DIY Wind Turbines – The Future of Home Energy Supplies

DIY Wind Turbines

DIY wind turbines are easy and cheap to build.  Although there are a number of renewable energy sources, one of the most popular from a home owner’s perspective is to harness the power of wind using DIY wind turbines.

DIY Wind Turbines

Wind power has been used for many centuries, and most people have seen pictures of windmills such as those in Holland which have been used for such things as moving water and grinding grain.  While the fundamental principles of wind power are unchanged, modern DIY wind turbines are very different from the bulky windmills of the past.

The old-style windmills have largely been replaced with sleek, modern structures that use all the advancements of technology to produce power quickly and efficiently, whether it be for large cities or single dwellings.  But don’t be put off by talk of technology; the average home owner is more than capable of building and operating a modern wind turbine, given the right information, tools and materials.  Nor are DIY wind turbines expensive – several hundred dollars is enough to purchase a turbine unit, and there are further savings to be had if you use some recycled or secondhand materials and can do the work yourself.

What’s more, DIY wind turbines for the home are quite light and there aren’t many moving parts, so you don’t need a massive tower or other structure to support them.  A solid, securely attached frame on your roof is typically all you will need to support your turbine.

The first thing you need to do when constructing your wind turbine is to attach the wind blades and gearing to the frame. The gearing is used to control the power of the wind as ‘collected’ by the spinning blades.  You can easily buy turbine and gearing kits online.  If possible, it is a good idea to go and see one in operation, and if you can talk to the owner, all the better. It is also good to see what they actually look like in operation, so you can visualize how it would look and work at your place.

DIY wind turbines come in many sizes and shapes, depending on the make, power requirements, and local wind conditions.  It is very important to check your local building codes and noise limitation conditions first so that you make an informed choice for your situation.  Other things to look at are the prevailing wind direction in your area, height of your roof and the location of any overhead power lines so that can build the unit safely.  This sort of research is an absolutely essential part of the process that is often overlooked.

Once a decision has been made on which make and model to use, DIY wind turbines will usually only take a few days to put up.  You will have a choice of wood, fiber composite or metal blades – the first two of these are usually better because they are less likely to vibrate and cause unnecessary noise than the metal ones.

It is worth bearing in mind that you will also need a tail assembly to make sure that the turbine keeps facing into the breeze for maximum efficiency. You can either buy one, or, with some simple DIY skills, put one together yourself.

Another part of your DIY wind turbines project is to connect the turbine/gearing to a DC motor, which will generate the actual electricity. If you are familiar with electrical work you can do this yourself, but in any case it is worthwhile hiring an electrician to make sure everything is connected properly and working as it should. They will also be able to check that the electrical installation is well insulated and safe.

As a final point, make sure that adventurous children and adults are not able to climb on the turbine and injure themselves.  DIY wind turbines are a fun and worthwhile project but they do have a serious safety side, so it will be very worthwhile to include some safety fencing and security lighting in your project.

Thelma Anderson

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