DIY 400 WATT WIND TURBINE

These plans detail how I built a wind turbine in my garage without any special tools for just over $200. Many of the do-it-yourself designs are either toy projects or unlikely to hold up in strong winds. This wind turbine will withstand 40+ mile per hour winds and produce electricity with as little as 15 mile per hour winds.
I started out with one of those aforementioned toy projects, but soon realized that this design would not stand up to the high winds in central Iowa. After months of trial and error I finally have a design that is strong and effectively produces usable electricity.I would just like to note that I am a high school senior with no prior experience with electrical systems; so before you tell yourself that building a wind turbine is out of your realm, trust me, it isn’t as hard as it sounds and anyone who puts their mind to it can do it.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Note: I would recommend getting galvanized steel for all parts that will be above ground. Regular black steel will rust within a couple of months unless you paint it often.

The above picture is a spreadsheet of all the parts I used while building the wind turbine itself.

Step 2: The Generator

Picture of The Generator

The generator is the heart of your wind turbine project and it is important to get a good one. What you want to look for is an industrial DC permanent magnet motor. I got mine on eBay for around $65, and it came with a drilled hub meant for attaching wind turbine blades which saved me a bunch of time trying to make one myself.

My motor is rated for 90v DC at 1750 RPM. Using it as a generator, it will do just the opposite, with 80% efficiency. So if I were to spin this motor at 1750 RPM it would produce 72 volts of electricity. Now, I obviously will not be spinning this motor at 1750 RPM, but you get the concept. In order to charge my batteries which are 12 volt deep cycle marine batteries, the generator needs to be producing at least 12 volts. If you do the math, then I would need to spin the motor at a minimum of 233 RPM to charge my batteries.

With my PVC blades, a steady 15 MPH wind will easily spin this turbine at 233+ RPM, allowing my batteries to be charged.

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