How to Make Your Own Wind Turbine from Recycled Materials
Making your own wind turbine from recycled materials can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build your own wind turbine using mostly repurposed or recycled parts.
Gather the Necessary Materials
To build a small wind turbine, you will need the following materials:
Alternator – This is the key component that converts the mechanical energy of the spinning turbine into electrical energy. You can salvage a used alternator from a car junkyard. Make sure it is in good working condition.
Blades – The blades can be made from recycled plastic or wood. PVC pipes, plastic barrels, and plywood are great options. 3-5 blades work best depending on the size.
Pole – This acts as the tower and axle for the turbine. You can use a metal pipe, steel rod, thick wooden dowel or a bamboo pole. It should be around 1.5-2 meters tall.
Bicycle wheel – You will need a wheel from an old bicycle to mount the blades on.
Bolts, nuts and washers – To assemble the parts together.
Wire – For electrical connections. You will need insulated copper wire.
Wood boards – To construct a mounting frame for the alternator and tail.
Tail – A piece of plywood or sheet metal to act as a tail to orient the turbine into the wind.
Tools – You will need basic tools like a drill, wrench set, screws, clamps etc.
Construct the Rotor Blades
The most important part is making the rotor blades that spin and capture the kinetic energy of the wind. Here are the steps:
- Take 3-5 pieces of PVC pipe, plastic barrels or plywood. Cut them into long, wide blades of equal size.
- Mark the center point of each blade. Make a hole at this point.
- Align all the blades together and push a bolt through the holes to attach them to the bicycle wheel hub.
- Use washers and nuts to secure the blades to the wheel. All blades must be equally spaced.
- Ensure the blades are straight and well balanced. You can cut small slits into blades edges to reduce drag.
Mount the Alternator
Now you need to integrate the alternator:
- Take a wood board and mount the alternator on it using bolts and clamps.
- Align it so that the alternator’s pulley is centered with the turbine rotor axis.
- Connect the bicycle wheel to the alternator pulley using a belt.
Attach the Tail
The tail helps keep the turbine facing into the wind:
- Cut a large triangle from a plywood sheet or sheet metal.
- Attach it to one side of the alternator mount using bolts.
- Ensure the tail is perpendicular to the plane of rotor rotation.
Assemble the Tower
Finally, construct the tower:
- Attach the alternator mount to the top end of the pole so that the rotor blades face upwards.
- Drive the assembly into the ground or attach to a concrete base.
- Connect 3 guide wires halfway down the pole to secure it in place.
- Adjust the height as needed so rotors are well above ground obstacles.
Connect the Wiring
- Wire the alternator directly to a battery to store the electricity generated.
- Use an inverter to convert battery power into AC current as needed.
- Consult wiring diagrams to connect properly.
Once assembled, your DIY recycled wind turbine will be ready to harness wind energy for charging batteries or powering small loads! Make sure to properly maintain it.