Dandelion Wind turbine

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Picture of Dandelion Wind turbine
We were given a project to design a wind turbine with an aim to generate as much power as possible (with 24W motor). In this instructables page we will show you a step by step process to build our turbine.
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Step 1: Materials

Materials Needed:

-3mm sheet thermoplastic
-MDF, various sizes
-Sheet Aluminium
- 1 x Steel Block (50 mm diameter x 50 mm height)
- 1 x M8 threaded poles  (0.6 m long)
- 2 x bearings ( 6mm inner bore, 22mm outer diamter)
- 2 x M5 bolts and nuts
- 4 x M8 nuts
- Various screws
- 2 x Gears (inner bore diamter 3mm)
- 1 x Bucket (approx 30cm diameter or wider at opening)

Tools and manufacturing process:

-laser cutter (alternative to hand drawing)
-band saw
-hot air gun
-chemical adhesive
-glue and painting

Step 2: Making Blades

Picture of Making Blades
There are two options for making the blades:
1. Take the illustrator files and using a laser cutter, print them out in 3mm plastic (or draw the design onto the plastic and cut out manually

2. Spray paint the sheet aluminium, then using a laser cutter etch the blade patterns into the aluminium and cut out the design by hands. 

The results should be similar to the pictures attached. (all blades should have the slots, this eases bending)
You should make either 3 or 6 blades.

Step 3: Bending Blades

Picture of Bending Blades
The fan blades must now be twisted.

If made of sheet aluminium, grab the tip of the blade and spin clockwise, twisting the shape of the blade. The aluminium is malleable enough to withstand this.

If the blades are made of plastic, a hot air gun must be used. Heat a plastic blade and again twist by hand (remembering to wear safety gloves!). When the desired shape dip into cool water to re-harden. Do this one at a time.

When twisted the the blades should look like the image.
edskal10 months ago
not really aplicable. built for the wind tunnel or for one direction air flow. blades/blade head does not adjust to the wind direction. blades are of wrong type.
toddanber11 months ago
Surely Adobe Illustrator is not the only file format that you could post the blade templates in...
Now what do I do???
redrok11 months ago
Hi zamiller1;

Your turbine blades appear to have a basic flaw.
It looks like they are flat at the root and increase in twist as you go to the tip.
This is wrong.
Wind turbines have maximum twist at the root an go flatter at the tip.
Essentially the angle of attack is constant throughout the blade.
Remember the tips move faster than the root.
BTW, the nozzle in wind speak is called an "augmenter".
maewert redrok11 months ago
Redrok is correct... at least for lift-based HAWTs. This one appears to be drag-based... so I'm wondering if a straight 45 degree twist along the entire blade might be optimal (?)
redrok maewert11 months ago
Hi maewert;
Bladed wind turbines are never drag based.
They are always lift based.

Alderin cignal11 months ago
Hi cignal,

A corded drill (cheap nowadays), a dimmer switch, some clamps, a small stack of scrap lumber, and a relatively inexpensive set of metal lathe blades is a low-cost lathe replacement. A handheld hacksaw can easily replace a bandsaw, just takes more time and "elbow grease". Taps and dies are a sticky point, but you could start with a threaded rod in this case. Gears are nice but in this level of power you could get away with a rubber band "belt".

Try not to be so negative, lack of tools is a challenge, not a handicap.

Often the tools used for the effect are less important than the thinking that went into the effect itself, the constructive steps, the "inside view". This project was done as a school project, with specific criteria and available tools. Many people have places like TechShop or a Hackerspace or even a local community college where these tools are available.

So, relax, read, do what you can do now, dream what you can do later, contribute ideas and learn for WHEN you DO have a machine shop in your garage.
dbartholomew11 months ago
Yes you do...

Reason? IT'S FUN!!!

Snark rules!!!!
spitoon11 months ago
This is going to be the future of electricity for everything in the future.The time to start learning how to build one is now. Someone needs to fiqure out how to get tv without cable.
chokapi spitoon11 months ago
If you've got a computer, and enough bandwidth, you have virtually every bit of access to television. On my way home from Mount Laurel, NJ, I watched a few episodes of some shows I missed during the week on a Greyhound bus. Now, the connection dropped a few times, but I was on a Greyhound bus, after all. Here in the comfy confines of my own home, I can work through my morning constitution while catching up on the night's news, and taking a peek at the weather.

I don't mean to be snide. Well, I guess I do, but all in good fun.
I get TV without cable, using a device called an "antenna".
Bird_Man11 months ago
Interesting project. Well done description on how to build the small wind turbine.
I wonder if your turbine would be more efficient if you used square tips on the blades and had them just inside the nozzle with just the minimum clearance necessary to allow them to spin free. Next step would be to streamline the supports.
w.stevenson11 months ago
very well thoughtout.!!!!!!
mbourhan11 months ago
Very nice
tmko11 months ago
This is awesome. One question, why the parallel cuts on the blades?
tmko tmko11 months ago
is it just for bend-ability, or does this add spin?
zamiller1 (author)  tmko11 months ago
a bit of both! from testing, our cut blades performed better than those without
I have a question. I am a huge advocate for micro power generation. It all adds up, ya know?
Anyway, why can't something like this be installed in forced air heating/ac systems to help offset the energy required? I know the system itself couldn't use it, but a powering station for electronic handhelds would be a great place for the energy to be put to use.

Any answers?
Because it would not "offset the energy". It would be a load on the heating/aircon system, and in order to get the same amount of airflow, you'd need to up the fan speed or size, this would take more power. At best you would break even. This is not to say that it wouldn't make sense in some situations, but it wouldn't be efficient.
zamiller1 (author)  Spiraling Homesteader11 months ago
Using it for the exhausted air from heating/ac systems was actually one of our market ideas. We eventually settled upon something different, but that was a contender. We unfortunately have no expertise in that particular area, but if it could be done, Then as you said it all adds up
uncle frogy11 months ago
I must be dense or I am missing something. I see no "generator" in this project I see just an armature with a three bladed "propeller" attached.
What am I missing?
uncle frogy
zamiller1 (author)  uncle frogy11 months ago
For the project we we're given a motor, the motor is sitting inside the perspex block. It was re-used to generate power
Chakazuluu11 months ago
I must be seriously stuck on stupid today - I just don't get the point of the cone thing in front...
zamiller1 (author)  Chakazuluu11 months ago
This turbine wasn't tested in an open air environment but in a small, restricted wind tunnel, the nozzle was to pick up the speed of the air a small portion and to try to reduce the turbulence of flow as it fitted the tunnel dimensions exactly.
BLUEBERRY3511 months ago
Hey, that is a nice piece of economic!I It looks nice and with your permission i am going to make one.Take care and welldone!!!!!
zamiller1 (author)  BLUEBERRY3511 months ago
Of course you can!
bobstuart11 months ago
Please test it with and without the nozzle. They are normally used when there just isn't space for slightly longer blades, or other specific problems.
zamiller1 (author)  bobstuart11 months ago
For our project, it was tested inside a small wind tunnel, so the nozzle was used for that reason. As you said yourself, they are used when longer blades aren't an option
vchulkov11 months ago
Nice work man !
You should enter into the green design contest, great instructable!
ynze11 months ago
Nice project, it looks great! How much power does it generate?
goodforcatfish11 months ago
I like it! Nice work.

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