Showing posts from 2020

The interesting world of VAWTs

I was curious about the type of wind turbines that do not need to face into the wind. So I googled
around to learn they are called Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (or VAWTs). But that is not all there is to it. There are a handful of different designs built around two basic concepts: drag and lift. And as you can guess, these are not as efficient as the more popular Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs) found on most wind farms.

The beauty of the VAWT is their simplicity: Just a special shape the wind will rotate and, if connected to a generator, it could be used to produce energy too. But its power-generation capability is somehow smaller (if you consider the frontal area it presents to the wind) than the propeller rotors of the HAWTs.

On the other hand, some of the designs, have been created quite simple so they can be built repurposing other objects. For example, the basic Savonius rotor can be built by joining two halves of an oil barrel in an S-shape configuration. Any other cylindr…

Spot welder

Over the years I have seen a few ways of doing spot welder for battery packs:

A bank of electrolytic capacitorsOne or more super-capacitorsA modified microwave oven transformerA car or motorbike or LiPo battery But besides the power source, some sort of control is needed, as you are basically shorting the output of your power source and you do not want that to last long. The simplest thing to do is to use a pushbutton, but that is not very precise nor repeatable, so something like an electronic timer can work best. But if you want to provide more than a single pulse a microcontroller can be the best choice for a precise and repeatable switching of the power.
And switching the power can be another source of trouble, especially if the switch is the high-current side. A spot welder can rush hundreds of Amperes and you need something more than a pushbutton to handle that. Some designs use a bank of MOSFET transistors to do the job (power dissipation is not huge due to their low ON resistan…