Instructables

How to make a small wind generator (In celebration of earth day!)

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Picture of How to make a small wind generator (In celebration of earth day!)
In this i will show you how to make a wind generator that produces electricity! I will only walk you through making the generator but it is up to you to figure out what you want to do with the electricity it produces! i havent gotten that far yet but i am planning on making a charge circuit so follow me if you want to see the outcome of that in the near future :) ok lets get started. first off id like to say that The amount of electricty it generates depends on what kind of steper motor you use, mine outputs 8 volts tops but on a slow wind day it generates around 4 which for me is enough to work with. This is a great "green" project so vote for me if you agree :) i would greatly appreciate it!

I recently updated the wind catchers so please see the last step for the updated positions! they work a lot better and more effecient. 
for more timely updates visit https://www.facebook.com/Electricreations
 
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Step 1: Things needed

In this you will need common tools normally used by a fan of electronics such as a soldering iron, wire strippers and so on. For the wind generator you are going to need 8 empty pop bottles (2liter), 8 pop bottle caps, epoxy, super glue, thin light pieces of metal (for the fan part, will describe that more later) and a stepper motor . no pictures of the things needed sorry :(

Step 2: Making the "wind catchers"

in this part you will be making the wind catchers, its the part that catches the wind and turns the motor. 
first cut the tops off 8 pop bottles like so. I cut where the lable ended and i later painted them red (that part is optional). once you have 8 all cut off move on to the next step

Step 4: Making the fan part (cant think of a better name for it)

This step is fairly easy all you do is make an X shape using two pieces of thin light metal (about a foot and a half long  and one inch wide) then after that part is done you secure the couplers at the end using epoxy. I havent figured out what to call this piece so for now the "fan part" will have to do. let the epoxy harden then move on. 

Step 5: Adding the wind catchers to the fan part.

Picture of adding the wind catchers to the fan part.
this step is very easy, alls you do is screw the pop bottle tops into the couplers. 

Step 7: The stand.

after the stepper motor is attached you have to make a stand for it. the way you make your stand is based on how your motor works, i had to make mine in a weird way due to the way the motor works but the stand is fairly easy, i used a piece of wood (close to a 2x4) and a rectangle piece of wood as the base. after the stand is done you have to attach the fan part with the motor to the stand, to do that you simply use epoxy to combine the two. as i said my motor is weird so i had to add a piece of wood and drill a hole through it and let the motor rest through there and i used epoxy to secure it. after all that is done and all the epoxy has set go out on a windy day and test the output with a multimeter, I would recommend testing your motor before you start this just to get an idea of how much power it outputs. 

Step 8: All done!

Picture of all done!
this is as far as i will take you, it is up to you to figure out what you want to power with the electricity. I will be making a circuit for it real soon so if you would like to see that just follow me other than that the wind generator is complete! :) please vote for me if you liked this project i would really appreciate it :) also i will be adding small solar powered motors to help spin the generator but again that will happen in the near future so subscribe to see that add on aswell. please if you have any questions or comments just post them or message me :) 

Step 9: Little demo (barely any wind but it works great!) more wind=more power

Step 10: Update

AN UPDATE! this is an updated picture of this instructable, meaning it was taken a few days after this was posted. i have read some of the comments and some people suggested taking one cup off of each arm to reduce wind resistance and increase rotations, and it worked! so thank you for your feedback! the generator does work with two cups on each arm but i did see improvement when i took of one from each arm, that is the beauty of using the pop bottle caps, it is easy to go from two cups to one just because you can simply unscrew the bottle. as you can see in the picture i added a few things. more info on these will come soon! thank you so much :)

Step 11: New video update!

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could you explain a little bit more detailed how to do the electric part please?

Agustyne3 months ago

good interesting

homemadetools3 months ago

Just saw the part 3 update video. Nice work on this build. We've got it featured in our Homemade Generators category on HomemadeTools.net: http://www.homemadetools.net/wind-generator .

bwtux6 months ago

Congratulations to your project, it looks great.

I would mount just one cup per arm, always open to the same clockwise direction (like an anemometer). With your setup, one clockwise, one counter clockwise, I am not sure if it would actually turn in the wind at all. At least, you should get a decent speedup with removing one of the cups per arm, so for all wind directions, the wind always faces an open cup on only one side of the thing.

out-of-the-box (author)  bwtux6 months ago

Thanks for the kind words. the cup suggestion has been taken into consideration a while back

GTJosh9 months ago

i think you should mount it to the top of your garage peak. that way you will get deflected wing, since the peak is higher (out of the fence area that act like a wind break.) you should get more rpm, resulting in a faster charge, you can leave the solar panels where you will. But If it were me i would try it atop the roof. :)

You're good , I am very interested .
How do you use this for recreational use. How would I myself use this? ( i do plan on making a few ;) ) but i need to know how i would hook it up to say my house for power? even if it only helps a little bit.
out-of-the-box (author)  TheGamingFaux1 year ago
I dont know how to hook this up to a house. But you can use it to charge batteries and pass the charge on. For example, Im using mine to cjarge two 5 volt batteries, It takes about 3 days to charge, Im using the batteries to power back yard LEDs for night time use. It lights up the back yard pretty good at night. Hope i helped! :)
Hello there Taylor.
Really nice project !!
How much costs a motor with 40 volts outpout ?

I cant say for sure but if you have an old printer lying around you can salvage atleast two from it. I got an old printer from good will for like ten bucks and got two stepper motors out of it. One generates 40 volts mak and the other 25 to 30. hope I helped :) thanks
I cant say for sure but if you have an old printer lying around you can salvage atleast two from it. I got an old printer from good will for like ten bucks and got two stepper motors out of it. One generates 40 volts mak and the other 25 to 30. hope I helped :) thanks
SKarmytech1 year ago
Nice build but the design of the "blades" is not the best, since there shouldn't be two of them facing both the opposite direction. But good project, gave me the nice idea of using bottle tops, and it's also ecological!
out-of-the-box (author)  SKarmytech1 year ago
Thank you :) I did change it up a bit. I took one cup off each arm and it works great. it did work before but one less is better.
from where can i get steeped motor
If you have an old printer lying around you get salvage one or two from it. I recently just took one apart and got two.
hello, as soon as i noticed you decided to couple the wind catchers together i wanted to leave a note. I'm a current engineering student and I would like to suggest something for this exact picture. Since you have wind catchers on both sides of the coupling, when the generator is in motion, one side will act as a catcher and the other will act as a break. Think about it in terms of aerodynamics, i can blow air into one side, but the other is like a 'parachute' if you will, and slows down the rotation speed. I would recommend using only 4 x 2L bottle wind catchers as the generator will spin in the same direction every time the wind blows.

I hope this little tip may better your design :)

Cheers!
out-of-the-box (author)  Ragnarocker1 year ago
I updated that part. I added a step that shows the new positions! Thank you for your advice :)
majidazmiu1 year ago
can stepper motor produce electricity?
out-of-the-box (author)  majidazmiu1 year ago
yes they can. some can produce upwards of 40 volts, but in order to use that electricity a rectifier might be needed.
out-of-the-box (author) 1 year ago
check out the latest update here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJyhgUXtDzg
Willing to learn without taking offense helped me a lot Before I learned to listen to good advice Handy gadget provided YOU HAVE WIND!! Now how can a body get them windbags to let go of their winds and bragging!! (pun intended)
fmasi1 year ago
Nice build of a Savonius style turbine with cheap and raw materials!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savonius_wind_turbine
It's not a matter of INCREASING rotations, but of PRODUCING any.
In the old way you did it would move just because you blew in the right cup, or because you produced turbulence in natural wind with your body/camera mass. The opposing cups did equal the forces on both sides. Hence no rotation.

A couple of suggestions: put it on a very long pole. The higher you go, the cleaner/stronger the wind.
And put some kind of gearbox to make the motor spin faster. This will require less rotor speed at the same amount of power produced.

The motor could be down in the pole, and a long axle could transfer the mechanical energy.

Cheers and good lighting!
out-of-the-box (author)  fmasi1 year ago
thank you :) i will look into your suggestions, i was planning on using an 8 foot pice of wood but i couldnt work with it so i had to downsize a bit.
very nice, simple yet effective
out-of-the-box (author)  arfeenmushtaq1 year ago
thank you :)
really kuuuulll
out-of-the-box (author)  vishnu tantry1 year ago
thank you
Can you tell about the specifications of the motor used and how could we connect that it with load or storage battery. It would be good that if it have some inclining capability so that if wind blows in different ways it could self adjust to the wind flow.
out-of-the-box (author)  avinashpaul1 year ago
the motor outputs about 8 to 9 volts at fast speeds (which is unlikely in a wind situation) and on a slow windy day around 4 volts which is enough to work with. i am working a circuit fo rthis now that involves storing charge then inverting charge to charge a battery, the circuit will be revealed when its all finished
Find out how much power you can get by loading it with a resistor and measuring the volts and amps produced. You'll find a resistance that pulls the maximum power. Solar panels have the same effect, called Maximum Power Point.
out-of-the-box (author)  jimvandamme1 year ago
i will try that thank you
out-of-the-box (author) 1 year ago
everyone please watch this video of the recent update! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ6JRx-r3sQ it is improved a lot so please watch!
jasonsj1 year ago
that sounds good, i would be very thankful if you let me know the results of that design. i'm reall new in electronics and electricit, and I have never studed anyhing about it. but i'm really interested in it so i'm trying to learn new stuff to improve the ways in which I can help the planet. inveting the voltage is sth id really like to learn how to do. GO FOR IT! while I learn more ! LOL!
out-of-the-box (author)  jasonsj1 year ago
i am glad you like it! and we all can save the worlld :D. I just finished a circuit i will testing real soon, so stay tuned! im just working out a few kinks
jay-bee1 year ago
Your original 8 cup model did not work (watching the video) and could
not work without spinning it with your hand because the wind always
saw 2 cups to push against. Thereby canceling each others "spin potential"
out.


out-of-the-box (author)  jay-bee1 year ago
it does work but i recently took a cup off each arm (thanks to the comments) and it works a lot better, i updated the instructable, see step ten please.
wittend1 year ago
Very nice! A few years back I spent a lot of time trying to think of an inexpensive way to make multiple anemometers for use at remote sites. I never thought of this.

I'm not certain that the motor used needs to be a stepper motor. That seems unnecessarily complex. Wouldn't any small DC permanent-magnet motor work? They are cheap and found everywhere in a wide range of sizes from small and lightweight (low inertia for sensitive wind speed measurement) to larger ones used for wheelchairs and robotics (good for generating more power).
A stepper motor has the advantage that it generates a higher voltage and useable current (and therefor usable power) at relative low rpm. See http://www.instructables.com/id/Hydropower-from-Reuse/
(Toy) DC motors need quite a high rpm, so you need gearing up. See http://www.instructables.com/id/Junior-Wind-Turbine/
out-of-the-box (author)  wittend1 year ago
thank you glad you like it! i only had stepper motors at the time and i chose the one with the most output, luckily the one i chose also required less force to turn. i would have like to use a different motor because this motor was complex to work with, i had to mount it based on the way it moved and it wasnt the easiest but it worked
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