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Here is a list of some of my thoughts for consideration:

  1. If you put 2 bike alternators on the lawn mower wheel you could double your power and the turbine as described would probably handle it.
  2. In stronger winds it may max out at 12volts + since voltage is related to R.P.M.
  3. I love a product called GOOP. It is best described as a rubber sort of glue. there are different types of GOOP, and my favorite to date is the Outdoor GOOP. I think if you wound cotton cord string on a shaft and soaked it with the GOOP it would be what would work for your alternator on the tire geared-up windmill. It has a couple draw backs that I know. It runs before it cures so it needs to be molded or held in place until cured. Regular masking tape worked for me in a couple of uses. In the case of the motor shaft you might wrap and glue the shaft shaping the stuff to your fancy and then run the motor real slow until it is cured making sure the stuff stays the way you want. You could take the pulley off the shaft and place in a tuna can or other appropriate sized can or what ever (make a dam around it with molding clay) spray the mold with a mold release (lube), and wrap the pulley with string and mold the stuff to the pulley in a vertical shaft position.
  4. Build the generator backward running like Jay mentioned, and mount the generator on a shorter 2x4 piece with a large hinge to the front of the 2x4 on a block of wood to raise this piece up some and allow the rubberized pulley to ride on the tire. Place a spring below the alternator attached to the hinged 2x4, to the 2x4 below or the base board. Could use a turnbuckle in conjunction with the spring to get the right feel for the tension of the pulley against the tire.
  5. If we look around a little we may be able to find an Industrial wheel of larger diameter and ball bearings that would work rather well in this configuration . If so testing should be started soon. We use several large size wheels with ball bearings at my shop that I think may work well. I think I was looking at a Northern Hydraulics catalogue recently and they sell several wheels of which type I speak.
  6. If you would want a weather cover you could use a freon tank and cut off the top and mount the tank bottom to the front and open end to the propeller side. Mount this on the base-board and build everything inside, like you would as if the tank wasn't there. I would cut some air holes in the bottom, too.

Offered by Darrell.