Washing machine generator

stator

Building a generator can be a fun and fairly simple project. Getting a large DC motor however can sometimes be difficult. Here is a writeup on how to make a generator from an old washing machine drive. It looks like you might need to find a specific machine called the “Smart Drive” to follow their directions exactly though. If you happen to find one, or know of a unit with a similar motor, you can follow these directions to end up with a fairly decent wind powered generator.

[thanks TripleB]

Comments

  1. EdZ says:

    I’ve heard of using smartdrive rotors for windmill generators before, but I’d honestly be more interested in using them as enormous stepper motors.

  2. burt samson says:

    Cool idea but the site is full of brutal typos and they’ve got parallel vs series mixed up.

  3. aztraph says:

    you can usually find this type of drive in a front load washer, I would look for the late 07 to mid 08 maytag built by samsung, they had lots of balance issues and you might be able to find some at the scrapyard. the coils are set up to be a 3 phase dc motor with a variable speed control, the concept is good but since these were built to be easy on the electric bill, you will probably find them to be way underpowered. they probably won’t be able to supply more than 5-6 amps, maybe less.

  4. aztraph says:

    . . .cont. there is another kind in the top load washer the whirlpool Cabrio, and a smaller version that drives the Dish Drawer. maybe if 4 or 5 of these were linked together and calibrated, you could drive something larger, there is definite possibility.

  5. VONluckenbach says:

    From what the pics show it’s just a jumbo size brushless motor setup. So you could do it on the small scale by just modding some PC cooling fans.

  6. Simon says:

    These motors are made by fisher and pykel, in new zeland, they are pretty common in NZ and australia but I think you will find them hard to find in the rest of the world

  7. Simon says:

    Oh and this fella made a CNC mill out of 3 them
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-cnc-controller/

  8. aztraph says:

    Simon: not surprising since the fisher pykel and the cabrio washers are pretty much the exact same thing. they both even tried to sue LG for patent infringements on the same washer.

  9. Ben Wright says:

    When I worked at Home Depot, the new LG dryers would light up the LCD and let you select a spin cycle / when the drum was spun by hand. This is without the dryer pluged into to wall.

  10. Tim D says:

    There are plenty of write ups on using the smartdrive motors for generators, lots of DIY’ers in New Zealand use them in small scale hydro or wind generation as it requires only a little electrical knowledge to do.

  11. blackcatonedolar says:
  12. grizball says:

    spam? ^^^ not cool.

  13. Tony says:

    People do this type of conversion fairly often. Some people even rewire old garbage disposal motors to do the same thing. The term I hear most often is “garbogen” which seems to be anything that was garbage and was rewound to be a generator. Pretty resourceful stuff!

  14. Orv says:

    This reminds me of “Alternator Secrets,” an old pamphlet that explains how to rewire automotive alternators and induction motors as generators. It’s still good info:
    http://islandcastaway.com/stuff/windpower/Alternator%20Secrets.htm

  15. j9 says:

    Search for the term “Fisher and Paykel” over on http://www.otherpower.com — lots of folks Down Under have done similar conversions for wind power.

  16. Eric says:

    These motors (whole washing machines) are being bulldozed into land-fill by the thousands throughout Australia. I’ve got a dozen or more which I am using to make some gennies, using a few different ideas in the hope of making something worthwhile. For me it is a fantastic intro to a fascinating field and I encourage more to try it – at the very least I’ll be better off for my efforts in knowledge gained if not from successful power generation.

  17. Mike says:

    check this link guys!
    http://www.thebackshed.com/Windmill/default.asp

    didnt have time to read all but these motors will give 20 amps at 12 volt on a brigs 4 HP motor!
    I got one!! :-)
    cheers all
    Mike

  18. Good stuff, Will definitely come back again.

  19. Nigel Cox says:

    Good evening, these are indeed large stepper motors so they can be used to cycle the washing in the machine, they do make extemely good generators, but a word of warning, if you are experimenting with them in thier current state ie. without being rewired to give a lower voltage for charging purposes the current they give out when turned can be lethal, so be very carefull, normally they can be rewired to three phase and with a rectifier can put out 12 24 36 and 48 volts, the Australians have a lot of information on various websites and are easy to find, these motors can also be found in LG front loader washing machines and there are plenty of these for sale in England at a reasonable price, also there is an Australian firm who specialises in building these for power generation, have a go you will find the end results well worthwhile, regards to all Doc Cox

  20. I have read quite a few explanations on conversions and rewiring, this is by far the best. With most of them one needs almost a degree in electronic engineering to understand. Even I can grasp what is going on and will try to build my generator. I obtained a “LG. 7Kg. front loader Direct drive. I take it will be similar to the fischer peikel

  21. My hope is to use the wind generator to heat my Electric geiser in the house. We are in western cape of south africa. the wind at most times at least a breeze building up to averge of 8 to 12 knots. Then it can get scary at times and here lies the worry.
    Q. is the idea even feasable to conect to ones geiser. somehow I realise that we need to protect and isolate one power source from the other, it is the how that evades me. Now I have allways believed that if one can read you can fix or build anything that is explained on paper.

  22. Mr Walter says:

    I have found so many articles on the smartdrive motors for generators and so the another over here for the washing machine concept.

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