CATEGORY:   Mechanism, Gears, Kinetic Energy

DATE:   March, 2015


TOOLKITS:   CNC, Illustrator, Laser cutter

DESCRIPTION:  For this Kinetic Challenge Yifan Hu and I workedtogether to generate Kinetic energy out of a gear head stepper motor. We designed a gear box that is powered by manual input from the user. This input activates the gear train, the last and smallest gear is attached to the stepper motor. A stepper motor is made of many copper coils as seen in the picture below, at the center of the motor is a strong magnet. 

If electricity is applied to the coils of the stepper the magnet will spin and the shaft will spin which will in turn give you motion. The opposite is also true, if you manually spin the shaft which spins the magnet, the coils will push electricity in the opposite direction. We used a 1.5F 5.5V capacitor to store the energy generated out of spinning our motor / “charging” phase.  We made use of a bridge rectifier to ensure the electrical input was as smooth and consistent as possible.  The image below shows a circuit diagram for the completed circuit. With 30s of input we stored enough energy to the capacitors and were successfully able to keep a series of LEDs lite for 30 min without any other input.

Below is a image of the circuit. The stepper has 4 wires that correspond to the different coils inside the motor so we were able to store energy into two capacitors for two series of LEDs.