I was inspired to build a Savonius turbine from 55 gallon drums after reading an article from a 1970s copy of Mother Earth News. The Savonius Turbine, often referred to as the S-Rotor, has been around since the 1920's.
The main wind catchers are made from 55 Gallon PVC drums, and the generator is made from a recycled automotive alternator (do it yourself or purchase one off ebay).
This design will withstand over 70MPH winds without harm and will survive outside in rugged winter weather.
Here is a video which covers the part one of the installation process.
Step 1: Materials Needed
The following parts can be purchased from Lowes or Home Depot
1 10 foot section of 3" inside diameter PVC pipe (make sure it has a thick wall as this is a structural component)
4 3" closet flanges (the above pipe should fit within this flange tightly)
4 closet flange spacers
16 1/4"-20 Screws 2.5" long *
32 1/4" washers *
16 1/4"-20 Nuts or Nylock nuts *
4 sheet metal screws about 3/4" long *
2 "Lazy Susan" Bearings (Lowes)
- These fasteners will live outdoors so they should be rust resistant. Go with galvanized or even stainless hardware if you can afford it. Otherwise, use a spray varnish to protect the screws after they are fastened.
Optional: PVC cleaner and glue for a super solid joint where any flanges meet the PVC pipe
Non-hardware store parts:
1 Generator (buy or convert gm style or buy on ebay from qaz661 use 24v model)
You will need a chain or belt drive for the generator or you can buy a pair of gears to connect it here.