Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Do It Yourself - Projects, Ideas and How To

DIY wind power

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DIM TIM:
I have been thinking of trying to make a small homemade wind generator for a while now, and have been doing a few Google searches lately to see what I could find on simple to build designs. I recently came across this gentleman's YouTube videos, and they are some of the most simple instructional videos that I have found.  :)
They do not give a great amount of detail, but there is enough for you to get and understand the basics. He even gives you an Email address, so I am sure if you have any other questions, he would probably be able to answer most, if not all that someone might have.
The design for the blades, was what impressed me the most. Anyone with even a basic understanding of hand and power tools could do this. Kudos to him for sure.   8)
Here are the links to his videos, and the link to the web site that he mentions for some of the parts that he used to construct these wonderful little devices.
I hope to be able to get all the parts needed to build one, and maybe have one up and running before the end of this year. I would love to be able to power up my small shop the same way that he was able to do his. I have no real power to mine at this moment.
The way I do mine right now, is to plug a 50' heavy duty extention cord into an outdoor GFCI outlet at the back of my house, run it over to the shop, and into a six outlet power strip for distribution.   ::)
Not very practicle, but it works for the moment.   ;D

One of these little beauties and a small battery bank and inverter like he used would be perfect for my little shop.

Hope this helps some of you as much as it has me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHB4zxWd3Ls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0YxYDnmaO0&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s75-lCKKK8g&feature=related

And here is the site he mentions for some of the parts he used to make this wind generator.

http://www.windbluepower.com/Default.asp?Redirected=Y

Dan:
+1 Great post. Some good info for a DIY project and what do you know I just happen to have a couple of those alternators laying around.  ;D

tash:
That is some great info! I'd love to make one for sure.

Some questions I ended up with were:
1. how does he mount the alternator in the front of the 6" cap while keeping it weather-proof (if anything really can be)
2. he stated that he also replaced the shaft with the magnets. I don't see a replacement on the website, just the rectifier and stators. I guess maybe he purchased the entire assembly, either the 'low wind' or 'high wind'.
3. what happens if you have a really bad wind storm. Is there any way to safely stop the blade so you can strap it down and not cause damage to your parts? I guess if you were brave you could grab the tail and point the tail towards the wind and causing the blades to slow down because the wind is now pushing on the convex side, not the concave side, maybe slow enough for you to grab it with some gloves on. Hell, an even better idea is to have it on one of those poles the hold in half. It has a pivot point in the middle, kinda like a very large teter-totter. I can not for the life of me find an image of what I was talking about. It would make it easy to service and very easy for one person to erect a large mast.

Dan:

--- Quote from: tash on January 09, 2009, 07:14:59 AM ---1. how does he mount the alternator in the front of the 6" cap while keeping it weather-proof (if anything really can be)

--- End quote ---

I think he mentioned using silicone on the screws that holds the cap to the front of the alternator but didn’t say anything about the shaft. I don’t think you could do much with the shaft since anything you do to seal it is likely to reduce the efficiency of the finished product. Alternators are pretty tuff so if you drill a small hole in the bottom of the cap for anything that makes it inside around the shaft to seep out through you will probably be fine.


--- Quote from: tash on January 09, 2009, 07:14:59 AM ---3. what happens if you have a really bad wind storm. Is there any way to safely stop the blade so you can strap it down and not cause damage to your parts? I guess if you were brave you could grab the tail and point the tail towards the wind and causing the blades to slow down because the wind is now pushing on the convex side, not the concave side, maybe slow enough for you to grab it with some gloves on. Hell, an even better idea is to have it on one of those poles the hold in half. It has a pivot point in the middle, kinda like a very large teter-totter. I can not for the life of me find an image of what I was talking about. It would make it easy to service and very easy for one person to erect a large mast.

--- End quote ---

Turning it around would work to stop it just need to be careful you don’t get wacked by a blade when you do it. Gloves, you probably wouldn’t need them if you wait for it to stop before grabbing it. If you wanted to get a little creative something like a bicycle brake could be attached to the rotating assembly and be used to stop it. You may even figure out a way to lock it sort of like a parking brake in a car. I like that idea for a pole that pivots in the middle so you can access the unit without having to clime way up on a ladder. I have a couple ideas brewing that could work for this as well.

My big questions are
1. What are they doing to keep the wires from twisting as the unit goes around a few times with the changing wind direction? Are there contacts someplace like in a cars steering column?
2. What is the idea behind changing the guts of the alternator? It’s doing the same job it’s just being driven by a different force so what gives?

DIM TIM:
Good cuestions for sure there guys, Click on his Email link and ask, I'm sure he has thought of these. But then again, maybe he didn't, and he should be made aware of the flaws in the slaw.  ;D
As far as the mast thing goes, I had planned on making the mast either a hinged mast where the hinge part is at ground level like some ham radio folks do, or a telescopic one like is mentioned by Tash on page two here on the DIY boards. Either would work fine for this application.
The hinged one can be a large commercial gate hinge welded to the mast, and bolted to the base ( a reinforced sonotube full of concrete ), or if you have the ability and the shop to do it, a custom machined hinge set.  8)
Which one you choose is up to you.
If you plan to make this a permenant install, then I would go with the hinged, and the telescopic one for mobility in the case of a G.O.O.D.  when TSHTF need for electrical power.

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