What Are the Best Tips for Making DIY Wind Turbines?

Marisa O'Connor
Marisa O'Connor
A horizontal axis wind turbine.
A horizontal axis wind turbine.

DIY wind turbines are gaining popularity and popping up in backyards and rooftops all over the world. One of the easiest and time saving ways to make a DIY wind turbine is to buy a kit, which include materials and instructions and are available online. The main parts of a wind turbine include the generator, rotor, and blades which are relatively cheap and easy to find, if a kit is too expensive or simple. Making a DIY wind turbine is as simple as assembling the generator, rotor, and blades, and mounting it on a platform.

The first aspect to consider when planning to make DIY wind turbines is determining the amount of power one wants to generate. The blades, rotor, and generator are the main components of the wind turbine, but they need to be sized correctly if they are going to work. The sizes depend on the amount of power that is going to be generated from each turbine. An alternative, if the amount of electricity isn't important, is to begin with a generator, and choose blades and a rotor that fit it.

There are two basic types of generators that are used to make DIY wind turbines. Generators can produce either DC or AC electricity. DC electricity may be used to charge batteries, or power lighting and a few smaller DC appliances, and tends to be less expensive than AC generators. For this reason, many people go with a DC generator, and convert the DC electricity into AC electricity by using an inverter when needed. It is important that the generator chosen can produce the most electricity at a low RPM, so the rotor and blades can be connected directly to the generator, simplifying the model.

The next step in constructing DIY wind turbines is to find blades and a rotor to go with the generator. There are many places online that sell blades and a rotor in the set, taking all the guess work out of finding a set that work together. This is probably the simplest method, but it takes some of the DIY quality out of the project when most of the parts are store bought. For this reason, and to save money, many people opt to build their own blades and rotor.

Now that the generator, rotor, and blades are gathered, they needed to be mounted on a platform, to complete the DIY wind turbines. Popular choices of material to attach the wind turbine are recycled steel or timber. The rotor and blades need to be attached to a long tail, and be able to spin on top of the platform. The tail catches the wind so that the turbine spins and faces the wind, no matter which direction the wind blows. The rotor shaft can then be attached to the generator for a fully functional DIY wind turbine.

Once the DIY wind turbines have been assembled, the last step is to find a suitable place to put them. The more access to wind, the more energy the turbine can generate, so the best place is somewhere windy. Make sure that there are no trees or buildings around that will obstruct the wind. Smaller, lightweight wind turbines can be put up on the roof, where there are fewer trees and buildings to block the wind. Make sure to check height restrictions in the area before installing anything tall on the roof.

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    • A horizontal axis wind turbine.
      By: Gbuglok
      A horizontal axis wind turbine.