We won’t be powering any homes any time soon but the project is one step (of many,many, other steps) closer to a final, electricity generating sculpture.
For the technical side of the “Arc” presentation I went through the Energy Conversation Worksheet — with the help of Chris — to actually quantify the amount of electricity that the project actually produced. Was really pretty exciting to see real-world, applicable results from my little masonite masterpiece. See worksheet results below:
It became immediately clear to me that the DC motor that I chose was not nearly a high enough RPM motor. There is a lot resistance. I could get a higher RPM motor but it dawned on me that I should not have used a geared motor at all. Am I right? The efficiency of the electromagnetic induction is only lessened by the gearing. I am going to have to revisit this to push the idea more.
Mechanically, there are more things I could do to prevent as much friction on the structure. For starters, there are nylon bearings for the shafts. In the future it would be a good idea to use a set of metal, ball-bearings to help spin of the shafts.
The rocking momentum could be helped along if there were more weight to the arc itself. The masonite is far too light and the lighter weight makes it difficult for the arc to capitalize on the potential energy.