Here's how to make your own steam engine generator at home
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Fancy making your own low-tech reciprocating steam turbine? Then follow this simple guide to make one, more-or-less, completely out of scrap.
As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Soda pop can
- Old tin can
- Old magnets
- Old DC motor
- Old syringe
- Old electronics with an induction coil
- Rubber tubing
- Some form of fuel
- Basic tools (wrench, screwdrivers, etc)
- DEKOPRO Welding gear and safety equipment
- Various nuts and bolts
With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build.
Step 1: Prepare the generator
The first step is to take your old motor and completely dismantle it. With that done, take your angle grinder and cut down the rotor as shown in the video.
Then, take an old bolt and weld it to the exposed end of the rotor. Cut off the head of the bolt once complete. Next, add a nut to the bolt, and then cut a small length of square-profile steel rod to the bolt and nut as shown.
Next, mix up some two-part adhesive, and glue some small magnets to the square-profile length of metal as shown. Test the rotation of the motor rod, it should freely rotate. If not, adjust accordingly.
With that done, drill two holes through the motor endplate, and rig up a reciprocating arm to the main motor as shown.
Step 2: Make the piston
Next, take your old syringe and drill a series of holes through the plunger. Connect the reciprocating arm to the plunger as shown in the instruction video. Glue into place as needed.
With that done, take your can of beer or soda, and drill a hole, carefully, through the top. Drain the liquid and ensure you leave the ring pull intact. Glue a short length of narrow bore metal pipe into the hole in the can.
Next, take your wood and cut it down into two small plates of wood to mount the generator. Cut two cuboids of wood to mount the main motor too. Do so using the two holes your drilled earlier.
Make another mounting point to secure the syringe too and affix it to the mounting as needed. Test the action of the reciprocating arm by extending and depressing the plunger in the syringe.
This should turn the motor.
Step 3: Make the dynamo
Next, take our old electrical device that contains an induction coil, and liberate the coil from the device. Mount this around the exposed rotor of the old motor.
Next, take your length of surgical tubing, and connect it to the nozzle of the syringe. Glue the other end of the tubing to the metal spout you added to the soda pop can previously.
Next, drill a small hole in the top of the syringe to allow the steam to purge from the system.
With that done, connect up the wiring of the induction coil as shown in the video. Extend the wiring, where needed, to harvest the electricity generated later.
Step 4: Add the heat source
Next, take your old tin can, cut a mounting groove in the top to mount the soda pop can, and a grill to one side to administer the heat source.
Mount the tin can in place on the main base of the generator, and then affix the soda pop can in place as needed.
With that done, rig up an electrical plug and ACDC converter to the generator so that you can tap off the power and have it converted for powering electrical devices, etc.
With that done, add some fuel into the main heating tin. Anything that burns will do, but firelighters or Esbit tablets work well.
With that done, fill the soda pop can with water, and ignite the fuel as needed. This will turn the liquid in the soda pop can into steam, activating the syringe piston, and drive the generator.
Hey presto, you magically get some power!
If you enjoyed this project, you might enjoy some other low-tech gizmos. How about, for example, making your own outdoor hydro generator?
Archaeologists have discovered Châtelperronian tools at a Neanderthal site in Basque Country, Spain. Joseba Rios-Garaizar says the tools offer insight into the extinction of Neanderthals.