As prices of conventional fuels rise, many people seek alternative sources of power. Wind power is a very common alternative energy source. It is free and widely available. Wind generators can be built at home by moderately skilled craftsmen for relatively little money, according to Mother Earth News. There are two types of wind turbines: horizontal axis and vertical axis. Of the two, the vertical axis turbines require the fewest parts and least maintenance, and many find them an ideal solution to their energy needs.
Things You’ll Need
- 2 55-gallon oil drums
- 2½ sheets of ½-inch-thick plywood
- Power handsaw
- 28 large angle brackets
- Large AC induction motor
- Flange roller bearing with 1-inch interior diameter, with housing
- 4 4-inch-by-4-inch wooden posts, at least 2 feet longer than the induction motor
- 1-inch-diameter PVC or steel pipe, 1 foot longer than 2 oil drums
- Nuts and bolts
- 2 bricks
- Cut the two oil drums in half vertically using the power saw. These will form the blades of the turbine, which the wind will push against. Cut three 46-inch circles from one of the whole plywood sheets and the half sheet. These will form the framework for the blades. Drill 1-inch holes in two of these discs.
- Attach two oil-drum halves to one end of the 1-inch pipe, using the angle brackets, so that they form an “S” shape. Use two brackets for each half, placed on the top and the bottom. Place the solid wooden disc on top of this “S” and bolt it in place, using two angle brackets on each side.
- Slide one of the other discs over the pipe (the rotor shaft) and bolt it to the blades, using four more angle brackets. Bolt the other two oil-drum halves to the rotor shaft just below this second disc, using four more brackets. The “S” these form should be pointed in the same direction as the top blades, but set off from them by 90 degrees. Bolt the lower blades to the wooden disc between them and the top blades, using four more brackets. Slide the remaining disc over the rotor shaft to the bottom of the lower blades and bolt it to them using the remaining brackets.
- From the remaining plywood sheet, cut out a wooden square approximately as wide as the blades. Nail the four posts to its corners. Drill a 1-inch hole in the center of this platform. Bolt the bearing housing over this hole.
- Dig four post holes a little less than 2 feet deep. Place the two bricks in the center of the square formed by these holes. Place the AC motor on top of the bricks. Place the platform over the bricks with the posts in the holes. Fill in the holes. Fit the rotor shaft into the top of the bearing on the platform. Fit the motor shaft into the bottom of the bearing through the platform. Hook up the output wires of the motor to charge batteries or power devices.