Solar Powered Motor ?

Madman

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I'd like to power the water wheel on my Pola Old Mill using solar power. There are kits and other devices I see on Evilbay that use solar power to run motors. Here are two.

4 in 1 Solar Power & Electric Motor STEM KitsScience Experiment Projects for Ki 758201906415 | eBay


I thought that by canabalizing the unit and using the solar collector from the wind chime and mounting the motor inside the building, that it would work. On the toy, maybe I could do the same.

Or, could I simply attach a solar collector to a motor ? Is it as simple as two wires from the collector connected to a motor ?
 

PhilP

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But you will need more power to turn the motor, once the wheel is running in water.

You might be better with a small battery, being charged, and to even out the load.

PhilP
 

Paul M

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I'd like to power the water wheel on my Pola Old Mill using solar power. There are kits and other devices I see on Evilbay that use solar power to run motors. Here are two.

4 in 1 Solar Power & Electric Motor STEM KitsScience Experiment Projects for Ki 758201906415 | eBay


I thought that by canabalizing the unit and using the solar collector from the wind chime and mounting the motor inside the building, that it would work. On the toy, maybe I could do the same.

Or, could I simply attach a solar collector to a motor ? Is it as simple as two wires from the collector connected to a motor ?
Seems like it's worth a try, although as PhilP says, it'll probably be better to charge a battery with it
 

Greg Elmassian

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Overall, moving water is a lot more work (meaning the physics definition of work, moving mass through a distance) than just turning the motor.

To sustain operation during the day would probably need a fairly large panel.

What I would consider, is either a remote solar cell and a storage capacitor in the building, or the roof as solar cells.

I would get one of the solar setups that have the internal 5v inverter, and then you can use a couple of "super caps" to work at 5 volts (2 in series) for clouds passing over.

A battery would be more maintenance and less efficient, and of course since you probably don't care about operating in the dark, this would be better. if you want to operate in the dark, a higher capacity battery and bigger solar cell is needed.

I'd use a 6v motor and see how much current it draws, and then you can size the electronics.

I have one like this: https://www.amazon.com/Nekteck-Wate.../134-4579893-3567133?pd_rd_i=B017GQ7OEA&psc=1

91l2B1d5tQL._AC_SL1500_.jpg


Again, the "trick" here is getting a system that converts the varying voltage to a fixed 5 volts for you, allowing the motor and super cap to be directly connected.

Greg
 

Technocrat

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But you will need more power to turn the motor, once the wheel is running in water.

You might be better with a small battery, being charged, and to even out the load.

PhilP
Also, the speed will vary depending on the time of day.
 

dunnyrail

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Or you could use water, my setup uses a rill to take the water to the mill wheel then a small stream back to a tank. The water is pumped up to the rill from the tank by a solar powered pump that raises the water around a foot high by a foot long quite happily. Sun permitting of course.
 

Greg Elmassian

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Ted: Not if you run from the regulated 5 volt output from the solar panel I suggested... that was the whole point, the unit has an inverter... I did mention all of this.

Jon: cool idea! You could fine tune the "speed" of the waterwheel by the height of the storage tank.

Greg
 

Technocrat

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Ted: Not if you run from the regulated 5 volt output from the solar panel I suggested... that was the whole point, the unit has an inverter... I did mention all of this.

Jon: cool idea! You could fine tune the "speed" of the waterwheel by the height of the storage tank.

Greg
Sorry, I missed that.
I was however commenting on the direct wires from the panel to the motor comment.
I like Jon's idea too. I am a big fan of working water features.
 
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Greg Elmassian

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So, the regulated 5v output simplifies stuff, and a 6v motor should be easy to find, but of course it's all about the motor current draw, what is available, etc.

The supercaps, which are normally 3.6 volts each, should be fine with 2 in series, again keeping it simple.

Fun project. I shy away from batteries in such a situation, since now you need a charger outside.

Greg
 

Madman

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But you will need more power to turn the motor, once the wheel is running in water.

You might be better with a small battery, being charged, and to even out the load.

PhilP
What I didn't mention is that the water will be running through the raceway under its own power. The motor is merely to turn the wheel. I've tried numerous times to get water to flow over or under the wheel and each time it worked for a day or two at best. A leaf might get caught and stop the wheel, or the volume of water may be erratic.

So using your method, could you elaborate on the actual setup ?
 

Madman

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So, the regulated 5v output simplifies stuff, and a 6v motor should be easy to find, but of course it's all about the motor current draw, what is available, etc.

The supercaps, which are normally 3.6 volts each, should be fine with 2 in series, again keeping it simple.

Fun project. I shy away from batteries in such a situation, since now you need a charger outside.

Greg
Your idea also seems good, Greg. Being an electronic moron, could you show me a diagram ?
 

Greg Elmassian

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Well, the solar cell will have a USB connector... get a usb cable, cut off the end that does not fit in the solar cell... most likely it will have 4 wires... strip the ends, keep them separate, and put the cell in the sunshine and plug in the cable and use a meter to verify which 2 wires give you 5 volts and which is positive. Most likely there will be a red and a black wire, but don't count on it.

Hook the 2 wires to your motor, and if your motor is 6v or higher, it should turn. We can add the supercaps later.

that is it.

Greg