How to Build Your Own Wind Turbine

Filed Under: Crafts, Do it yourself, Electrical    by: ITC

Wind turbines can be built at home using different ways. However, all of them require the following major parts:

  1. A tower
  2. Blades
  3. An electronic control system
  4. Batteries
  5. A generator
  6. A mounting

The simplest way to start building your wind turbine is utilizing permanent magnet DC motors as power generators. Avoid going for those computer tape drive motors. The best option is the 99 volt DC motor made by Ametek. However, if you don’t get an access to it, you can go for other Ametek models which also make good generators.

Once done with fixing a decent generator, your next task is finding a hub and blades to connect to it. You can create your own blades by slicing them out of wood. However, this requires tremendous amount of effort. A more promising option is carving blades out of a PVC pipe and forming them into airfoils.

A six inch pipe that is 24 inches long is appropriate for the task. Cut the pipe lengthwise around the circumference in 4 equal pieces. Use a palm sander or a belt sander on the cut edges of the blades to give them some extra smoothing.

For the hub, select a toothed pulley that is more likely to fit easily in the motor shaft. If the pulley turns out to be smaller to bolt the blades in perfectly, you can have it fixed along with some aluminum disk after cutting it into the required size, to make a proper drilled, tapped, and bolted hub. After drilling and mounting holes in the blades, you can have them attached to your hub.

The same shop from where you purchased the PVC pipe can also provide you with vent caps that are dome shaped. These can act as the spinner to your hub. However, this is a crucial step, since some spinners are likely to spoil the effectiveness of blades.

For the mounting, connect the motor to a preferable sized piece of wood. To protect it from tough weather, make a covering out of a piece of the PVC pipe. Use a heavy aluminum piece for the tail. For free turning of the head in the wind, use 1 1/3 inch conduit for the tower and fittings of 1 inch pipe at both ends. Then, attach a 1 inch iron flange to the generator end and rivet a 10 inch iron pipe to fix into it. Pass wires from the generator through the center of the conduit unit to the tower base.

Make a U-shaped cut from a 1 inch pipe for your tower base. In its middle, assemble a Tee that is 1 ¼ inch long. Add a close nipple of 12 inch. Also add a 1 inch Tee from this nipple to the reducer.

Once you have sorted out the mechanical parts, you require fixing the electronic part of your project. This would include a couple of batteries to store the energy generated by the turbine, a secondary load where energy from turbine can be stored while batteries are full, a controller charge for running everything, and a diode that can prevent wastage of batteries while spinning the generator.

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