Learning how to build a wind turbine is very straightforward and can be done quite cheaply. It is also an enjoyable alternative energy project that the whole family can get involved in.
Two of the most popular sources of renewable energy are solar and wind. As standard energy prices continue to rise and the effects of using fossil fuels become more and more apparent, it is no surprise that many people are seeking information on how to build a wind turbine or construct a solar panel.
While both approaches are incredibly valuable for any person who wants to break the grip of the energy companies, the fact is that for the average person, wind power is much easier and less expensive to harness. If you have a steady source of wind in your neighborhood, sufficient space on your property, and the local building codes are favorable, then learning how to build a wind turbine is a great way to break into the world of renewable energy.
What You’ll Need to Build A Wind Turbine
The first thing you need to build a wind turbine is space. A turbine will not work effectively if the prevailing winds are blocked by trees and buildings.
The second thing you will need is local regulations and building codes that permit the construction of turbines. Turbines do produce some noise and for some people a windmill is an eyesore. It is a great idea to sound out your neighbors before you start to build, to make sure they are OK with the idea. The last thing you want is a neighborhood dispute spoiling your project.
The third thing you need to build a wind turbine is, not surprisingly, a steady source of wind. A steady wind speed of 10-12 mph can provide most of the energy for a small home. In many locations that is not a problem. If you are unsure, check with your local meteorological station to see what records they keep.
If you have enough wind in your area, the next thing you need is the equipment and materials to build a wind turbine and store the energy you collect. In essence, it is all very simple. You need blades to catch the wind, a generator to convert the wind energy into electrical energy, copper wiring to transfer that energy, and batteries to store it for later use. You can easily purchase all these materials online or at a hardware center, or you can source them yourself.
The blades need to be lightweight, concave and durable. PVC pipe, plastic or recycled plastic bottles are some of the materials you can use. For most people, purchasing the generator is the best way to go. As far as batteries go, check with an electrical center to make sure you get batteries with sufficient storage capacity to match your energy requirements.
The final requirement is a structure to support your windmill, such as a small tower or pole. Strong recycled materials such as galvanized iron pipe are great. Don’t skimp on the strength of your supporting structure – for obvious reasons it has to be able to withstand any storms that come along. For safety purposes, it is a good idea to position the structure so that no-one can climb it.
Learning how to build a wind turbine is a simple, yet immensely satisfying project. You can cut your energy bills and at the same time make a great contribution to protecting the environment…it doesn’t get much better than that!