Make Your Own Wind Turbine

Ted Baer has created a series of small windmills designed for third world use over a period of three decades. This first in the series has evolved in simplicity and power. The aluminium vanes are constructed from a building flashing roll utilizing the pre-existing bend of the roll in construction. Two 16 " sections are rivet together to make one vane. The vanes clip on the spokes of the bicycle wheel using a "bent nail" and a bend in the vane. Detailed pictures will be provided shortly. The generator is a surplus permanent magnet motor and the endless belting is purchased to length from online sources.

Output is a respectable 2 amps at 12 mph providing a cost effective alternative to a solar photovoltaic panels (if wind is available). The total cost of the windmill is less than $80 purchasing most items new (off-the-shelf).

Now the interesting thing here is that not only are there enough details on how to build the wind turbine but also its simple enough for most people to follow. The parts list also fits into use for developing nations and not only off grid living for shipping container homes and buildings. I am tempted to build one here but need to do a wind test to see if I have enough airflow to justify the construction (as I will need to place it on my water tower for it to work). At the same time this wind turbine is a good starting point for many people due to its low cost (free if you can salvage bits from places) to assess its viability for bigger projects and also to get a better understanding of how wind turbines work. I could imagine a similar turbine setup being used for pumping water from wells for example which for most in the Western world isn’t an issue but here in the Philippines I still see people wandering along the road to collect water every day the further you get up the mountain.

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