Can I directly power an arduino board using a DC motor as a generator?

Hey everyone! I was wondering if anyone knew if it was possible to directly power an Arduino board using a DC motor as a generator? I don’t mean on a breadboard, I mean like instead of using the USB or dc plug ports. I’m not really sure it’s even possible, but I couldn’t find anything online about it. Thanks!

There is no doubt in my mind that this would be possible to do. I wouldn't recommend feeding your dc motor directly into your arduino. You need to regulate the output of the motor because the faster you spin it, the higher the voltage. Also, you need to watch out for the polarity.. which changes based on the direction you spin the motor.

You would need a voltage regulator to prevent any over supply of voltage to the board. To me it seems like it would just complicate the system more than a battery would especially if your project needs to move.
Can you assure the motor will always supply current to the board by constantly spinning?

I have a strong suspicion that there is not enough information in the question.

As the question is posed, the answer is undoubtedly “yes”. DC generators make electricity and Arduinos run on electricity.

However if the question is really about whether a small DC motor suitable for a toy or a model airplane can power an Arduino the answer is undoubtedly NO.

And, what would power the motor?

…R

Robin2:
And, what would power the motor?

...R

You could power the generator (motor) from another motor.

Seriously this is not as stupid as it sounds. The Ward-Leonard control system used an AC motor to turn a DC generator which would then power a DC motor.

By altering the current in the generator field coils, it's output voltage, and hence the speed of the DC motor could be controlled.

JohnLincoln:
You could power the generator (motor) from another motor.

Of course you could. But, even more seriously, why waste all the energy in the inefficiencies of two motors.

...R

Robin2:
Of course you could. But, even more seriously, why waste all the energy in the inefficiencies of two motors.

...R

Yes, it it is inefficient, but I wonder whether the original question was really just to ask whether the approach was feasible, rather than an actual need to use the procedure.

Robin2:
I have a strong suspicion that there is not enough information in the question.

As the question is posed, the answer is undoubtedly "yes". DC generators make electricity and Arduinos run on electricity.

However if the question is really about whether a small DC motor suitable for a toy or a model airplane can power an Arduino the answer is undoubtedly NO.

And, what would power the motor?

...R

A large label unwinder would be what powers the arduino. Its around 3 inches in diameter and its maximum rpm is around 700. Do you have a link or know where to buy a generator/motor and voltage regulator that would work with that?

What powers the large label unwinder? :slight_smile:

milesc37:
A large label unwinder would be what powers the arduino. Its around 3 inches in diameter and its maximum rpm is around 700. Do you have a link or know where to buy a generator/motor and voltage regulator that would work with that?

I have no idea what a label unwinder is - please provide more information. How many mechanical watts does it produce?

Unless the label unwinder is very powerful this whole idea is a non-starter.

...R

A label unwinder can indeed be used to power a generator. Adding a generator will make the process of unwinding labels harder. You'll have to not only pull the normal amount to unwind the labels but you also have to power the generator. (You don't get something for nothing.)

Does the Arduino only need to be on momentarily?

Can you tell us what you're trying to do?

DuaneDegn:
You'll have to not only pull the normal amount to unwind the labels

It can't be possible that the OP is considering powering an Arduino from the power produced when a person pulls labels off a roll ? Or even when another machine pulls labels off a roll ?

Is this April 1st ?

Or has Heath-Robinson (Rube Goldberg) been reincarnated?

...R

It's not an extreme micro-power problem: a clock can run off room temperature changes indefinitely. There's certainly that much energy available in a label roll puller.

The real question is: what for? What do you want this Arduino to do? There's not enough power to run an LED screen or send an SMS message.

Would solar power work? Solar powered toys and calculators work indoors. By the time you've built a motor and gearing system and power conditioner, you have something big enough and heavy enough that solar cells might be smaller and lighter.

MorganS:
The real question is: what for? What do you want this Arduino to do? There's not enough power to run an LED screen or send an SMS message.

Sure there is enough power to do those sorts of things, it will require one to pull really hard on the labels. :slight_smile: The labels will also need to be strong enough not to break as they're being pulled.

The gearing necessary to transfer the motion from the label spool, will likely make the labels harder to pull without generating any power. Once the power lines from the generator are connected to a load, the the resistance to motion will go up even more. The generator will act as a sort of regenerative braking system.

… a clock can run off room temperature changes indefinitely.

Citation needed.

polymorph:
Citation needed.

There's also this one, that operates off atmospheric pressure changes (alone):

I’d have to put those in a window. Our furnace keeps the temperature within a few degrees F.

I would offer that there are any number of bicycle generators that run from the turning of a bicycle wheel

as for clocks, when I was a kid and bicycling around, I never cared what time it was.

milesc37:
Hey everyone! I was wondering if anyone knew if it was possible to directly power an Arduino board using a DC motor as a generator? I don't mean on a breadboard, I mean like instead of using the USB or dc plug ports. I'm not really sure it's even possible, but I couldn't find anything online about it. Thanks!

Miles, you fell into the forum black hole.....
you ask how to light an LED and people ask what color and what size are the wires and if you are using a double or single sided board.... then tell you to just forget your project and buy a flashlight.

dave-in-nj:
Miles, you fell into the forum black hole.....
you ask how to light an LED and people ask what color and what size are the wires and if you are using a double or single sided board.... then tell you to just forget your project and buy a flashlight.

I don't see the following questions (the first six) as being "what color and what size are the wires", type of questions.

kolleamm:
Can you assure the motor will always supply current to the board by constantly spinning?

Robin2:
And, what would power the motor?

aarg:
What powers the large label unwinder?

Robin2:
How many mechanical watts does it produce?

DuaneDegn:
Does the Arduino only need to be on momentarily?

Can you tell us what you're trying to do?