Can My Chevy Alternator Run My Bicycle's Cigarette Lighter?

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Hi. Has anyone tried to run a car alternator to satisfy their bike's electrical needs?

    I think it can be done in a way that the belt can be connected/disconnected "on the fly".

    Any ideas?
     

  2. Car Alternator...wow....interesting idea...should be able to provide plenty of power if you can get the alternator RPMs figured out. I think you would need to use the 1 wire alternator to make things easier.

    Good luck and let us know how it works!

    Andrew
     
  3. eleseur96020

    eleseur96020 Member

    that's probably gonna give you a LOT of drag. I woudl recommend a drill motor or some other type of motor that is a little smaller.
     
  4. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    eleseur, can you explain your drill motor application?

    Andrew, at 1800rpm cruising speed, a car's alternator MIGHT be spinning twice as fast, depending on pulley sizes. I KNOW the pulley shouldn't be hung on a shaft with 18.75:1 gear reduction. Right now Staton has a gearbox with an additional 5:1 reduction shaft, which is a step in the right direction. A 1:1 ratio with back-to-back output shafts would be a much better start, which is what Staton is looking to offer in the near future.

    Until then, what I'm looking for is a simple, cheap way to fire up a second-hand alternator. I'd like to run a REAL 12-volt headlight, tailight and brake light to brighten up the night.

    How about friction drive with a 1.5" roller and a gravity clutch, like an oversized bicycle dynamo?

    Weight is not a problem. At one point, my electric bicycle weighed over 135 pounds.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2008
  5. eleseur96020

    eleseur96020 Member

    i don't really have any plans or anything, i'm fine with battery operated. I just know how hard it is to get one of those large alternators spinning, and i think it will cause a lot of drag (i may be wrong) i suggested a drill motor because it takes a lot less to get one of those puppies up to an acceptable rpm. good luck-
     
  6. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    On the drag issue- it is variable. I will take a bit more tha 1hp to produce 50 amps....but that's a lot of electricity. More than you would use. However, that's the figure I found. the hp required would be reduced for less of a load, but not in direct proportion because some of the friction and drag is not related to the electricity being produced, but simply due to spinning the alternator itself. However, if you only lose 1/2 hp- that is a pretty high percentage. That would be a 20% loss on the GXH50 at peak output.
     
  7. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    eleseur, from what I've experienced, an electric drill has a lot more drag and my alternator was almost freewheeling when spun by hand.

    HoughMade, I have power to spare on my bike "Mr. Hyde". Dual 2.2hp Mitsubishi engines. I can live with a 1 hp loss on either engine, especially if I have "on the fly" disconnect feature for those times when I really need all the horsepower(less than 5% of the time).

    My eyes are 62 years old. I need to run a 35watt/55 watt REAL 12-volt tractor headlight to light up the night Wayyy in front of me. A tail light/brake light would be nice too.
     
  8. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    In that case- go for it. Absolutely no reason it would not work. Make sure whatever alternator you use has a voltage regulator and rectifier.
     
  9. Gungatim

    Gungatim Member

    Here's a link to a gokart site with instructions for wiring a 10si on a go kart, you could easily do the same on a bike with some ingenuity. maybe a friction drive on the back tire with the frame mounted HT engines, just change to a proper sized pulley to give the proper rpm. I recommend against one wire alternators, it is really easy to hook up a regular one, you will need a batter to excite it though.
    http://www.diygokarts.com/vb/showthread.php?t=451
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  10. tinman

    tinman New Member

    Well I have been planning on an alternator set up also. I'm still waiting for staton to send the rest of my parts so I can get rolling. But anyways....

    I searched for some other options then a car alternater for space and weight issues and I think I have found one.

    It's a bit more pricey then a scrap alternator but seems to be what im leaning towards. Its a VERY small dynamo generator with an external regulator. It seems to be a very versitle set-up because you can use it with a batery or without. It does not need a battery to excite it to begin charging like most alternators do.

    Check it out n let me know what you guys think. This link shows the dynamo, regulator and wiring diagram of how a guy used it on his small airplane.

    http://home.hiwaay.net/~langford/corvair/dynamo.html

    o0o n BTW while in the middle of typing this Dave staton calleed and my parts are otw today. Maybee I will try it before you.
     
  11. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    tinman...you ARE The Man! Thanks for the info I'm saving. Good to know that a battery is unecessary...less weight.

    How are you going to mount your dynamo?

    Gungatim, thanks. I also saved your information.
     
  12. xPosTech

    xPosTech Member

    Yeah, dynamos eat power all the time, not just when asked for. Have you thought of a small import (Toyota, Nissan, etc.) alternator? They get pretty small and most have built in regulators. Find at the wrecking yard.

    Back in the seventies a friend of mine in Tulsa heated his dog's house with a small windmill powered alternator feeding a hundred feet of wire in the floor. He used a 9V transistor battery to excite it.

    I guess he wanted it warm in case he ever had a need for it. :rolleyes:

    Ted
     
  13. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Yeah Ted, I guess I could look for a cheap import alternator,maybe even a motorcycle alternator with built-in reg.
     
  14. jvirginillo

    jvirginillo New Member

  15. Gungatim

    Gungatim Member

    That ebay generator does look interesting. I wonder if it could be fed into a standard voltage regulator from an older car (the ones with the square black boxes in the 60's/70's) to regulate the output. it could be manually lowered onto the wheel at night when needed for power. Even if it slows you down some, you probably don't need to be running at full speed in the dark anyway...
     
  16. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member

  17. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    jvirginillo, thanks for the ebay auction tip.

    I bought it.:shock:

    Gungatim, I'll be asking the experts regarding the proper regulator to use. The seller was only a little helpful, said it was single-phase, could power a 55-watt headlight. According to ebay description, the alternator is 2" diameter and 3" long.

    Quick measurements show that this tiny dynamo can easily be mounted UNDER the Staton friction drive housing in front of the roller, and run parallel to it.

    The Staton spindle will "grow a nose" and a pulley, and a short belt will link to the alternator and its pulley. Ratio might be 1:1.

    This is all off the top of my head. There is more than enough room under the Staton housing if the seller's dimensions are true. To disengage the alternator, you loosen the mounting bolts and remove the belt.

    Orrr, on my dual-engined bike, I simply raise my engine "on the fly" with my custom Hurst shift lever. Then the front engine AND alternator are disengaged from the tire.


    EPIPHANY!!!

    At night, when I'm riding with my 55-WATT headlight on and come to a stop, the engine's clutch disengages. The alternator stops spinning and making electricity, so the headlight draws power from a heavy SLA battery. HOWEVER, if I raise the engine and throttle it to keep the clutch engaged at a stop, the friction roller ANNND alternator pulley will be in motion, creating electricity to run the headlight without interruption!

    I don't need to install ANY battery on my bike!!!:shock:

    Well, maybe a tiny battery to keep the alternator excited.

    The rest of the installation should be academic and depend on the v-reg's hookup.

    Let's see...car headlight, tail light, brake light, cellphone charger...that's all I need.

    I can hardly wait to start this project.:cool:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2008
  18. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Well the mini-alternators arrived yesterday. No instructions or diodes which I paid for. It has two identical 20-gauge wires leaving the alternator. The plastic pulley is part of the alternator housing, so the entire housing rotates as the rotor, not the stator.:confused:

    The 1/4" endplate is stationary with three mounting holes and the wires protrude from its center hole. This means a 2" elongated hole would need to be bored through the Staton aluminum housing instead of a 1/2" elongated hole. Scratch that mounting location. This puppy needs to sit atop the rear friction drive assembly on my girlie cruiser, and above the 5:1 output shaft of the Staton gearbox on "Mr. Hyde".(First, the outside-drive gearbox needs to be modified to create a 5:1 output shaft, but that's another thread.)

    Since the alternator's maximum output occurs at 1,000 rpm, a gear reduction is needed to keep its revs down as the engine spins at 8000 rpm. Sooo, using a 1.25" pulley on the Staton's 5:1 output shaft and the alternator's 2" pulley would produce an 8:1 gear reduction to do the job.

    Now to find a pulley and belt to match.

    Since the gearbox's shaft doesn't spin when the engine idles, the bike would need a very strong but easily activated bikestand to prop the rear tire AND the rider off the ground and keep the alternator spinning at a standstill...or have a battery onboard.

    With friction drive, it becomes more complicated because of a lack of gear reduction. Because the 2" alternator pulley is part of the rotating alternator housing, it would have to be belted to a 1/4" pulley to attain 8:1 gear reduction.

    There is no such thing as a 1/4" pulley.:confused:

    Sooo TWO jackshafts and the proper pulley combination would need to be installed to create 8:1 reduction.

    Hmmm, not too simple as I presumed. Doable, but more involved.:hammer::hammer:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2008
  19. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/New-...m14&_trkparms=72:727|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318


    Well the mini-alternators arrived yesterday. No instructions or diodes which I paid for. It has two identical 20-gauge wires leaving the alternator. The plastic pulley is part of the alternator housing, so the entire housing is part of the rotor, not stator.:confused:

    The 1/4" endplate is stationary with three mounting holes and the wires protrude from its center hole. This means a 2" elongated hole would need to be bored through the Staton aluminum housing instead of a 1/2" elongated hole. Scratch that mounting location. This puppy needs to sit atop the rear friction drive assembly on my girlie cruiser, and above the 5:1 output shaft of the Staton gearbox on "Mr. Hyde".(First, the outside-drive gearbox needs to be modified to CREATE a 5:1 output shaft, but that's another thread.)

    Since the alternator's maximum output occurs at 1,000 rpm, a gear reduction is needed to keep its revs down as the engine spins at 8000 rpm. Sooo, using a 1.25" pulley on the Staton's 5:1 output shaft and the alternator's 2" pulley would produce an 8:1 gear reduction to do the job.

    Now to find a pulley and belt to match.

    Since the gearbox's shaft doesn't spin when the engine idles, the bike would need a very strong but easily activated bikestand to prop the rear tire AND the rider off the ground and keep the alternator spinning at a standstill...or have a battery onboard.

    With friction drive, it becomes more complicated because of a lack of gear reduction. Because the 2" alternator pulley is part of the rotating alternator housing, it would have to be belted to a 1/4" pulley to attain 8:1 gear reduction.

    There is no such thing as a 1/4" pulley.:confused:

    Sooo TWO jackshafts and the proper pulley combination would need to be installed to create 8:1 reduction.

    Hmmm, not too simple as I presumed with friction drive. Doable, but more involved.:hammer::hammer:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2008
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