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Picture of DIY 1000 watt wind turbine
We built a 1000 watt wind turbine to help charge the battery bank that powers our offgrid home. It's a permanent magnet alternator, generating 3 phase ac, rectified to dc, and fed to a charge controller. The magnets spin with the wind, the coils are fixed, so no brushes or slip rings necessary.

Update: DIY Amp Hour meter for monitoring charge!

All about homebrew wind and offgrid power systems, the complete reference!
 
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Step 1: Build the magnet disks

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We had 12" steel disks hydro cut. We cut a template for mounting the magnets. Then we mounted 12 grade n50 magnets around the outside edge. We then built a form, and poured the resin with hardner.

Step 2: Build the coil disk

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We wound the nine individual coils, soldered them in a 3 phase wye configuration, and encased them in resin. We used 35 turns of 2 parallel strands of 14 gauge enameled (magnet) wire for 12 volts. Use 70 turns of single strand for 24 volts. # 3 phase diagram shown here shows 3 stator coils. each of those coils is actually 3 coils in series. coils 1,4, and 7 are series together, 2,5, and 8 are series together, and 3,6, and 9 are series together.

more details, see the following page 15 for the series star, 1-y diagram.

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/axialflux/files

AXIAL_FLUX_HowItWorks.pdf

Step 3: Build the bearing assembly

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Two Harley Davidson wheel bearings are inserted into the pipe, with a smaller pipe locked between them to keep them in place.

Step 4: Construct the blades

The blades are 2" x 6" pine, cut at 10 degrees on a table saw, and sanded into a rough airfoil. Not perfect, but close enough.

More can be found at

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/axialflux/

http://www.green-trust.org

http://youtube.com/watch?v=o9EEHFKEckM

Step 5: Further Reading

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PatrickJ412 days ago

Hello,

I have a question that pretty much sums up 2 questions below. I can get a ceiling fan motor and convert it to a generator with small neodymium magnets. I would get maybe 100W. If I can make 10 of those would I get the 1000W if I put them all on the same axis or should I build 10 turbines?

NicholasG414 days ago

http://www.supermagnete.gr/block-magnets-neodymium...

Would This Manget Work? Please Answer

NicholasG414 days ago

http://www.supermagnete.gr/block-magnets-neodymium...

Would This Manget Work? Please Answer

someone122316 days ago

If you added more magnet disks and coil disks, would that create more power output? Or would you be better off just making more turbines?

Also can anybody point me to a place where I can get more information on setting up the rectifying diode pack and battery bank?

I saw the economy almost go completely down in flames in 2008 and it made me feel very vulnerable to realize how dependent I am on central power and the grocery store. We also just had a pretty rough winter here in TN and several times, I waited through the ice storms to see if the grid power would fail; more dependency.
I need a passive solar home and power generation capability simply for peace of mind.

windrage18 days ago

i converted a house fan into a turbine, how would i go about adding a ratio system to it?

JohnT122 months ago

I'm curious as to how you determined that this is a 1000 watt generator. I'm working on a small model right now and am not sure what I'll get from it when it's done. About 5 inches in diameter.

I must also say that I've given up completely on lead acid batteries. When yours give up the ghost, check out LiFePo4 cells.

sspence (author)  JohnT122 months ago
Ohms law. number of coil turns, wire gauge. rpm. blade length, wind speed.

Not interested in Lithium based batteries. NiFe, yes.
JohnT12 sspence2 months ago

Thanks for such a quick answer. I also assume the power of the magnets play a factor. I'll have to look in to NiFe batteries. Sounds interesting. I love this stuff.

John kb8uhn

hawks88 JohnT121 month ago

NiFe batteries are pretty outdated. I had to do a quick google search because in this industry, you never know, old tech could make a resurgence, but I didn't see anything. They're basically the armored tank of the battery industry. You can abuse them and they'll last a long time, but they're not that cheap, they have half the energy density of lead acid, and they have issues with holding a charge.

sspence (author)  hawks881 month ago

NiFe batteries have witnessed a recent resurgence with companies like Iron Edison and Be Utility Free producing improved pocket plate versions that are more efficient (75%), and don't self discharge as quickly. They are the the cadillac of batteries because it's almost impossible to kill them, and they can last 50-100 years or more.

Calderick1 month ago
I am an upstart inventor and id like to get in contact with you regarding the specifics of power generation.
sspence (author)  Calderick1 month ago
greentrust@gmail.com
ttucker101 month ago

couldn't you use a car alternator? I'm not being funny.. Wouldn't that work too?

sspence (author)  ttucker101 month ago
No, it would not. Car alternators have power robbing field coils and are designed to turn at several thousand rpm.
OK thanks

this is all new to me but have been interested in going green for some time. I live in the mountains of North Carolina, so we have wind all the time. I am going camping for an undetermined amount of time. I bought a ten person, 3 room cabin tent so I would not be cramped for space. I have been researching several kinds of windmills and yours really caught my attention. most of the windmills I have looked at won't power much, but yours seems to have the power I need. I need something that will power a dorm frig and a microwave and also charge my laptop and cell phone. I am not really that mechanically inclined, so I will have to have someone help me. is there anyway you can send me step by step instructions and material list?

Sincerely,

Robert P.

sspence (author)  horsewhisper60431 month ago
If you need step by step with theory explanations, and a beginners class in electrical generation, I suggest Homebrew wind power http://goo.gl/kW2LM8
gpoli21 month ago
Hi,
I'm about to wind the coils and was wandering what lenght u used for the 2 strands of 14 gauge wire?
And how much should the centre spacing be? Or doesn't this affect the coil as long as it has 35 turns?
sspence (author)  gpoli21 month ago
on a 1x2x.5 magnet, each turn is about 7"
guitarplayr22 months ago

Hey, just a quick question I've seen in other designs that all the coils are flush to each other and in this one they are spread out. I was just wondering if you knew if there was a difference between spreading them out like yours or having all the coils touching each other?

sspence (author)  guitarplayr22 months ago
coil size is dependent on magnet size. This is a larger diameter disk, so they don't touch. if the disk was smaller, the power pulses could be a bit smoother. Doesn't matter for battery charging.
puppy_0072 months ago
Hi there ! If i use 20AWG wire and 125 turn with 9 coil star connect .24 magnet 2 rotor at N50 1-1/2 dish . Is that will be good ? Can i get 10-15 amp at 12V with 200-300 rpm . Please thanks
sspence (author)  puppy_0072 months ago
You may very well, depending on wind availability. experiment.
puppy_007 sspence2 months ago
Thanks alot
puppy_0072 months ago
Hi there ! Please tell me how many amps you get at 12v ?
How many rpm at 12v . Thanks in advance !
sspence (author)  puppy_0072 months ago
80+ amps at 650 rpm
puppy_007 sspence2 months ago
Hi ! Thanks for your reply .
Is there any way i can get 12V at 200 or 300 rpm .
I only need 10 or 15 amps at 12V . Thanks
sspence (author)  puppy_0072 months ago

You would have to wind many more turns on the coils to develop voltage at lower rpms. at lower current, you can wind with smaller diameter wire than we used.

sspence (author) 2 months ago
yes, the strength of the magnets also affect power output.
NRG4UandMe3 months ago

Excellent - this is a great share ! Thanks !

birddseedd1 year ago
Ya know. this kinda stuff sounds great, but, it really isnt all that piratical if you live on grid. average it out i spend 100 bucks or so a month. for me to buy a grid tie inverter or a battery bank/inverter/charge controller is going to cost me 3 grand. thats a 100 dollar a month loan, and i don't even have power yet. Even building my own solar panels will still cost me around 8 grand total. Thats over 150 dollar loan. I would be paying more money.

But how long would your loan last? and long will you the power company? No Brainer.... I would rather pay for own for 5 years instead a lifetime for power companies crap

A 25k loan over 5 years is near 500 bucks a month. sure it only lasts for 5 years, but i could invest that 300 dollars a month for 5 years and gain a whole heck of a lot more money than i would ever save in electricity.

then why are you worrying about costs if you clearly know how to make lots of money?

Because right now i have to invest 1500 a month+ into my company. Itl be that way for a couple more years
But after 5 years ALL of that money could be invested or saved. One never knows what the future may hold, if there even is one. I would rather my money be used for me and my family, now or for down the road freedom. What if the near future brings a collapse of our economic system? That money you would be investing will no longer exist and there will be no more power companies to provide power. We should be moving each dwelling towards self sustainability.
sspence (author)  birddseedd1 year ago
So don't live on grid. I spent $20k on my power system (complete), and immediately saved the $30k the power company wanted to extend the lines to my property.
birddseedd sspence10 months ago
you must live waaaaay out in the boonies, must be nice.
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