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Sunday, March 27, 2016

DIY wind power

This post is about various types of DIY wind power, from small systems for the very beginner, to more advanced systems. I'm trying to find some very simple wind systems for beginners, that means, fewer parts is better. But sometimes a person needs a larger generator for serious use. Wind power is not reliable in all weather so people usually end up using wind power to charge up a battery bank for use later, like at night.

Anything that produces rotational movement can be used to turn a DC motor and generate power. Some people use wind power, but others use water power. Water  power is more complicated because you have to have a way to keep parts from getting wet and rusting. Rust can damage or seize parts.

  1. You can use the fan blades and fan blade hub from a small, cheap house fan, and hook it up to a DC motor, and stand. 

- Pringles wind tunnel. You can reverse this and use the DC fan to generate power. Very creative!

- This wind generator uses wind coming out of an air conditioner, so that energy doesn't go to waste.

- A small wind generator suitable for kids to make age 10-18. It uses PVC and a DC motor. You can use almost any DC motor. If you apply DC electricity (batteries) to a DC motor, the axle will spin. If you spin the axle, you get power out of the leads.

- This page contains several wind generators. The bigger ones get more expensive.

- Another wind generator (MotherEarth news) which uses 4 basic parts. It looks like 2 parts are an auto cooling fan and an alternator. With fewer parts, this one would be good for beginners.

- This simple generator from the UK will help illustrate how the basics work.

- Solar Generator in a toolbox for about $200.

- Info on wind generators including output, graphs, tables you might find handy. Also, avoiding scams,

- Vertical axis wind generator. If you don't like the vanes you can make them simpler somehow.

- Pringles can generator. Eat the chips while you build it.

- Dandelion wind generator. This is a bit more complicated for beginners, but you can adapt the parts to make it simpler.

That's it for now! Maybe I'll do a post on simple solar power setups with battery banks.

Where to find cheap or free DC motors (to generate power)

  1. CD players, including computer CD players
  2. Treadmills
  3. Old VHS players. 
  4. DC computer fans. 
  5. Old computer tape drives. 
  6. Clothes dryers. 
  7. Car starter. 
  8. A DC powered fan, like this one for $15usd. 
  9. Old remote control toys, cars, boats, etc.
  10. Look for these items at Goodwill.
  11. Look at electronics surplus stores. Google "electronic surplus DC motor".
  12. Ask on There is a Freecycle site for most major US cities. Find your local Freecycle here.  
  13. If you want to buy a small DC motor go to a hobby shop.

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