How to Build a Generator

Build a Generator

How to Build a Generator. A generator is a machine which produces electricity. Although there are many types and sizes of generators, they all do the same thing. Test your building skills by creating a simple generator which powers a 1.5 volt bulb. The solar generator is also easy to build, and the parts are affordable.


Build a Simple Generator

Step 1

Prepare your supplies. You will need four magnets measuring 1 cm by 2 cm by 5 cm, a miniature lamp, 200 feet of #30 magnetic wire, a long nail, a bulb of 1.5 volts and a strip of cardboard measuring 8 cm by 30 cm. You may use plexiglass or wood instead of cardboard.

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Step 2

Make a box out of the cardboard strip. Score the cardboard using the following dimensions: the first panel should be 8 cm by 8 cm, the second panel should be 3.5 cm by 8 cm, the third panel should be 8 cm by 8 cm, the fourth panel should be 3.5 cm by 8 cm and the last panel should be 7.5 cm by 8 cm. Fold the box along the lines dividing the panels, and make the first panel overlap the last panel. Hold the box together with tape.


Step 3

Make a hole through the exact center of the front of the box and drive it through to the back. Widen the holes slightly so that the nail can spin around comfortably.

Step 4

Tape one end of your wire to the cardboard box and wrap the rest of it around the middle of the box. Pull out the taped end of the wire and tape it to the other end, leaving a length of approximately 10 cm sticking out.

Step 5

Strip the coating off the ends of the wire to expose the copper line.


Step 6

Pull the wires back from the hole in the box so you can stick the nail back through. Place the four magnets, a pair on each side, on the nail inside the box. Be sure that the nail can spin around easily with the magnets attached.

Step 7

Connect the generator to the lamp: one generator wire end to one lamp wire end. Twist the ends together and make sure the two connections don't touch.

Step 8

Spin the nail as fast as you can for the bulb to light up. You may want to try spinning the nail with a hand-crank drill for the bulb to shine brighter.


Build A Solar Generator

Step 1

Prepare your materials. You will need a solar panel, a 12-volt battery, a battery box, a 12-volt DC meter and a DC input. You will also need an inverter for AC appliances.

Step 2

Attach the DC input and meter to the top of the box.

Step 3

Attach the meter, DC inlet and solar panel to the battery with insulated wires. Work with one connection at a time and always start with the negative terminal on the battery.

Step 4

Close the box and place the solar panel outside, exposed to the sun, to charge. Use this generator to run small appliances and equipment.


You may want to invite your kids to help you build your generator, but you should not allow young children to build their own without supervision.

Things You'll Need

  • Long nail

  • DC meter and DC input

  • Battery box

  • Solar panel

  • Four magnets

  • Cardboard, plexiglass or wood

  • Magnetic wire

  • Miniature lamp

  • Light bulb

  • AC appliance inverter

  • 12-volt battery