Ed Lenz's house is pretty hard to miss-it's the one with a home-built vertical-axis wind turbine on the roof. A career tinkerer, Lenz put the turbine up there for a test run three years ago, and it's still turning away today, a super-quiet model of efficiency and ingenuity. The "Lenz2" turbine, built primarily from easy-to-find supplies like aluminum, plywood and magnets, can produce about 50 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month with steady wind. Its output-about 10 percent of the total power Lenz uses-is then stored in a battery bank that feeds into his home lines. The slow-turning vertical-axis design is most efficient in gusts of 6 to 20 mph, so it's ideal for relatively low-wind areas like western Michigan, where he lives. You can download plans at windstuffnow.com to build your own Lenz2. It's not a quick weekend project, but once it's up and running, paying the electric bill should be a breeze.
Build a Vertical Wind Turbine
Time: 3 Days
Easy | | | | |
- Construct the wings
Cut teardrop shapes from plywood, connect with four-foot rods, and cover with aluminum.
- Build the alternator
Glue magnets to two steel discs, tape copper-wire coils to a plywood disc (the "stator"), and slide all three discs over the shaft.
Attach the parts
Clamp both ends of the shaft to the rectangular frame. Weld the wings' arms to the bottom disc on the alternator, as well as to a steel disc at the top of the turbine.
- Mount the frame
Attach cables to the frame arms and stabilize with sandbags.
- Power the house
Wire the alternator to a rectifier, a device that converts the power from AC to DC, and connect it to the batteries. It takes four to six hours for Lenz's turbine to fully charge his bank of eight batteries.
Another Build: The $30 Open-Source Turbine
Go to velacreations.com to find instructions for off-grid DIY'er Abe Connally's Chispito wind generator, a horizontal-axis-turbine design that more than 200 builders have built and helped perfect. Made entirely of salvaged parts, such as a treadmill motor and recycled sewer pipe, the Chispito can generate 100 watts in a 35mph wind. And if you're able to find all the supplies, you can build it for less than 30 bucks.
Its no hard to do, and powering a laptop is child's play. You can easily build a turbine that will give you 1kw per hour. If you live in a high wind area (avg 14mph or higher) you can power your house at a fraction of the price of solar panels. There is tons of info out there about how to do it. If you want to build your own wind turbine just do a little research, find the supplies online, and put it together. I have made HAWT and VAWT. check out freewind4me.com
I got a alternator and a set of wind turbine blades from windynation.com. I used these to build a wind turbine. I can get 550 Watts in 25 mph wind. And because I live in an area with good wind this actually has put a big dent in my electric bill!
You can check out what I bought:
If you are handy with tools, you can get one of these built in 2-3 days and plane on spending another weekend building the tower. It is really fun to watch the thing spin and spin.
The next thing I want to build is a hydro generator .... we have a stream on our property so I figure why not!
Built the Chispato wind generator that was under the link above "Another Build" at the bottom of the page. I used painted pvc for the blades and some tubed steel for the mount and an aluminum computer side for the tail. Getting ready to put it up finally. Didn't cost that much to build the actual wind generator but the accessories cost a bit. Check out the build here ---> www.altwindpower.com
Bought a book from scoraig's wind site also recently to build an 800 watt wind generator, hopefully that goes well.
We used advance my home to replace our roof. They did a spectacular job; they made sure it looked great, had courteous employees and were very affordable. I highly recommend them for <a href="http://www.advancemyhome.com/">Delaware roofing</a>