If you’re going to build a home wind turbine, you’ll be much further ahead if you thoroughly research each of the individual components involved in a DIY wind turbine system. Being aware of any potential issues before you start your build will save you not only time and money, but more importantly frustration that could derail your plans. Here, we’ll take a look at a couple of the more important pieces of the wind generator system. The generator portion, typically a permanent magnet dc motor, and the blade system.
The generator portion is the heart of any wind turbine. It converts the power of the wind to electrical power that you can use. Typically, this task is accomplished by a permanent magnet dc motor. As a general rule of thumb, you want a motor that will produce a large current and voltage at the lowest speed (rpm) possible. There are a few reasons for this, but one of the more important ones is that slower speeds mean less maintenance. Look for a motor that generates it’s voltage at speeds that are 300 rpm or less if you can. Also, pay particular attention to the bearings in the motor. Since the motor will be subjected to high thrust and rotational loads, you’ll want one that can handle these types of loads.
There are a couple of different paths you can take for the blades used on the wind turbine. If you want to build them yourself, they can be fabricated from PVC or ABS pipe, wood, aluminum, or even fiberglass or carbon fiber. Or they can also be inexpensively purchased as prefabricated units. And while it’s certainly possible to construct your own blades cheaply, the prefabricated blade kits are are very inexpensive and can help you start generating power much sooner without the hassle of building them. Often, these blades come with hub mounting hardware too, which eliminates the need to make the hardware yourself. Or even worse, have a machine shop do it for you. Not only that, some of the blade kits that are currently available come with a nose cone, thus saving you the hassle and expense of fabrication this very important piece. And the best part is that these kits are very inexpensive. We feel that because of these benefits, prefabricated blade kits are probably the best choice for most people, and well worth looking into.
As to how the size and arrangement of your blades, you’ll need to match this to the type of generator you have, the height of your wind turbine, the target power output of your wind generator, and most importantly your budget.
Building your own home wind turbine can be a great educational experience that’s not only financially rewarding, but a fun DIY project. Just remember to have a good set of plans and sources for the required parts before you start. Doing your homework ahead of time will help to make your project a huge success.
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