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).
www.instructables.com

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.

Disaster Relief Shipping Container Home City Concepts

When I came across these yesterday I thought wow some great ideas going on here but they had “Haiti” plastered all over them. No offence but the disaster relief as well as low cost housing solutions shouldn’t be limited to Haiti. These places would work not only for poor but business sector workers in developing nations where city prices are expensive. Quite simply they are fantastic images and I can see how these shipping container homes could quickly become a shipping container city.

shipping container apartments

shipping container apartments shipping container apartments

But more importantly they aren’t ugly! They are however very viable for many uses although staircases need altering for safety reasons on the images but the concept in general is fantastic.

Disaster Relief Shipping Container Home City Concepts

When I came across these yesterday I thought wow some great ideas going on here but they had “Haiti” plastered all over them. No offence but the disaster relief as well as low cost housing solutions shouldn’t be limited to Haiti. These places would work not only for poor but business sector workers in developing nations where city prices are expensive. Quite simply they are fantastic images and I can see how these shipping container homes could quickly become a shipping container city.

shipping container apartments

shipping container apartments shipping container apartments

But more importantly they aren’t ugly! They are however very viable for many uses although staircases need altering for safety reasons on the images but the concept in general is fantastic.

Disaster relief shipping container house

This type of house is obviously designed to be cheap and quick to construct. My biggest concern would be the costs of this type of operation as I know more often than not NGOs (Non Government Organisations or Charities) will exploit the situation. E.g. why construct it here when it can be done in places like Haiti very cheaply as well as create some short-term work for people badly needing it? Why go with the fancy bath and sink when people just need basic functions such as a sink for kitchen use! The bunk beds look very cheap at the same time I think they would also work making them functional. But the rest of the layout I think needs work as its just not practical for the sort of areas these would be needed.

I live in the Philippines myself and we don’t use a shower for example generally its a bucket with what would look like a plastic pot to most people. Why don’t we use a shower? because the water has a lot of sulphur in it and we find we go through a lot of shower heads for that reason. Yes the mains water is likely to be less harsh but we run on a deep well as its free.. At the same time most people in developing nations are used to such hardships so having a big shower room and bathroom like in this just isn’t practical. Much better to have increased the sleeping capacity as well as a simple sink for cooking, at the back a simple wet room would be more practical and take up less space.

disaster relief shelter–shipping container home

Not trying to rip into this container too much as they may be a very valid organisation trying to do something practical. But at the same time I would question it simply because I see these sort of organisations in the Philippines all the time and its generally just a money making machine fed on poverty and hardships.

Build Green – Construct With Shipping Containers

construction with shipping containers ContainerLiving.net came about to share information about shipping container homes but as I researched more and more it became very obvious shipping container homes are just a small part of the opportunity in constructing with shipping containers.

I have a strong interest in developing nations as well as destroying poverty, one of the biggest problems I have come across over time is misuse of funds on projects that simply shouldn’t have been built in the first place. Shipping containers for schools for example make a perfect solution for many countries especially in places like Haiti that seen many of its buildings collapse when the earthquakes hit. Shipping containers are robust and may even offer a protective pod solution in such an emergency, but more importantly is not going to cause the damage and deaths that other building types did.

The building green issue is always an arguable one as people sit there with a calculator talking distances for delivery and loading/unloading but the other way I look at it is your looking at a hardy module that is going to last with low maintenance and low construction costs. Education is the key to many of the worlds problems as I have found personally living in the poverty ridden country of the Philippines. Talking to people you find very obscure understandings of how things work and causes and solutions of diseases. In reality what kept many of these people alive in the past has disappeared with modernisation and corporate manipulation. Replacing herbal remedies used for centuries with “vitamins in a capsule” or selling baby milk over breast feeding. When it comes to building green its more about shaping minds than the bricks and mortar aspect.

We have seen a cargotecture revolution in the last few years initially with high house pricing that seen people looking for cheap alternatives and now with the recessions same solution is filling the gap with other housing issues. At the same time we need to start thinking of what to do with all these surplus containers for other uses as simply many are going to just sit there and rot otherwise or even worse melted down with a high carbon footprint.

When thinking about green construction and building with shipping containers its worth noting the unique building blocks ability to adapt to many uses and easily be adapted for almost any situation. They are stackable, you can hack big holes out the side for doors and windows as well as use environmentally friendly green insulation, roofing and flooring. Making contact with universities or in the U.S. the American institute of architects and request professionals who offer “green building techniques” you may even get a lot of advice for free or at least be able to get hold of professionals that know what they are doing as well as possibly cutting edge technologies.