home built wind turbines
Home made DIY Wind Turbine
Home made DIY Wind Turbine energy installations have three major components: the wind turbine, the tower, and the battery bank with its associated safety and control switches and circuitry. Wind turbine energy systems require more work to install and maintain compared to solar power systems. DIY Wind turbines are more advantageous than solar power systems in windy areas that are prone to cloudy or rainy weather.
The support tower is the most expensive and the most labor-demanding component of a wind energy system. The smallest wind turbines can be installed on rooftops, but the alternator and the spinning propeller might emit noticeable and persistent noise and vibrations during normal operation. The vibrations might also weaken the structure of the roof, particularly during severe weather.
There are two types of towers in terms of structure: the framework (or lattice) type and the tubular (or monopole) type. Each of these two structural types may be either freestanding or supported by guy wires. Guy-wire-supported tubular towers can be either fixed or tilt-able. The tilt-up towers have the advantage of being easily accessible but they also occupy the largest installation ground area or footprint.
Support towers may or may not be available from the same company that provided the pre-fabricated DIY wind turbine kit. It may be safer and more convenient for a homeowner to hire professional tower builders to construct the tower. It cannot be overemphasized that the tower must be well-built and correctly installed to prevent instability and minimize the possibility of catastrophic failure. Local and state regulations exist that limit the height of towers depending upon the location of the installation.
The wind turbine component usually consists of the propeller sub-assembly (blades and hub), a tail boom or a nacelle, a gearbox, an alternator (which may be attached to the propeller or housed inside the nacelle), and (depending on the design) a tail vane which is attached to the opposite end of the tail boom or at the rear end of the nacelle. Wind turbines can be purchased as completely built units or as pre-fabricated wind turbine kits that include detailed assembly instructions.
With pre-fab kits, the assembly of the alternator is usually the most complicated step. If the unit comes with a gearbox, it must be securely and properly attached to the alternator. The propeller blades must be correctly attached to the hub/s; exact measurements are necessary to get the correct spacing between the blades. Also, the blades must be “balanced” (much like car wheels) in order to prevent them from wobbling. Blades are usually of fiberglass or wooden construction. Fiberglass is resistant to moisture but becomes brittle with extensive exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Fiberglass is also less flexible than wood and can crack when subjected to extreme wind stress. Building wind turbines from scratch is a very demanding and time-consuming process. It necessitates adequate knowledge of electrical systems, carpentry or fiberglass construction, and metal working. A well-equipped workshop is a must for those who want to build wind turbines from the ground up. One of the most popular small- scale wind turbine design has been devised by Scottish DIY wind-turbine enthusiast and promoter Hugh Piggott.
Some wind turbines can be connected directly to the utility electrical system, but most are designed as stand-alone systems that require pairing to a rechargeable battery bank that includes rectifiers, circuit breakers, propeller brake switches, excess current diverters/controllers, heat sinks, excess current sinks, etc. The system wiring from the turbine, through the tower, and to the battery bank and the control components also require thorough consideration and will have to be approved by a qualified electrician. Both the battery bank and the support tower must be properly grounded.
It would be very difficult, if not impossible, for a single individual to set up a complete wind turbine facility. The DIY wind turbine itself can be assembled by just one individual, but the work on the tower and attaching the wind turbine to the top of the tower will most likely require a team effort.