High Torque Stepper Motor Gear Reduction
For solar power applications, high torque can be obtained using small motors with large gear reduction - even the small 70 in oz steppers like we use on the 3D printers. The gear reduction can be 3D printed - ABS sprockets which can also use 3D printed elastomer drive belts. If made big enough, these could probably handle up to as much torque as a tractor PTO - especially if some metal plate or tube is used in addition to the plastic.As such, very low cost drive systems can be created to high-torque solar applications. The concept is that hopper-loaded and other mobile machines can move autonomously throughout the day - using small amounts of power - but performing high-torque tasks via gear reduction. This allows 'diffise' solar energy to be utilized for heavy industrial applications, such as:
- Wheel drive for autonomous Chicken Tractors and Pig Tractors
- Pelletizers - for example, pelletizing straw during the day for burning pellets or feed pellets
- Grinders - grinding firewood for pelletization, or grinding plastic for recycling
Cost is reduced because a small motor can be used - at the expense of speed. Small motor means small current draw.
The whole principle that makes this work is automation: if an autonomous system is designed - then a slow industrial process can go on all day - without human supervision. While the work is slow, it adds up to industrial levels over the whole day.