Homemade Wind Generators - Tips and Plans to Go the DIY Way
Homemade wind generators are the right solution as an affordable renewable energy source. Building a wind generator may be a daunting task if uninitiated to DIY or lacking technical knowledge, however this can be overcome with a good plan of action and the aid of a wind turbine design.
First of all, it should be found out whether a wind power unit is the right solution for your household electrical energy as opposed to solar power units. To do so, a wind resource assessment can help you decide for a wind turbine.
A wind resource assessment is based on Wind Power Density, which is the annual power available per square meter of turbine area. If you do not have a clue on how to get this information, check out NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab). They have maps for any particular area to help you decide on the feasibility of the project.
Once established that a homemade wind generator suits your purposes, check out ground clearance for mast positioning, as the blades should be as clear of obstacles as they can for optimal efficiency. The higher the blades, the stronger the wind, however a very tall mast requires an exponential amount of materials to build it, making it preferable to construct several smaller and shorter wind generators to contain costs and as a safety back up, should one fail.
Homemade wind generators of 1000 to 3000 watt can cost as little as $150 to $220 and take a weekend for construction. Materials can be purchased at a local hardware store or delivered by mail. The main components of a wind generator are: a steel pipe mast and its rigging, a nacelle (containing the motor), a Dc motor, the blades, a battery bank for the generator and possibly a DC motor analyzer software for maximum efficiency.
The blades can be either purchased or even made cheaply in few hours. Normally they are designed in a 3 blade set up to contain construction costs while providing good conversion of wind power into kinetic power.
To protect the blades and the mast from sudden, strong gusts, the windmill should have a cheap yet effective spring loaded system to allow the blades furling, which means the blades turn their edge to the wind beyond a certain resistance so as to minimize it and avoid breaking.
To allow the windmill to turn the blades facing the wind and get constant power, a simple tail will do the job. There is no need for complicated hydraulics or motor assisted mechanics like in large farm windmills. An important aspect of homemade wind generators is the battery bank to store energy from the generator. These can be found free or cheaply from old fork lift trucks and recycled back into life.
To do so it may be necessary to build also a homemade de-sulfator to pulse the battery back into action. This may seem like a complication, but a bonus point of making a de-sulfator is that these old forklift batteries can be recycled systematically and sold for profit as a stand alone business on top of the electricity savings, not just for the generator.
A DC motor analyzer software should also be complementary to a good wind generator design, providing critical data to optimize efficiency. It all sounds like a lot of hard work to do and it might even be, but it can save you $ thousands over ready made windmills. In fact, homemade wind generators avoid the hefty initial investment of ready made kits that could take a very long time to recover, while saving on electricity bills just as well.