DIY wind power is one of the easiest forms of renewable energy for you to develop and use, because the technology is quite straightforward and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get set up and start reducing your dependence on grid power.
What You Need to Develop DIY Wind Power
Wind power has a few basic requirements that are usually quite easy to meet. First, you need to live in a location where your energy source – the wind – is relatively constant and isn’t blocked too much by trees and large buildings. Fortunately, most places meet these requirements, particularly if you can position your windmill blades at a reasonable height, say 30 feet or so.
The second requirement is that you can gain the permission of local authorities to build and run a diy wind power generator. It is important to consider these issues and the possible reaction of your neighbors before you start construction, otherwise you could run into problems later on. In crowded locations this could be difficult because a generator will produce some noise and there could be concerns about the visual effects of your turbine and its supporting structure.
However, if you do have sufficient wind energy in your area, as well as the space and permission to build, you will find that it is quite simple and inexpensive to construct a DIY wind power generator, especially if you can do most of the work yourself.
DIY Wind Power – Materials You Will Need
First and foremost, your windmill will need a strong structure and foundation to make sure it isn’t blown over. DIY wind power generators are quite small, but you will want to make sure they can withstand the force of strong winds. A well-built metal frame supported by a concrete foundation is one possibility. Another one is to attach the turbine and blades to a pole on your roof so you can gain some extra height without having to build a tower in your backyard. In this instance you will need to make doubly sure the attachment points are very strong and that you will not affect the structural integrity of the building. Do not attempt to cut corners in terms of material strength and quality, because you may well end up regretting it later on.
After you have built a strong base for your DIY wind power generator, you will need a set of blades to catch the wind. You can make them yourself or buy them from a specialist supplier for a couple of hundred dollars. These will in turn be attached to a motor that can convert the wind energy to electrical energy. Some people recommend using old car alternators, but in fact these don’t work too well because they need to turn much faster than a properly built motor in order to produce electrical energy.
It is well worth the investment to purchase a specialist motor that can still produce energy at low wind speeds. They are not very expensive when you consider the extra power and durability you will get out of them. In fact, some of them will create power at wind speeds as low as 8 mph.
Make sure you install some sort of safety barrier between the turbine and the ground (or house roof) to deter inquisitive people from climbing up to the spinning blades and possibly getting injured.
As a final step in building your DIY wind power generator you will need some batteries to store the energy you have collected. You will also need wiring between the turbine and the batteries, and between the batteries and your house. The batteries are needed because there will be times when there is no wind and in these cases you will need a ‘storehouse’ of power to draw from.
A DIY wind power generator is a great way to start using renewable energy and reduce your dependence on expensive grid power. Building a generator can be a lot of fun and very rewarding if you start by doing some basic research on building codes and construction materials. In a matter of weeks, you can be producing your own energy and be the envy of friends and family!