Generators #2: Stepper motors suck as generatorsPosted: 2005-March-31
I decided to go buy a motor so I went to Glenwood Sales (549 Hague St.) and browsed for a while before eventually settled on a 30 V stepper motor with a 48 ohm coil. It apparently has 4 phases, and each phase would ordinarily consume 0.625 A or 18.75 watts.
The stepper motor could generate as much as 50 volts open-circuit (it's wired with two coils center-tapped.) Through a 51-ohm load I found it could get as high as 5 volts, and through a 280-ohm load, 20 volts. The good news is it's pretty linear from about 1,000 RPM through 3,000. The bad news is those two ratings yield only 0.5 watts and 1.4 watts respectively.
Using a full-wave bridge on each side and tying the outputs together and running at 3,100 RPM, I could get 9 volts into 51 ohms and 34 volts into 280 ohms: 1.6 watts and 4.1 watts respectively. Open, it would generate 90 volts. Indeed, none of the motors would source more than a half a volt at 3,100 RPM; one that I hadn't tested would generate 0.5 V and 1.5 amps, so at least that's promising.