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Thread: Is magnetism feasible to lack of wind or a cloudy day?

  1. #1

    Is magnetism feasible to lack of wind or a cloudy day?

    Greets All!

    Just curious if I might pass a thought by you for any feedback.

    I really have no idea if this is feasible or even possible for that matter:

    A magnet driven (or magnetically assisted windmill) for those days that aren't as windy.

    Build or use a standard windmill except for the blades that are engineered;

    1-a specific distance from the magnet to be determined.
    2-using the highest probable 'attracted' magnetic properties; eg aluminum or other alloy.
    3-design blades so that the alloy is at the leading edge of the blade to the magnet; facing the magnet instead of leaving; thus creating the attraction/pull.
    4-figure out how not to get whacked by the blades.

    I suppose the same could be used in a "helix' type (someone linked a site with this info somewhere I read here, my apologies as I forgot!)
    A 'helix' method would probably be a lot safer and the magnet much, much smaller, but would still have no idea as to any practical usage.

    Maybe something like this graphic:
    __ __
    || ||
    || || M
    || || M
    || || |
    _a_______b_ |
    | |
    | |
    | |
    | |

    this is where 'a' and 'b' are the wind 'sails' for lack of proper terms and 'M' is the magnet; except
    a light allow on the leading edge of 'a' and 'b' towards 'M' to induce attraction.

    the lines connecting the host between 'a' and 'b' to 'M' would be maybe some type of PVC to avoid distraction or interference of 'M' to the leading edge of the 'sail'.
    In my mind as someone who is not very technical despite working in a noc; this might allow a constant speed maybe for use in charging a bank?

    Thanks for any response!


    ***note on the graphic...I can't seem to get it to display it out a bit..1 set of || over the 'a', another over the 'b', then | (pipes) from the top to the bottom and at the top of those to the right is the 'M'...if this makes any sense-

  2. #2
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Allegheny highlands

    I'm not sure what you're

    I'm not sure what you're trying to attempt. Perhaps you could make a sketch in MS Paint, and upload it to the forum.

    But if I'm guessing at what your trying to do, (a magnetically driven generator) than I'm going to say it isn't going to work. The number one problem is, no matter what method is used, it always takes more energy to produce what is generated. Take wind energy for example. After all is said and done, the calculated energy in the wind which hit's the blades, the theoretical amount that can be extracted is something like 59%, and that doesn't even figure for mechanical and electrical losses. Most wind turbines are around 40% efficient.

    Look at this another way. Lets take an electric motor and hook it to a generator. It will take more power to run the motor, than the amount of power that comes out of the generator. Keep in mind, I'm talking about watts when I say power. Yes, you could use a 12 volt motor to turn a 120 volt generator, but wattage will be lower on the generator's output, than the motor's input. There's never a free lunch.

    Anyhow, not trying to discourage you. Just keep in mind that perpetual motion machines are fantasy (for now, until someone cracks quantum physics problems) but if you think you still got something, post back some more details, and we'll lookl it over. :-)

  3. #3

    Dummies guide to...

    I'm sure Walmart has to have a copy of "Dummies Guide to Cracking Quantum Physics Problems, v1"!

    Thanks Rod!

    I sent the same email to some friends of mine in Denver and had similar responses. I suppose to further this instead of trying to create energy, perhaps just try to not stop it. Say the wind generated enough force start the blades turning..then it died down a bit...would you think it could be possible to use the magnet theory to keep the rotation going or is that just a moot point altogether?



  4. #4

    magnets are weird


    Another problem you're going to run into is that magnetic attraction lines don't work the way your hind-brain thinks they do. Remember the shape of the field lines of a bar magnet, that you get from sprinkling little iron filings near one? ( Based on this, your windmill blades would only behave the way your intuition leads you to believe when they are bring "pointed at" by the magnetic pole of A or B. Any any other time on their approach or retreat, they will act in haywire ways depending on how the rotating blade's magnets interact with the oblique fields from the stationary magnets. Alternatively, if A and B can rotate in place, then the energy used to force them to move will be lost by the rotating windmilll blades, and the who problem breaks down in a slightly different way - but gets you no further on your path to making the windmilll turn.

    It's kind of like standing on a sailboat and blowing on the sail to get yourself moving. As hard as you push on the wail with your hot air ;-) your hot air pushed back on you in the other direction, and since you're standing on the boat, it all adds up to zero. (Actually, technically the boat can move in the time between when you blow out the air and when it hits the sail, but you lose the ground you gained when you breathe in again. And if you turn around to take in a breath and then turn back to the sail to blow.... you need to stop wasting your time and go get a paddle!

    Sorry, this is the physics degree coming out to play. I'll be quiet now :-)

  5. #5

    So the theory is feeling...expulsion, say you?!

    Thank you both for the great explanations! There's a lot of good information to be learned from the masses here.

    On the "hind-brain" issue; I'm not sure if that was a reference to me, for me or about me, either way, I had to look it up :lol:, so:

    The hind-brain or rhombencephalon occupies the posterior fossa of the cranial cavity and lies below a fold of dura mater, the tentorium cerebelli. It consists of (a) the myelencephalon, comprising the medulla oblongata and the lower part of the fourth ventricle; (b) the metencephalon, consisting of the pons, cerebellum, and the intermediate part of the fourth ventricle; and (c) the isthmus rhombencephali, a constricted portion immediately adjoining the mid-brain and including the superior peduncles of the cerebellum, the anterior medullary velum, and the upper part of the fourth ventricle.

    Now I have no idea what this means, but it sounds kinda bad. I'll go back to watching the the least until the email arrives about a new class has opened :)

    Thanks again!


  6. #6

    magnetic motor

    Type in magnetic motor or magnet motor in youtube.

  7. #7


    Actually, I use the term 'hind-brain' to refer to your intuition, gut instinct, or the part of your mind that reacts on instinct instead of on logic. In my post, which I can't see as I type this, I think I was using that last meaning. I, at least, when I played with magnets on my kitchen table, would point them at each other, and have them act along straight lines at each other - but if you put one off to one side of another, instead of end-to-end (like || instead of -- ) they behave totally differently. It's that difference in behavior that most people fail to account for when they're thinking about how to use magnets to make cool motors do things they actually can't.

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