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

Picture of Build the magnet disks
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

Picture of Build the coil disk
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.


Step 3: Build the bearing assembly

Picture of Build the bearing assembly
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

Step 5: Further Reading

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TomR163 days ago
TriA27 days ago

what type of magnet do you used ceramic or neodymium magnet type....

sspence (author)  TriA26 days ago
Neodymium, N42 or greater.

One of my favorite instructables! had to check it again :))

sspence (author)  CharlineCaisse11 days ago
Thank you!
Artrhey14 days ago

how much rpm do i need to get 12v supply

sspence (author)  Artrhey13 days ago
This unit is designed to run at 650 rpm.
AndyB22 months ago

great project. I am impressed by the number of views!!

sspence (author)  AndyB22 months ago
I'd like to know how many actually went out and built one :-)

Me too. Your project looks really cool, but I don't think it's as easy to do as it looks. I personally love doing paper and cardboard crafts, but when it comes to technology, I'm useless.


While I understand that upon first seeing the Yahoo group "Restricted" designation, you may think that you would have to pay, etc, but before actually going through the process of logging into Yahoo groups, then trying to join the group, please keep in mind that complaining in the comments that you have to pay, or go through some complicated process to get the info, to a lesser level - MANY groups on the Yahoo site, and others ask that you click the join button, and a group admin manually adds you to keep the thousands of bot-created ads down in the posts. This has been the case since the mid-90's with BBS forums, etc as well. Nothing new here..

On a side note to everyone else...

I agree that the PDF's, and "full" information should be shared on this site, and that it is against the spirit of the site for the author to say they are only using this as an instructable for what is possible, instead of how to actually do it. I believe this is more of an ad for "Come join our Yahoo Group so we have more views!" than anything else, as even basic safety info is left out. It's concerning that someone might try to put one of these together after seeing the wait-wall in the group application process, and hurt themselves.. Much more care should have gone into the info actually shared, vs the baiting to join a forum..

sspence, please clear up the confusion and take your instructions/posts/etc regarding this turbine that you have in the Yahoo group, and post them as attachments here on this site, and link to your group for questions, other learning, etc..

I agree with you Mikerosati

AndyB2 DennisS42 months ago

Hey dude,

Feel free to post your instruction in here too. There is absolutely no fee and people are burning for your great ideas

sspence (author)  DennisS42 months ago

There is no subscription fee, and the group is free. there's a lot more storage for files there, and many group members have posted their instructions as well.

why not make a vertical windmill with flaps .wind force in any direction.90%wind force not 45%.can be any height any diameter.

sspence (author)  marcsnewstylewindmill1 month ago
They don't work anywhere near as well as a HAWT. Try it, and then get back to me. You will see. That 90% is bogus.
BenK81 month ago

Hey, cool device, but I was wondering how much in total the device weighs in pounds?

sspence (author)  BenK81 month ago
under 100 lbs, with blades.
kroeker2271 month ago
What size magnets did you use?
sspence (author)  kroeker2271 month ago
1" x 2" x 1/2"
sspence (author)  DennisS42 months ago

You don't have to buy anything. all the details are free. I'm not selling anything.

DennisS4 sspence2 months ago
Ok, first off your right. I didn't go through the sign up process at Y!
However you are wrong about selling the plans, along with the sign up you have a ad saying sign up for X magazine and get two plans for your project free. I stopped when I saw that. If you really wanted to share your project you should have posted the complete project and not require people to join your group to get more details. I stand by my original post, this project is an advertisement to join your group or by magazines. With that said I'm glad that this is a popular topic and you have given more information in the comments.

I'm not sure about all that you are saying but IMHO this isn't an instructable in any recognizable form that I believe this site is about. I would call this a "Here's an idea now go do a bunch of research on your own." And I'm sorry but thats kind of a jip. It's not even a lazy instructable. I can't build anything with this. It may as well say "Here's a link to a wind turbine manufacturer, click on it and order yourself something."

Agree 100%

DennisS4 sspence2 months ago
I concede. Your right as I said. It's a wonderful how to and I hope it helps many people. Best of luck to you.
sspence (author)  FlorinJ2 months ago

Florin, That's your prerogative. I don't care, I don't make anything off this. It's here for those that appreciate it. The goal was to show what is possible, to those that may have not thought about making their own power. Many more details are available on the yahoo group, along with years of correspondence between other makers. It's a free group, it's not "restricted" in that you have to pay to use it, you just have to click join. That helps keeps the spammers away.

sspence (author)  FlorinJ2 months ago

Restricted in yahoo speak means you have to ask to be a member. If you don't want to join to read other members submissions, you can find another group. I can't take other members information and load it on another site. It's your opinion this instructable is "ad like", but since there is no ads, that's just your opinion. DennisS4 is the one who claimed "advertisement to buy the DIY document". He apparently can't read. Maybe insdtructables puts ads in, I don't know, I don't see them as I run an ad blocker.

AndyB2 DennisS42 months ago


I don't get your point. This is a great place to share ideas.

sspence (author)  AndyB22 months ago
I think he is confused, because I'm not selling anything. Additional details are available on our discussion group, not just my project, but those of others doing the same type of projects. That's free too.
This whole thread is useless. This isn't Facebook. If you have a complaint about a user's instructable, email the support team for Instructables, they're great at resolving issues. There's no need to go on the offensive and berate the author. And I'll say it again, this isn't Facebook. If you don't like the author's post, move on, there are plenty more to be had on this site.

Wait so are you saying this is facebook?

DennisS4 AndyB22 months ago
Thank you for your reply :)
I find the comments much more interesting than the 'ible, tbh. I think it would be nice to present the entire design, like everybody else does. But anyway, some random thoughts...

vertical Axis Wind Turbines are inefficient, but are often a better option in residential neighborhoods. No whirling blades, dead birds falling in the neighbors yard, etc. Otherwise a 3 blade horizontal axis is the way to go.

Nickel-iron Edison batteries are not optimum except in a few respects. They have very long lifespans. The electrolyte is plain old lye, the whole system is fairly environmentally safe, and they dont suffer permanent damage from overcharge or deep discharge. Go ahead and do the math. Price Edison cells and then price any other battery type and multiply by 20 or even 10 to represent the number of replacements needed to equal the lifespan of Edison batteries. That said, in my electrically propelled boat, my bank is 8 48v golf cart batteries from sams club. 220ah at 48v for a total $640 price. My budget was too limited to considet "better" texhnology.

A heavy duty truck or bus alternator with external regulation works nicely if you respect the current rating.

Higher voltages are better if the wiring run is more than a few feet. For a homebrew alternator, 48v is MUCH more efficient due to line losses.

An old BLDC motor from an electric bike or boat works okay, especially if you have the controller and it has regen capability. You can set it up to run as a motor to start rotation, in light winds. Or use it as a fan to keep your cows cool lol.

The alternator must be protected from axial loads by a thrust bearing, either internal or external. Tapered bearings will work. Trailer axles and bearings are often used.

Wind vs solar? Duh. Use both if practical. Dont argue one or the other. Both have their optimum operating environments and conditions that ofen overlap nicely.

Delta wiring in general works better at these low speeds we are talkimg about then Y wiring. Try to avoid gearing as this wastes a lot of the mechanical power developed by the turbine and adds complexity and cost.

Between the authors very incomplete ible and the large volume of comments, and a bit of research, any handy person should be able to build a workable system. Stop crying. Just build. Doesnt have to be perfect to generate SOME power. Even if all you get out of it is backup lighting capability.

The alternator doesnt have to be 3 phase. It could be 5 or 7 phase. Just saying. This would also help reduce cogging.

More coils would reduce the needed rotation speed. I think...
sspence (author)  GrowleyMonster1 month ago
There is no cogging in this design, and 650 rpm is pretty slow speed. No birds have ever been killed by this unit. We tried some vertical units, and the support structure cost 3x as much as this unit, for less output. Vehicle alternators don't work well without gearing, as the speeds that this unit can hit are two slow. gearing robs power.
HariKarier11 3 months ago
I know that programming water jets to cut a out a particular pattern cost quite a bit and so I was wondering if  you would sell the precut disc to those of us who would like to build their own wind turbine. I believe if you were to sell the precut disc, they would help offset the initial cost of programming that you incurred. I can cut them out, but to get the correct balance would take some time that could be better spent on wire winding. Thank you for the information that you have posted and I hope that you might consider this.

I don't know where you are located but personally water jet and laser cutting is cheaper than you probably think. If you are cutting steel, laser cutting is better. Most laser cutters order raw steel in such high volume that it is usually much cheaper to order the laser cut part directly than to order the steel and cut it yourself.

MFXPYRO AdamR12 months ago

Plasma cutting may be even cheaper, I get it done for £15/hour and an hour can get you a lot of cutting.

I worked as a machinist for a lifetime and it doesn't matter how you cut your circle, if you want proper balance then it should be machined on a lathe and when all is finished the disk should be balanced. That is done by drilling small holes in the finished product. When a disk is balanced it rotates at a higher efficiency. Just try driving your car with wheels that have not been balanced. they sell precut steel discs or maybe it is
Either way they sell pre cut steel discs.
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