eHam Forums => Elmers => Topic started by: KC0UPF on February 12, 2008, 07:41:44 PM

Title: wind power
Post by: KC0UPF on February 12, 2008, 07:41:44 PM
I've been looking for home brew plans to build a wind turbine. And can't find any online that are free. I'm wanting to power my rigs and 12v lights when I'm camping with out using a generator or my vehicle.

Title: wind power
Post by: N3OX on February 12, 2008, 07:58:04 PM

Title: wind power
Post by: N4ISF on February 12, 2008, 08:14:03 PM
cut  a  55 gal barrol in half lengthwise, offset the 2 halves about halfway sideways and fasten back together,   then mount the thing vertically on a shaft through the middle.   with the shaft on bearings and coupled to an alternator it'll spin in a wind blowing from any direction.   of course some sort of support frame is needed to fasten the bearings to and hold the thing up in the air.   Any setup like that out of any materials that'd catch the wind would work.   and the more power needed the bigger it'll need to be.
  The design I saw had several barrols stacked vertically and side by side coupled by chain and sprocket.
Oh and the alternator has to spin a lot faster than the barrols will, so gotta have a big pully on the barrol shaft.
    With some thought it aughta be easy to make one out of something where it'll be colapsable for easier transport.
   I never built one because we live where the wind dosn't blow enough to be worth a hoot untill a storm comes up.  I'm building me a steam tractor instead for backup power,  (and for firewood powered agri. work.)

Title: wind power
Post by: WT0A on February 12, 2008, 09:07:13 PM
Hello Andrew!
Could be an automotive alternater with prop ans manual break feeding a battery for portable use like that.

Title: wind power
Post by: WT0A on February 12, 2008, 09:09:00 PM
Also consider solar panels.

Title: wind power
Post by: N6AJR on February 12, 2008, 11:02:44 PM
look for home brew or home made windmills... there is a bunch, "otherpower" comes to mind as a company with free directions

Title: wind power
Post by: N3OX on February 13, 2008, 07:30:13 AM
automotive alternators are hard to use in this service because they practically don't make any power at low speed.

The permanent magnet generators are much better.

Title: wind power
Post by: KC8RPD on February 13, 2008, 08:46:22 AM
You have several engineering problems to overcome, just two here: the rotor and the alternator.  Propeller tech can't be used for rotor design-the working environment is very different. It's not insurmountable, just the data isn't concentrated, takes effort to pull together.
For the alternator, automotive gear is out.  These units are designed to run at roughly 5000rpm.  Your rotor will turn at roughly 200rpm-I expect you see the problem.  The complex step up gearing reduces efficiency and substantially increases rotor starting torque.  A custom designed direct drive alternator is the way to go.  There's a gentleman in Great Britain doing good work on this, some is on the web.

The real killer is the support structure, hard to make it portable.
Verdict: as somone suggested, solar panels and a generator.

Title: wind power
Post by: KC8VWM on February 13, 2008, 09:44:09 AM
To simplify the project you need to find the right motor that's capable of producing DC output at a low RPM without much torque requirements. Typically these are the type of motors that are salvaged from things like old backup tape drives. Those Sur Flo RV water pump motors can also generate power. Of course one has the option of building your own motor but you will need to purchase things like magnets and you will need to wind your own coils.

Sometimes it's less time consuming (and cheaper in many cases) to build a few of these smaller wind generators from ready made materials to generate power than the idea of overcoming the mechanical complexities involved with the more cumbersome and much larger designs that you will need to construct on your own.

It's also important to have a thorough understanding of why many wind generators tend to fail. This is mostly related to an array of mechanical failure issues. Some wind generators are actually damaged from the wind itself while others fail because of corrosion or bearing failure issues. Most people agree that composite materials for constructing the wind blades are the best way to go.

For reliability sake, it's best to have a combination of power generating sources at your disposal. For example, solar panels tend to work well when the weather is nice outside and wind generators tend to work well when it's a crappy day outside scenario so why not consider both?

Also consider that it's more economical to reduce your wattage load by changing or converting a light bulb to flourescent 12 volts or a string of LED lighting than the idea of building a much larger wind generator to power a much larger 120 volt incandescent wattage sucking yard light in your home.

Hope that helps.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM

Title: wind power
Post by: KV6O on February 13, 2008, 10:00:15 AM
Not exactly portable, but might give you some ideas.

Solar is probably the way to go for portable power... or a generator.


Title: wind power
Post by: WA3SKN on February 13, 2008, 12:22:28 PM
Have you determined how much power do you need?  And, for how long a time?


Title: wind power
Post by: WT0A on February 13, 2008, 02:26:00 PM
Come over some evening and we'll chat with WS4Y on 160. He has used both wind and solar options.
Glen WT0A

Title: wind power
Post by: WT0A on February 13, 2008, 02:37:10 PM
Also look at Walmart for LED camp lights and save the drain on your 12v system

Title: wind power
Post by: KB9YUR on February 15, 2008, 02:47:36 AM
Check out !