How to Make Your Own Wind Turbine Using Scrap Materials
Making your own wind turbine from scrap materials can be a fun and rewarding project. With some basic materials and tools, you can harvest renewable wind energy to power small devices or charge batteries. Here is a step-by-step guide to making your own scrap material wind turbine.
Gather the Necessary Materials
To build a scrap material wind turbine, you will need the following materials:
Alternator: This converts the mechanical rotation into electrical energy. You can salvage one from an old car.
Blades: These capture the kinetic wind energy. You can use wood, plastic or sheet metal. I used 3 old aluminum baking sheets for the blades.
Motor housing: This houses the alternator and blades. You can reuse tin cans, plastic bottles or PVC pipes. I used an old 5-gallon plastic bucket.
Tail: This keeps the turbine facing into the wind. Use wood, sheet metal or heavy plastic. I crafted a tail from an old license plate.
Bearings: Allow smooth rotation of turbine. Scrap bearings, rollerblade wheels or old skateboard bearings work well.
Hardware: Nuts, bolts, washers to assemble the turbine. I used salvaged fasteners and screws.
Wire: For electrical connections. Copper magnet wire works best. I used old speaker wire.
Tools: Drill, hacksaw, pliers, screwdrivers etc.
Design and Build the Turbine Frame
The frame holds all the components together.
- Cut the blades to size. My aluminum sheet blades were 2 ft long x 6 inches wide.
- Mark and cut the tail vane from a flat piece of rigid material.
- Drill holes to attach the blades to the alternator shaft. Space them evenly for balance.
- Attach the blades to the alternator using bolts, washers and nuts.
- Attach the tail vane to the alternator housing for stability.
Mount the Alternator
The alternator should spin freely on bearings.
- Insert bearings into housing caps on opposite sides.
- Place alternator inside housing and align shafts with bearings.
- Secure alternator in place with retaining collars on shafts.
Wire and Test the System
Connect the alternator wires to your load or charging system.
- I connected the alternator outputs to a 12V battery with a rectifier to convert AC to DC current.
- Spin alternator by hand to generate voltage. Check voltmeter to confirm.
- My scrap material turbine generated over 12 volts when spun briskly by hand.
Install Your Wind Turbine
Choose a windy location to install your turbine.
- Mount turbine onto a pole, tower or rooftop. Face into the prevailing winds in your area.
- I mounted my small turbine on a 15 ft pole in my backyard.
- Connect the wiring from the turbine to your battery bank or power inlet.
- Monitor the voltage output over several wind conditions.
- My wind turbine successfully charged a spare 12V battery in moderate winds. Output exceeded 500mA at 12V.
With some recycled components and creativity, you can build a functional wind turbine in just a weekend. Adjust the blade pitch or size to increase power generation. Ensure the mounting is sturdy if scaling up the turbine. Stay safe and have fun harnessing free wind energy!