Mechanical Power Light

Students: Natalia Zawisny, Stephanie Borchers, Glory Day Correw



Our collective desire for Prototype One was to prove Faraday’s Law in terms of creating a Shake Light. We had seen prototypes of this sort on line but as none of us personally owned one, we could not see the inner workings of the object and desired to get a first hand experience. In the process of making Prototype One we took a large plexi pipe from Canal plastics (2 inches in diameter) and wrapped copper coil around it (close to 16 gauge). We then connected alligator clips to the ends of the wires, connecting them to a volt meter. After passing a larger super magnet through the center of the pipe (1 ½” X 1” X ½”) we got a reading on the volt meter of .3. Researching the LED we had, we would need at least 3 volts to light it. Other electrical engineers also critiqued the work noting it would need a magnet the shape of the tube to make to increase the floe of electricity as well as more wraps around the plexi with a thinner gauge wire.

Picture 3

Picture 30





Our third attempt was consistent with using Faraday’s Law as a means of generating electricity. Instead of inserting a magnet through numerous coils of copper wire, we looked into other methods of creating an electric field, specifically the way in which motors work. It essentially uses the same idea, but a copper wire is rotating in between two magnets of opposite polarity.
We were able to build our prototype by re-wiring an old power drill and inserting a lever arm so we could crank it backwards. We hooked it up in series to a 2200 μF capacitor and a resistor, and were able to generate enough electricity to power a super bright LED for about 2-3 seconds with each 180° crank of the motor. We also noticed that the LED was dim with slow cranks, whereas it was very bright with strong, fast cranks. We would like to further this exploration by using larger motors, as well as larger capacitors or rechargeable batteries.

Picture 4
motor 1
Picture 5
Picture 32