks for adding this valuable article. "
Rated this article:

Sandeep Sandy

Jul 23, 2019

"Very small and easily understandable."
Rated this article:

Anonymous

Jun 2, 2019

"It helped with my school project. "
Rated this article:

Ali Alavi

Oct 11, 2019

"Pictures are wonderful, thanks."
Rated this article:

delnaz behal

Jun 20, 2019

"I loved this fantastic idea."

Kartik Chauhyan

Jul 3, 2019

"The whole model was helpful."

Anonymous

Oct 24, 2019

"This helped me a lot.





Video: How to make a Generator at home - Easy

How to Make a Simple Electric Generator
How to Make a Simple Electric Generator images

2019 year
2019 year - How to Make a Simple Electric Generator pictures

How to Make a Simple Electric Generator forecasting
How to Make a Simple Electric Generator recommendations photo

How to Make a Simple Electric Generator images
How to Make a Simple Electric Generator pics

How to Make a Simple Electric Generator How to Make a Simple Electric Generator new pics
How to Make a Simple Electric Generator new pictures

images How to Make a Simple Electric Generator
photo How to Make a Simple Electric Generator

Watch How to Make a Simple Electric Generator video
Watch How to Make a Simple Electric Generator video

Discussion on this topic: How to Make a Simple Electric Generator, how-to-make-a-simple-electric-generator/
Forum on this topic: How to Make a Simple Electric Generator, how-to-make-a-simple-electric-generator/ , how-to-make-a-simple-electric-generator/

Related News


Your Hat Mantra for Fall: The Wider the Brim, theBetter
How to Negotiate an Offer
If you do decide, plan how youre going to share the news
Outfits with Hunter Boots-20 Ways to Wear Hunter Boots
Must-Haves for Your New Year’s Eve MakeupBag
How to Make a Healthy Cereal Breakfast
Mariah Carey Called Out Nick Cannon For Cheating (InSong)
Pegging
10 Times Zendaya Secretly Did Her Own Makeup for MajorEvents
Best and worst days to travel around Christmas in 2019
Bounce Back From A Cold Or Flu—Fast
Find the Right Birth Control Option for You
Best Coats Spring-Summer 2019



Date: 10.12.2018, 13:10 / Views: 95181