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View Full Version : OT, sort of: an amusing solarmotor from over on PM



J Tiers
01-06-2016, 12:16 AM
Have not seen such a thing before.

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/solar-motor-2-0-a-314204/

tyrone shewlaces
01-06-2016, 12:37 AM
I kind of got a kick out of his comment that it needs extremely high precision to pull it off, then at 1:43 in the video it clearly shows the end of the shaft has been simply hot-saw cut off at about a 5 or 10 degree angle and not even faced off. It's a 30 second operation and the video surely took hours to make. True that a newcomer might still be learning what high precision means, but still...
Interesting brainstorming idea.

J Tiers
01-06-2016, 01:06 AM
The precision may be in balancing etc. I not only noticed the cut off, but the wobble as well

PStechPaul
01-06-2016, 02:04 AM
It is a pretty cool-looking curiosity, but note that it is rated at 0.5V and 0.05A, or just 25 mW, and there is no way to extract any useful work out of it except perhaps a small fan or the LED strips that might be lit by the solar cells. The levitation effect of the magnetic bearings is a nice touch, but not practical for extracting power. The rotating solar cells mean that at least half of them have no insolation from a point source, but solves the problem of aligning them for maximum output. Here is another of his videos:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGuhq1OYTuU&feature=player_embedded

I am assuming that this is an ordinary DC wound rotor PM motor, and achieves commutation by virtue of the rotating or alternating field due to sequential illumination of the solar cells. But it also has some of the characteristics of a homopolar motor, which can be built from a AA cell, a magnet, and a piece of copper wire bent and balanced so that it completes the circuit.

Davidhcnc
01-06-2016, 06:53 PM
I think that is a Crookes Radiometer which we could rename as Solarmotor 1.0


http://youtu.be/KS4BKBMjd6U

Mike Amick
01-06-2016, 07:24 PM
I think that is a Crookes Radiometer which we could rename as Solarmotor 1.0

http://youtu.be/KS4BKBMjd6U

Some real scientists describing how it works in the comments .. lol

dp
01-06-2016, 11:36 PM
I like the spider that photo bombed the video. This seems to be a device to convert solar energy to wasted motion.

Mcgyver
01-07-2016, 11:28 AM
sounds like he set out to learn some basic machining so he could make it, which is kind of neat.... i wouldn't be too critical on his perception of precision if he's coming from the world of pliers, hot glue guns and nails.

wierdscience
01-07-2016, 01:55 PM
I like the spider that photo bombed the video. This seems to be a device to convert solar energy to wasted motion.

Agreed,I wonder if the solar cells were canted slightly and you made a scroll out of lexan would it at least move a little air like a squirrel cage blower,but much less powerful.

dp
01-07-2016, 05:33 PM
Given it has next to zero friction and doesn't spin fast enough to explode I'd guess it has next to zero HP for doing any kind of work.

bob_s
01-07-2016, 05:47 PM
This is what the enviro-weenies will point at to be the power source for the next-gen of solar powered cars.

Any clue as to the $$$/horsepower?

PStechPaul
01-07-2016, 05:49 PM
0.5V and 0.05A is 25 mW or about 33 micro-HP. And I wonder what its efficiency might be?

I think it was actually powered by the spider - that's why the video ended when the spider got tired and came out for some fresh air and another bug to eat.

bob_s
01-07-2016, 07:04 PM
0.5V and 0.05A is 25 mW or about 33 micro-HP. And I wonder what its efficiency might be?

I think it was actually powered by the spider - that's why the video ended when the spider got tired and came out for some fresh air and another bug to eat.

THanks Paul!, but the 33uHP is in bright sunlight.

So we will need 145454.5 spiders, or thereabout, to equal a 50cc Honda mini-bike

I believe that there's gonna be some timing issues getting those 1.164 million legs synchronized, but this green technology will most likely qualify for a hefty government grant or subsidy.

J Tiers
01-07-2016, 07:39 PM
While so many are whining about low power output, or off-topic political stuff..... Maybe one might have a comment that could point a way toward higher HP, if that is considered important.

Given, of course, the solar energy per unit area, and other inconvenient things like that.

It's amusing, it works, it looks cool. Take it as a piece of kinetic art and quitcher kvetching about power output.... it clearly was not INTENDED to put out much useful power, just intended to turn itself, really.

Always with the whining..... someone maybe needs to get a life already.... :D

dp
01-07-2016, 07:47 PM
It should be possible to nearly double the energy delivered by using some first-surface mirrors. I think the point of the build was to showcase magnetic bearings which because of variations in flux density and flux angles is not friction free but definitely look cool. It would have been more efficient to arrange the cells as a disk on a vertical shaft and mag bearings would still be possible.

vpt
01-07-2016, 09:17 PM
Place a mirror on the backside = there, doubled the hp.

vpt
01-07-2016, 09:18 PM
It should be possible to nearly double the energy delivered by using some first-surface mirrors. I think the point of the build was to showcase magnetic bearings which because of variations in flux density and flux angles is not friction free but definitely look cool. It would have been more efficient to arrange the cells as a disk on a vertical shaft and mag bearings would still be possible.



Ha, didn't read this last post before posting.

Mcostello
01-07-2016, 10:07 PM
Every one seems to forget- from acorns mighty oaks grow. It's a start, maybe work,maybe not. Worth a punt.

PStechPaul
01-07-2016, 10:20 PM
Every one seems to forget- from acorns mighty oaks grow. It's a start, maybe work,maybe not. Worth a punt.
But only after doused wth cold water, and buried in dirt! :rolleyes:

John Stevenson
01-08-2016, 07:20 AM
At least he got off his arse and did something.

wierdscience
01-08-2016, 08:23 AM
Add a wood fired boiler and steam engine-There you have it,a working solar power plant that produces real power and is carbon neutral :p