How to Make Your Own Wind Turbine Using Scrap Materials

How to Make Your Own Wind Turbine Using Scrap Materials

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!