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Small Wind Powered Generator

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Picture of Small Wind Powered Generator
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As far back as I can remember, I've all ways wanted to make a wind generators.
My 1st and only attempt was back in high school, when I had built one using wooden blades and turning a bicycle generator.

So after getting hooked on Instructables .com and viewing other members wind mill projects, I've been on the lookout for DC motors and thinking of some ideas.

Then one night it hit me.... I had an old cordless drill that I was no longer using.
So after finding and disassembling the drill, is when the brainstorming began :)

Through the months I've added several steps about the 2 different wind generators and the modifications made to both of them as problems arose. 

 
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Step 1: Step(s) after intro.....

The chuck tightens down perfectly on the gear that is attached to the motor, which this in turn provides a "hub" for a larger disk for the blades to be attached too . The
blades will have to spin in a clockwise direction to keep the chuck tight.
I cut in half a section of pipe that is slightly larger than the outside diameter of the friction bearings that are between the hub and the chuck. I then used an water hose
repair connector to hold the cut pipe halves around the friction bearings which also will provide support.
I attached the assembly to a plastic peg board.
After getting the unit assemble/attached to the peg board, it fit perfectly inside an 10 oz coffee can

After attaching the blades and hooking up a voltage meter, I took it outside in a very light wind.

The completed unit spins freely and the small DC motor does create a small amount of DC current.
I can/could install a bigger motor using the "chuck".

The day I mounted it atop a pole, a thunderstorm came up with high winds and the wind turbine handle it just fine.

Step 2: Mounting the unit

I found an adjustable closet rod that I'll mount the assembled unit on to.

13010287 days ago

What do you do when it rains?

jeidins17 days ago
you should have left gears from drill attached that way it would hit 12-18 volts on 10m/s wind.
ddavis662 (author) 1 month ago

For an old update on the WG

Copy and paste this link

http://www.instructables.com/id/Small-Wind-Generator-Rebulid-Relocate-and-Repla/

felohidalgo6 months ago
With that amount of wind which is the total voltage pruduced ?
Yes. What voltage will it hit in good wind. How many amps or watts does it make? What voltage cordless drill did you use?

Your windgen looks great! Thanks for taking the time to document it.
ddavis662 (author)  pbickwermert1 month ago

Thanks for the compliments and sorry for the very late reply!!!

It would produce around 12 volts during the high gust of wind.

Not sure about the amps or the watts.

The friction bearing housing finally gave up after a series of heavy thunderstorms.

MacOSJoey1 year ago
You really did a beautiful job with this machine. It's such a simple yet very effective looking design. You're furling system is the first DIY attempt at this style. I'm personally working on my own turbine, but I haven't been able to find a good way to connect the shaft on the blades to the generator. I think I will use your idea, as it seems to work very well. Only two things I would recommend: See about making the generator housing a little more weatherproof. I'm not sure where you are but where I am ice, snow, rain, dust, etc. can wreck havoc on anything. Also you should really see into connecting this turbine to a charge controller and batteries or a grid tie inverter. For how much it spins, it shows potential for a decent power yield.

Great job!!
ddavis662 (author)  MacOSJoey1 year ago
Thanks for the compliment on my work! In connecting the chuck to a shaft, be it the generator or a blade hub, I use a pair of channel lock pliers and vise grips to tighten the chuck as tight as possible. The PVC housing seems OK and I have the wind generator hooked up to a regulator that is part of a solar charge system with 3 dry cell 12 volt batteries at my mom and dads country home.
Check out this instructable,
http://www.instructables.com/id/Small-Wind-Generator-Rebulid-Relocate-and-Repla/
When I get a chance I'm going to delete it and add it as a step to this instructable.
As you can see the gearing has worn very little and the interior seems fairly clean.
On the housing cover, you can see that the gearing has spun so fast, that it has slung Teflon grease onto the cover.
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Also, does the turbine make as much noise as there is in the video? Is it bothering?
ddavis662 (author)  MacOSJoey1 year ago
yea, the gearing hums that loud. Not bothering at all, it's kind of cool to hear.
How do you keep the wires coming from the motor from tangling up when the turbine spins around? Is there some kind of stop attached so it cant rotate freely? And also, do you have any ideas on how to make a homemade charge controller for a wind turbine? , do you buy your charge controllers? If so what brand do you recommend?
ddavis662 (author)  Electronics Man1 year ago
Sorry for the late reply, I've been on vacation. I just have an old phone line running through the pipe/tower to the generator. If it does twist up, I have to untwist the wire. As for controllers... I don't use a charge controller since the power that is being generated is normally less than 12 volts.
Check this guys site out for a lot technical information that mine lacks...
http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/
ddavis662 (author)  ddavis6621 year ago
7/15/12 I took my windmill down to relocate it. This is how twisted the phone line was. Doesn't look to bad to me.?
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Wow, that looks really good. I thought it would be worse than that.
ddavis662 (author) 1 year ago
the furling mechanism being put to the test!
I love the furling mechanism you made. At what wind speed does it start to lift up, and how could you adjust it to lift at different speeds?
ddavis662 (author)  Electronics Man1 year ago
Not sure about the wind speeds. I guess somewhere between 20 and 30 mph winds. The furling mechanism can be adjusted by raising or lowering the nuts on the bolts that the springs are attached to.
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wow thats great! I never thought of making it that way but now i really want to try
ddavis662 (author) 1 year ago
here is a good video of the wind generator steadily spinning and steering in the winds as a storm approached.
harsat2 years ago
I do not understand why you are thinking so Small,
how about this, a Gas powered Generator, One where the gas motor does not work,
why can you not take the generator and make a wind turbin out of it?

I mean come on, a drill is fine and dandy for a small school project, but lets get serious, we want to produce electricity, and there are alot of generators that dont work or need to have the gas motor repaired that would make a good
Wind Turbin Generator, I was also thinking what if you hooked up a solar powered battery with a super gear setup to power the generator at night. just an Idea.

ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
1/8/2012
Step 9 is about a furling mechanism that I made after the wind generator blades came loose after a day of high winds.
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ddavis662 (author)  ddavis6622 years ago
Check out the furling mechanism at work in 20-30 mph gust.
ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
Update 1/2/12
Our area experienced high gusty winds, some at over 30 MPH for about 2days.
My four bladed wind generator made it through most of the high winds, then the blade assembly finally spun loose and then was spinning freely on the bolt that was being held by the chuck.
Then the blades wildly spinning wobbling and were striking the mast and ripped off the cover to the gearing and motor.
Only a minor chip on one of the blades.There was times I thought the mast was going to bend, as the generator was spinning wildly in the high gusts.

I should have the wind generator back up and spining in just a matter of days.
ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
Wind generator in the back ground, with the solar panel mounted to the deck railing, the Night Watch Man mounted on the right/center post and the LED lights hanging down behind both center post.
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ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
An idea that I'm working on using the chuck from #1, but reversed.
The gearing on the small 12 volt motor and the "hub" match.
Then it will be easy to experiment with different blade designs by using the "chuck" to hold the blades.
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ddavis662 (author)  ddavis6622 years ago
Check out step #8
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ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
I've got #2 up and generating power at my parents farm.
Brought #1 back to my house for future experiments.
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ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
Step #7 starts my plans for test model #2
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ddavis662 (author)  ddavis6622 years ago
Test model #2 up and spinning (step #7)
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ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
6 weeks have passed since being up in my backyard and weathering through several thunderstorms with high winds.
It was time to take it out to my mom and dads farm house, where I have them a solar powered LED lighting system for the front porch.
I soldered a blocking diode to one of the leads running from the generator and just hooked it directly to one of the 12 volt dry cell batteries.
I have the cord about 8' high running from the pole, to their porch, then to the batteries.
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ddavis662 (author)  ddavis6622 years ago
I added this as my 6th step to include more details about setting it up.
dougomatic2 years ago
How about using an alternator for a car? That would put out enough amps and volts to make it useful. You have dozens of devices that can use the power generated.
A car alternator needs to be turned at too high of a speed to be useful in wind generation of power, unless you figure out a gearing system or heavily modify the alternator.A better idea would be to use a treadmill motor. no mods, and produces lots of usable power.
ddavis662 (author)  dougomatic2 years ago
Thanks for the suggestion. But for right now I've got several DC projects planned.
ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
Everyday, I drive by this windmill just going to waste out in a hay field.
I would love to rig a generator up to it's old water pump gearing.
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ddavis662 (author) 2 years ago
My son and I got the larger motor up and spinning in just a matter minutes.
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badvoodoo222 years ago
I really like the drill motor idea. I have been researching about windmills for awhile and have two links to include. The first for another more in depth DYI windmill. The second link is to a site that I have no affiliation with, but looks like a real good motor " Expensive".

1. http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/

2. https://www.windbluepower.com/

Hope this helps

badvoodoo22
http://www.badvoodoo22.com/
ddavis662 (author)  badvoodoo222 years ago
Thanks! I've had your website bookmarked for awhile. I really like your ideas and updates on your project (new blades, 12 volt LED lights, ect...)
Wow, that is a pricey motor.
I bought this motor for $18.
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/DCM-517/12-VDC-MOTOR/1.html
I'm afraid it is to high of an RPM motor to generate much power.
But it will be worth a try.
Thanks again for your compliments and interest!

D. Just want you to know the link I included for the other windmill is not my personal link.
ddavis662 (author)  badvoodoo222 years ago
Oh OK.
Still a great site for everyone to see!
I've added another step titled "prep work for the larger motor"
I hope to have that larger motor up in a few days.
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