Making an electric generator is a good
way of learning the principles of generators. It also is an exciting
As a display project, you just need to
make it and demonstrate its structure. As an experimental project, you
need to come up with questions about the factors that may affect the
rate of production of electricity.
If you want to do this as an experimental
project, following are some suggested questions:
- How does the speed of turning affect the
production of electricity?
- How does the diameter of coil
affect the production of electricity?
- How does the number of loops of wire in
the coil affect the production of electricity?
- How does the wire gage (diameter of coil-wire)
affect the electric current?
- How do the material used in the
construction of an electric generator affect the production of
Depending on the question that you select,
you may predict an answer. That is called your hypothesis.
Dependent and Independent Variables
The factor that you are testing is your
independent variable. For example the speed of turning and diameter of wire
are samples of independent variables. The rate of production of electricity
is the dependent variable.
Following are the material that you need in
order to construct a wooden electric generator.
- Wood dowel 3/8" diameter
- Wood Dowel 1" diameter.
- Rod magnet 3" long
- Insulated copper wire
- 1.2 Volt Screw Base light Bulb
- Base for the light bulb
- Small sand paper
- Wood Glue
- 1/2 Square foot Balsa wood (1/8"
If you are buying a kit, all the wooden
parts are included and they are already cut to the size. So you just need to
connect them. If you don't have a kit, prepare the wooden parts as follows:
- Cut two square pieces from the balsa
wood (3.5" x 3.5").
- Make a 3/8" hole in the center of
- Cut four 1" x 3 7/16.
- Cut a 3/4" piece from the 1"
wood dowel. Make a 3/8" hole in the center of it. Insert a 6"
long 3/8" wood dowel in the hole, apply some glue. center it and
wait for it to dry.
- Make another hole with the diameter of
your rod magnet in the center of the larger wood dowel piece for the
magnet to go through.
|Wood dowels after
completing the step 4
|Wood dowels after
completing the step 5
|The picture on the right shows
samples of wood dowels formed as a magnet holder rotor. They are
included in the wooden generator kits; however, you can also order
them separately. (Check
the price and availability)
Adult supervision and
professional help is required for all cuttings and hole makings.
Procedure: (If you buy a kit, make sure
to read the procedure suggested in your kit)
- Insert the magnet in the hole of the
wood dowel. Center it and use some glue to secure it.
- Use one large square balsa wood and four
smaller rectangular balsa woods to make a box.
- Insert your wood dowel into the hole in
the center of the box. At this time the magnet is inside the box.
- Place the other large square to complete
the box. Apply some glue to the edges and wait for the glue to dry. By
now, you have a box and inside the box you have a magnet that can spin
when you spin the wood dowel.
- Wrap the copper wire around the
box and use masking tape to secure it. Note that more copper wire
around the box results more electricity.
- Remove the insulation from the ends of
the wire and connect it to the screws of the bulb holder or base.
- Insert the light bulb
- Spin the wood dowel fast to get the
More detail Instructions: A more
detail and step by step online instruction page is available for the users
of the kit. If you have got the kit, please make sure to use the URL (web
address) suggested in the kit to access the instruction details.
instructions based on the kit materials
||The high quality parts included in
this science set may be useful for many of your future projects. All
parts other than balsa wood are reusable. You may purchase additional
balsa wood from craft stores for your future projects.