The Ecklin/Brown generator was an attempt to eliminate Lentz Law, which dictates the maximum output of both generators and wind turbines for a given input. Look that up if necessary.
The Ecklin/Brown generates electricity something like this:
A stationary magnet is placed by a stationary coil close enough that the coil is within the magnet's magnetic field. Neither the magnet nor the coil move in relation to one another.
What does move is a rotating blade made of ferrous metal. That blade rotates between the magnet and the coil. This blade "cuts" the magnetic field, sort of "blocking" the field from the coil when it is between them. When the blade passes, the magnetic field surges back onto the coil as it "snaps" back to its original shape. The coil makes electricity from that movement. The more ferrous blades, the more times this happens at each magnet/coil setup per rotation.
The Ecklin/Brown generator was intended to be powered by an engine. It required less horse power to output a given amount of electricity because the resistance against rotation was much less than rotating magnets by coils, despite the heat losses from eddy currents in the blades, according to the inventors. The interesting thing was the claims of 125% efficiency. In theory, this would allow it to run itself with left over energy to spare for useful work.
Okay, let's put aside claims of over unity and the idea of using an engine or motor to power it.
What if we use wind power to spin those ferrous blades? This might allow a DIY device that can operate at ground or roof level, since it wouldn't require as much energy to spin as a regular turbine.
An easy experiment would be a to use a spoked bicycle wheel. Use plastic wrap on every other spoke to make a pinwheel that spins in the wind. (If the spokes are not ferrous, attach something to them, like lead fishing line weights)
Place a magnet on one side and a coil on the other. Make sure that the lead fishing weights on the spokes pass between the magnet and the coil. The magnet will try to "stick" the lead weights in place. That is your resistance against rotation, which isn't very much. The more magnet coil setups, the more resistance.
This setup with stationary magnets and coils with lead fishing weights on the spokes passing between them should be simple to try out and it might allow the wheel to generate more electricity in low winds than attaching it to a generator or alternator, especially if attaching it produces nothing due to not enough wind power to make the minimum possible output.
If anyone has already tried this, please let me know what the results were. I will get to this in time, I'm sure. In the mean time, if anyone wants to give it shot for themselves, have at it. Please share the results with others here.
Bill, have you ever tried to pick up lead with a magnet? Something tells me it won't work (lead is non-ferrous).
Apart from that, please let me know how this goes. It sounds fascinating.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Chris, I actually have never tried to pick up a lead fishing weight with a magnet. I just assumed it was ferrous, and we all know what happens when I assume. I didn't make an ass out of anyone else, but sure made one of myself, there.
Thank you for catching that.
All right, I'll have to revamp this experiment. I'll be sure to use an actual ferrous metal and actually check it with a magnet before I attach it to the spokes, so I don't go off half-cocked.
The purpose here is to build an inexpensive wind machine that operates at ground or roof level for battery charging. It doesn't need to run the entire house, just add a useable amount of electricity to the batteries in a 24 hour period.
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association