Picture of Chispito Wind Generator
The Chispito Wind Generator was designed to be simple and efficient with fast and easy construction. There are no limits to what you can do with wind power. There is nothing more rewarding and empowering than making a wind powered generator from scrap materials. Most of the tools and materials in this manual can be found in your local hardware shop or junk pile.

For more information and inspiration on wind generator construction, please visit http://www.velacreations.com
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Step 1: TOOLS

Picture of TOOLS
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits (7/32", 1/4", 5/16")
  • Jigsaw with a metal blade
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Vise and/or Clamp
  • Wire Strippers
  • Tape Measure
  • Marker Pen
  • Compass + protractor
  • 1/4" #20 Thread Tapping Set
  • An extra person helps a lot!


Picture of MATERIALS
MATERIALS - BUY THE HARD TO FIND PARTS HERE: http://www.velacreations.com/store.html

  • 36" of 1" Square Tubing
  • 2" Floor Flange
  • 2" X 4" Nipple
  • 3 X 3/4" Self-tapping Screws

NOTE: if you have access to a welder, you can weld a 4" section of 2" pipe onto your square tubing instead of using the flange, nipple and sheet metal screws.

  • 260 VDC, 5 A continuous duty Treadmill Motor with a 6 inch threaded hub
  • 30 - 50 Amp Blocking Diode (one-way)
  • 2 x 5/16" x 1 3/4" Motor Bolts
  • 3" X 11" PVC Pipe

  • 1 sqft (approx) lightweight material (metal)
  • 2 X 3/4" Self-tapping Screws

  • 24" length of 8" PVC Pipe (if it is UV resistant, you will not need to paint it)
  • 6 X 1/4" X 20 Bolts
  • 9 x 1/4" washers
  • 3 sheets A4 paper and tape

BUY THE HARD TO FIND PARTS HERE: http://www.velacreations.com/store.html

Step 3: BLADES

Picture of BLADES
Cutting Blades - makes 9 blades (or 3 blade sets) and a thin waste strip.

1. Place the 24" Length of PVC pipe and square tubing (or other straight edge) side by side on a flat surface. Push the pipe tight against the tubing and mark the line where they touch. This is Line A.
2. Make a mark near each end of Line A, 23" apart.
3. Tape 3 sheets of A4 paper together, so that they form a long, completely straight piece of paper. Wrap this around the section of pipe at each of the two the marks you just made, one then the other. Make sure the short side of the paper is straight along Line A and the paper is straight against itself where it overlaps. Mark a line along the edge of the paper at each end. Call one Line B and the other Line C.
4. Start where Line A intersects Line B. Going left around Line B, make a mark at every 145 mm. The last section should be about 115 mm.
5. Start where Line A intersects Line C. Going right around Line C, make a mark at every 145 mm. The last section should be about 115 mm.
6. Mark each line using a straight edge.
7. Cut along these lines, using the jigsaw, so that you have 4 strips of 145 mm and one strip about 115 mm.
8. Take each strip and place them with the inside of the pipe facing down.
9. Make a mark at one end of each strip 115 mm from the left edge.
10. Make a mark at the other end of each strip 30 mm from the left edge.
11. Mark and cut these lines, using the jigsaw.
12. Place each blade with the inside of the pipe facing down.
13. Make a mark along the angled line of the blade, 3" from the wide end.
14. Make another mark on the wide end of the blade, 1" from the straight edge.
15. Connect these two marks and cut along the line. This prevents the blades interfering with the others' wind.

Sanding the Blades
You should sand the blades to achieve the desired airfoil. This will increase the efficiency of the blades, as well as making them quieter.

The angled (leading) edge wants to be rounded, while the straight (tailing) edge wants to be pointed.

Any sharp corners should be slightly rounded to cut down on noise.


Picture of HUB AND MOUNT
Cutting Tail
The exact dimensions of the tail are not important. You want about one square foot of lightweight material, preferably metal. You can make the tail any shape you want, so long as the end result is stiff rather than floppy.

Drilling Holes in Square Tubing - using the 5/16" drill bit

1. Place the motor on the front end of the square tubing, so that the hub part hangs over the edge and the bolt holes of the motor face down.
2. Roll the motor back so you can see the bolt holes, and mark their position on the square tubing.
3. Drill a 5/16" hole at each mark all the way through the square tubing.

Floor Flange Holes
This will be dealt with in the assembly section of this manual, as these holes are what determine the balance.

Drilling Holes in Blades - using the 1/4" drill bit

1. Mark two holes at the wide end and along the straight edge of each of the three blades. The first hole should be 3/8 " from the straight edge and 3/8 " from the bottom. The second hole should be 3/8 " from the straight edge and 1 1/4" from the bottom.
2. Drill these 6 holes.

Drilling and Tapping Holes in Hub - using the 7/32" drill bit and 1/4" tap

1. The Treadmill motor comes with the hub attached. To take it off, hold the end of the shaft (which comes through the hub) firmly with pliers, and turn the hub clockwise. This hub unscrews clockwise, which is why the blades turn counter-clockwise.
2. Make a template of the hub on a piece of paper, using a compass and protractor.
3. Mark 3 holes, each of which is 2 3/8" from the center of the circle and equidistant from each other.
4. Place this template over the hub and punch a starter hole through the paper and onto the hub at each hole.
5. Drill these holes with the 7/32" drill bit.
6. Tap the holes with the 1/4" x 20 tap.
7. Bolt the blades onto the hub using the 1/4" bolts. At this point, the outer holes have not been drilled.
8. Measure the distance between the straight edge of the tips of each blade. Adjust them so that they are all equidistant. Mark and punch each hole on the hub through the empty hole in each blade.
9. Label the blades and hub so that you can match which blade goes where at a later stage.
10. Remove the blades and then drill and tap these outer three holes.

Making a Protective Sleeve for the Motor

1. Draw two straight lines, about 3/4" apart, along the length of the 3" x 11" PVC Pipe. Cut along these lines.
2. Make a 45 degree cut at the end of the pipe.
3. Place needle nose pliers inside the strip that has been cut out, and pry the pipe apart.
4. Making sure the bolt holes of the motor are centered in the middle of the missing strip of PVC pipe, push the motor into the pipe. An extra person will make this a lot easier.


Picture of ASSEMBLY
1. Place the motor on top of the square tubing and bolt it in, using the two 5/16" x 1 3/4" bolts.
2. Place the diode on the square tubing, about 2" behind the motor, and screw it into position using the self-tapping metal screw.
3. Connect the black wire coming out of the motor to the positive incoming terminal of the diode (Labeled AC on the positive side).
4. Connect the red wire coming out of the motor to the negative incoming terminal of the diode (Labeled AC on the negative side).
5. Center the tail over the square tubing, at the back end. Clamp your tail onto the side of the square tubing.
6. Using 2 self-tapping screws, screw the tail in place.
7. Place each blade on the hub so that all the holes line up. Using the 1/4" bolts and washers, bolt the blades to the hub. For the inner three holes, use two washers per bolt, one on each side of the blade. For the outer three holes, just use one washer next to the head of the bolt. Tighten.
8. Hold the end of the shaft of the motor (which comes through the hub) firmly with pliers, and turn the hub counterclockwise until it tightens and stops.
9. Screw the nipple tightly into the floor flange using a pipe wrench.
10. Clamp the nipple in a vice so that the floor flange is facing up and level.
11. Place the square tubing (and everything that is on it) on top of the floor flange and move it so that it is perfectly balanced.
12. Through the holes of the floor flange, mark the square tubing at the point of balance.
13. Drill these two holes using a 5/32" drill bit. You will probably have to take off the hub and tail to do this).
14. Attach the square tubing to the floor flange with two sheet metal screws.

For a longer life span of your wind generator, you should paint the blades, motor sleeve, mount and tail.



Use of Chispito Wind Generator - You will need a tower, wire, ammeter, charge controller/regulator, and a battery bank for your Chispito Wind Generator. Please refer to http://www.velacreations.com/chispito.html for more information

The tower is one of the most important components in your wind generator system. It must be strong, stable, easily raised and lowered, and well anchored. The higher your tower is, the more wind your generator will be exposed to. Guy wires must be placed at least every 18 feet of tower height. Guy wires must be anchored to the ground at least 50% of the height away from the base. For full tower instructions, please refer to our Tower How-To at http://www.velacreations.com/tower.html
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Bob-C3 years ago
I have a permanent magnet 2.50 HP heavy duty treadmilll motor. It has a positive wire, a negative wire, and 2 blue wires that come off the positive post. What do I do with the blue wires? Do I have to use the bridge rectifier if I am using a charge controller? Any help would be appreciated.
funny1048 Bob-C10 days ago

no brige rectifier is needed the i think the blue wires go to a temperature sensor which tells the treadmill what temperature the motor was. anyway for a wind turbine only use the black and red wires the blue wires are not needed

dumpstar Bob-C2 years ago
Same. Anyone????????
dwatters made it!1 month ago
made this for my yacht, I used a kids scooter for the swivel mount and the base.

As a hobbiest that has built a few of these I'll try to answer some common questions;

Keeping the wires from twisting. Place a plug/socket inline with the power cord at the base of tower, check it weekly for twisting, and if cord is twisting unplug it and un-twist it. I prefer twist lock plugs for this, ask at the big box store or go to an electrical supply house.

The 2 Blue wires on treadmill motors. Those are used for speed control of the motor
when used as a treadmill motor, they are un-needed for this application, just cut them off.

Motor Selection. Induction motors are not a good choice for wind turbines, the only way the can be used is by removing the rotor and adding magnets to it. Car alternators require being spun at high speeds, not a good choice. What you want is Permanent Magnet Treadmill motors.

i like it soo much

dleon11 year ago

How does it continue to face the wind without twisting the wires?

tjledoux1 year ago

can you use a car generator to feed batteries and then use a converter for the ac/dc conversion?

yaly3 years ago
If this is a dc brushed motor then the coil is the one rotating inside the magnets so it will automatically produce dc, adding a full bridge rectifier will ensure that if the motor spins in reverse it will produce the same polarity but it will decrease the output by 0.5 to1V
Andruha11236 years ago
can ac motor be used? i got one out of my old fridge. it has three wires white blue and orange.so can i use diode bridge and acheive the same result as with a dc motor? on the side it says : merkle-korff industries model 3424rp-420 115v. 60 hz. idle: 1.20 amps rated: 1.4a-17mfd on/off: 2/20 sec p/n-10114804 any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks
velacreations (author)  Andruha11236 years ago
turn the motor by hand and see if you can read a voltage above 1 volt. If not, it probably won't work without gears or pulleys, if at all. If you want a motor that works, go to http://www.velacreations.com/chispito.html and buy one from the recommended supplier.
acttualy it does have gears and it spins very fast, but when i connect it to my multimeter i get 0 volts. even when i use diode bridge still 0 volts, i tried every combination of the three wires, but no luck. does anyone know why? also i took it apart and noticed that it doesn't have any magnets(at least i could see any) in it, is this the reason?
The fridge motor is going to be an induction motor, so it wont work. Neither will a universal motor, as neither type has permanent magnets,
Since it doesn't have magnets, It is probably an induction motor, I don't think you can use them to generate electricity, Just my 0.02
velacreations (author)  Andruha11236 years ago
yes, that is the reason. It would need to get up to speed before any output. You can take a look at the discussion board at otherpower.com for information on how to make a motor like this work.
How would you measure that one volt? I dont have any electricity measuring tools. Is there another way to possibly do it. If not how much would one of those cost?
i got my multymeter for less than 3 dollars, menards sells them for about 5 dollars.
goldpen3 years ago
Good project but the instructions in this page could be a lot clearer, or illustrated with some photos
rquissak3 years ago
I just loved it! I've searching for something easy and not expensive, now it is here.

bhunter7367 years ago
In some circles, this 4 diode arrangement trapped in a little cube that takes AC and makes it DC is called a Full Bridge Rectifier. You will have better luck finding one at many electronics stores by that name. Frys Electronics sells them for about 10 bucks in California. Website frys.com
davedawia5 years ago
I built one of these and it works great. I bought most of the parts on ebay.

The criticism I have with the design is the blades. I  live in New York and we can get som serious wind in excess of 35 mph. The first day the wind gust went over 35 mph, the PVC blades snapped and crumbled into pieces. What a disaster!

I wound up replacing the blades with some aluminum blades I found online at windynation:


So far so good and it has been 9 months. We have had a couple of days with 55 mph wind gusts.

I would also recommend getting a slip ring if you live in an area with swirling wind like me. It will eliminate the tangling of your wires which run down your tower. Thanks for the article. I thought it was great.
id say go to a thrift store and get fan blades
Hammerham4 years ago
One way to help minimize twist would be to install a stop pin. this would keep it from going more than 180 degrees in either dirction therfore eliminating it.
tomtortoise4 years ago
where do i buy guy wire lol anyways nice instructable but its gunna be hard to mount on a printer stepper motor with only one small gear on it. any su
ggestions for mounting. glitch posted it early
sillywilly4 years ago
Those of you who may be worried about the wires going down the tower getting excessive twists due to swirling winds can install some slip rings. A good source for the electrical contacts and slip rings can be had by removing said items from an old car alternator. Thats a good source for heavy-duty 4-way bridging diodes also. Quite often, (at least in my area of NW USA) the treadmill motor can be had for free off http://craigslist.org free section or other free-lists for your area. Most times there is nothing wrong with the treadmill except perhaps a slipping belt. Treadmill motors plus the variable-speed controls are good for other DIY machines as well like a lathe, drill, sand disk, centrifuge, fan, etc!
Fatmatt16 years ago
Can anyone please tell me how the wires keep from getting twisted beyond repair when the rotor spins in the wind? Thanks
Well this what I have read on line: Use an extension cord, have the plug in at the bottom of the tower. Oh yea = the cord is inside the tower pipe. with a hole at the bottom. then the cord can be unplugged, so it can untwist, then replugged. The cord want twist as much as you might think as it will turn with the wind both ways.. STC
Ummm.... I think you're doing it wrong. Normally, the blades catch the wind, which spins a plate of magnets near a stator coil (that's "stator" as in "static," "stationary," "not moving"). The wires come from the stator coil (which should NOT be spinning), down the tower (through a rectifier if the stator coil's output is 3-phase AC) and into a charge controller hooked up to some heavy duty batteries (boat or car batteries usually). As the magnets pass over the coils, electricity is generated. If you're using an electric motor instead of making your own magnet/stator setup (Ametek motors are popular for DIY Wind generators), then the Blades turns the shaft of the motor, the body of which should stay stationary, and the leads off the motor run to the charge controller. If your wires are spinning and getting twisted, then your stator coil isn't stationary, which is normally a bad thing.
Thanks for your answer. I'm surely not looking at this correctly so let me try to explain my question again. Using the treadmill motor and plans on this site, if the blocking diode is mounted on the rotor/tail fin assembly square tubing....and the wires that come off diode run down the pole to the ground, what keeps the wires from getting twisted as the generator assembly/tail fin rotates around and around in the wind over time? LIke I said, I'm surely not looking at this correctly because this appears to be a major fault....thank you.
static Fatmatt15 years ago
 Ready made slip rings can be found on eEbay. Evidently in practice the solution is simple. Many let the wires hang down the center of the mast/tower at the point the turbine turns to face the wind. At the bottom they have away to unplug the wires. As needed they simply unplug to allow the wires to untwist themselves.
what you might try doing to rectify this problem if it does indeed become a problem is to make and mount 2 pvc disks with  with 2 metal tracks embedded in one and wire brushes on the other one. basically 1 brush contacts each track, that would give you positive and negative without the need for a solid connection wire which would allow for any number of 360 degree rotations without any possibility of wire twist. The only concern would be how to weather proof it to prevent a short circuit in the event of rain.
g0tmk Fatmatt15 years ago
Often what you are describing isn't much of a problem, I've had several turbines up for years at a time and they very rarely spin 360 degrees. When they do, they don't spin around than once, and odds are it will spin back the other way eventually. I've never had one twist enough to be a problem.
lobo0x75 years ago
nice instructable, but why are you mixing inches with milimeters?
xetero5 years ago
Can I use AC motor like the one that is used by electricfans or ceiling fans?
Some AC motors don't have a permanent magnet in them, so they won't generate electricity if you spin the output shaft on them.

Though a few types do have a magnet in them and could work, for the most part AC motors won't act as generators.

This looks like a great project!

If your interested in topics like this feel free to check out my forum on “Sustainable Energy”

At http://www.voltsandboltsonline.com/index.php


KnexFreek5 years ago
cool :)
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