One more question....anyone know how to build a cheap wind generator? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

One more question, does anyone know how to build a cheap wind generator. I don't have $1,100 to blow on a wind generator. I live 4 miles from Biscayn Bay and there is always wind. Could I hook up a car alternator to an big, old industrial fan and generate enough electricity to charge up a battery? Of course I would need to elevate the fan above my shed.

-- JoseMiami (, November 11, 1999


Jose; In LaK'ech, My Brother-in-law has made a wind mill/generator. Using a 55 gallon barrel and a 1-1/2 shaft with a 95 amp alt attached it rides upright on a front axle hub,that way it will spin freely.

The pulley is also attached to the shaft,which is connected by " V " belt to the Altenator. He is recharging/charging 4-6 ( 6D ) batteries, then thru a Inverter to his 120 volt system. If I can remember where I put the drawing I'll sent it to you. Furie...

-- Furie (, November 12, 1999.

To try and answear your question, an auto altinator is not really good for this application as it is not an efficent way to generate electricty. And besides the batteries would have to have electricty present on them to excite the altinator's brushes (of what passes for them)..

If you can't find a car generator (12V)...They are rare as hens teeth now. I would suggest looking up a kid's electric ride in car...the kind that runs with a battery..And the kid rides in it. The motors on the back wheel can be turned into generators, each motor on a rear wheel will put out 6V D.C. just put up two of the little motors, wheels left on the motors and use their shafts as a tail vane for the wind mill..Drill and bolt on a fan blade to the wheels..and by seriesing the motors togeather and putting a diode in line between the wind mills and the plus side of the have a home made wind mill generator..

Find the used kid's electrc cars or look for them in the dumpsters, as they'll be thrown away for the new toys coming this Xmas..

Hope this will give you ideas


-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), November 12, 1999.


This page at this website is the best I've found. Lots of other good stuff too.

-- Carlos (, November 12, 1999.

OK, at least the website worked. Go to Library II and look at Wind Chute Turbine.

-- Carlos (, November 12, 1999.

Eat a lot of beans.

Part of the power generated here in the NorthWest is from windmills.

-- Cherri (, November 12, 1999.

Maybe you should find a way to measure the wind speed before getting a lot of time and money invested in a wind generator. You need some pretty high speed wind to generate any juice. As I remember Miami, the wind was steady, but not very strong. you can pump water with 10 mph wind, but you need closer to 25-30 knots to make any power.

-- Eddie Fast (, November 12, 1999.

1. As far as available wind, see this site Wind Data, which has information on the wind available in every state.

2. If you are going to use a car alternator, use a Delco -- maybe a Chevy truck alternator. The people who have been making generator sets using lawn mower engines and car generators have found these to be the best.

3. You can buy a commercial wind generator, the Air 403 for under $500 from Northern Arizona Wind & Sun. It puts out useable power at about a 10mph wind, and puts out substantial power at 25mph.

-- not (, November 12, 1999.

There was an article on one of the sites not long time ago on how to modifie an 24V 100A truck alternator to put out 120V DC.

The guy then used this to drive an easy to be build ($150)converter to generate 120V@60Hz.

The problem with 12 or 24V DC alternators is the gauge of wire needed

for energy transfer.

To run an efficient wind generator it must be able to rotate freely in the horizontal axis so that it can respond to changes in wind direction.

The onlt way to do this is to use slipp-ring transfer of the electrical energy.

The stiff cables needed for 12/24V@100A or more prevent any other means.

Good 100A or more sliprings are made with mercury inside and are terrible expensibe. You can buy a comercial wind power system for the price of one of these.

Now, the technical savy may do the following,

build the windmill,

install#1 or 2 cables,

use a wind-direction sensor and do a PID feedback loop driving a geared stepper motor to change the direction of the top head.

This will not be as efficient as a free running system but will be close , very close.

Set the top point (that is the point where you have to go into a 360 deg reversal) to the direction where you never expect wind for most of the year and set the middle point (180deg) to the prevailend wind direction.

Given those specs I don't belive anyone will be able to build such a beast in his spare time a full time effort would be needed in the short time left.

-- I love to build power gadgets (Power@isgreat.vap), November 12, 1999.

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