How to make and install a small wind turbine

Why build one’s own wind turbine?

More and more people are reaching out to build their own wind turbine in their garden or on the roof of their home. The wind turbine’s produced energy is measurable in kilowatts and is thus an excellent alternative to reduce electricity costs, while ensuring respect for nature.

A small wind turbine planted in a garden can in fact delivers an average of 10 kilowatts to 35 kilowatts or even 50 kilowatts for larger structures and for those well placed, usually high above the ground. Energy booster of choice for some and especially for people living far from the electric grid, the small domestic windmill attracts even more individuals today as before, because it is now possible to construct one’s own wind turbine; plans, videos, and instructions on how to make and install a small wind turbine can be found here.

To develop your own wind turbine requires a minimum of mechanical or physical aerodynamics knowledge. However, the various sketches available on the Web can make your job easier and will help greatly in achieving your prototype. Some kits for making domestic wind turbines have been specially designed for individuals with minimal knowledge. For example, step-by-plans, with video, are available here. Those who have a bigger knowledge of the aerodynamics, the electrical challenges and who possess the engineering skills and who also enjoy challenges; design their own models according to their needs, characteristics of their land and wind. For the others, we suggest the use of a complete step-by-step guide to make wind power at home.

If you plan to design a single turbine, the first step would be administrative in nature. A building permit is probably needed, especially if the height of your mast exceeds 40 feet. Below this height, you may not need it, but better check with the authorities.

The equipment needed to manufacture a wind turbine

Wind Power

Wind Power

The wind is your greatest asset and is your raw material. Also, before you even apply for a building permit, consider studying the wind direction, its frequency in your area and its strength, by asking this information to the weather service near your home.

If you install your wind turbine on your front or back yard, it should be in an area that is relatively spacious and clear. The more your yard is large and clear, the better the wind will reach your wind turbine and make it turn. Otherwise, you’ll have to review the elevation of your mast to reach a height where the wind is free of obstacles. Also note that the more you lengthen the height of your mast, the more wind will be available for your turbine, it will therefore be more powerful.

The proper equipment for the design of a wind turbine depends on the individual model chosen and will depend on the use of the wind turbine and type of power supply chosen. If you ever plan to provide energy for heating equipment such as radiators, be aware that a wind turbine cannot be used directly to power the central heating of a home. In fact, it is much easier to heat your water with a solar powered water heater and save over 30% of your heating costs by building your own solar water heater.

However, a refrigerator or a stove can easily be connected to a wind turbine system. Once you have determined the intended use of your wind turbine, you will determine at the same time your power needs.

Homemade wind mill

Homemade wind mill

The blades should be made from a dense wood, like cedar, and will be given a winged appearance. Some models have blades made of fiberglass. The size of the blades is an important factor in the energy production. If the diameter of the blades is between 10 and 30 foot, the energy transformed will vary between just under 1 kW and 20 kW. Steel should be used for the welding of the nacelle and rotor manufacturing. You will find on the web manufacturing plans that will give you an inventory of tools and materials necessary for the realization of a wind turbine.

The construction of a wind turbine requires some knowledge of wood and electricity. But that should not stop you, building a wind turbine is accessible to everyone, many web sites sell kits to design a wind turbine for home use.

However, in order to preserve your wind turbine, and use it to its fullest potential, you should understand and assimilate concepts such as the nominal power, the role of the blades, the rotor characteristics, the control system or the stop mechanism. All of this will help you build a durable wind turbine that meets your needs.

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