HackSpace magazine

Rain-Powered Generator

By Andrew Gregory. Posted

Quint Crispin built a standard, brushed motor to generate power from rain falling on his roof. This wasn’t as efficient as he’d hoped, so he built a brushless version, shown here. The magnets spin, while the wire coils stay stationary, enabling Quint to capture the current generated without the friction that comes from a commutator.

"Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with machines," says Quint. "That’s what fuelled me to become an engineer. But fascinations don’t stop just because the workday is over. That’s why I built my own fab shop at home, so I can take my ideas from theory into practice. Plus I always learn a ton when I build something new. And thanks to the internet, I can share what I’ve learned to help others figure out what they can build."

If you’ve got a rainy afternoon to spend, we strongly recommend Quint’s YouTube videos that explain the science of electricity generation.

Instructions to make your own rain-powered generator are available here.