Van der Graaff Generators!

Helpful tips on how to make them.

Let’s talk Motors

Motors, as you hopefully recall, are one of the most important aspects of a generator. Guides I’ve seen online are split between people using little motors for tiny generators, to people who buy very nice, and unfortunately fairly expensive motors. I was in a position where I wanted a motor that was decently sized, but nothing fancy, nothing expensive. I got the idea when watching this youtuber’s videos to repurpose the motor from an old fan.

We have a lot of these fans in my house because it gets hot in the summer, and without A/C, these fans are necessary. But they’re cheap, and they break often. I had one that had its legs broken, so i tore it apart and pulled out the motor.




The nice thing was the motor already had a plug and switches on it that I could put into any wall socket. Not everyone has junk motors lying around, but before you throw your hands up declaring you don’t have a motor, really think about where one could be hiding that you can use.

So now I have this motor here, it’s decent at spinning, and I wrapped it up in non-conductive electrical tape just to be sure it doesn’t electrocute me. If you’re struggling to find a motor, you can always buy one of these cheap fans and tear it apart. If you just want a temporary solution that costs nothing, if you have a drill, or and sort of motorized tool ,you could find a rod to attach to it, and just use the tool as your motor.

Some motor’s require more work than others, like mine pictured above, i had to cut off a protruding metal piece, and then sand down what metal i couldn’t cut off, took a good amount of work, which is good.


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