This is a tutorial for my smart drive base wind turbine. this is a complex project and i had already built it before i started this tutorial so it wont go into everything but i will try.

Step 1: Materials and Tools.

  • 50mmX75mmX600mm box section steel (for frame)
  • Solid or laminated wood suitable for blades.(will get sizes when we get to that step)
  • Two smart drive washing machine motors, including bearings and two shafts.
  • some plywood or sheet metal for the tail.
  • 50mmX5000mm thick walled pipe (for top of tower)
  • thick walled pipe with a inside diameter of 50mm and 150mm long for pivot.
  • some 20mmX2000mm pipe for tail
  • other assorted pieces of small metal for other parts we will get to.
  • lots of thick gauge insulated wire (for rewiring stators)
  • 50mmX5000mm box section for tower.
  • Heavy gauge insulated two core wire to run the power from your wind turbine to where you want the power.
  • Welder
  • hacksaw
  • grinder
  • drill and drill bits
  • bandsaw
  • tablesaw
  • thicknesser ( i used this for machining parts of the blades but this maybe done by hand.)
  • carving tools
  • other assorted hand tools.

Step 2: Frame and Tail

The frame is made out of 75mmX50mm hollow steel, with a angle section welded on one end to act as a rest for the tail and a section of one of the shafts of the smart drive washing machine motor has been welded on a  angle of 30 degrees back and to the side away from the stator to provide the furling for the tail. The bearing mount for the generators is made out of some flat stock  and round stock with a bolt to lock the bearing assembly in. to make this simpler i would do way with the mount that i made and make u-bolts to go over the bearing assembly and lock it down on the frame. the swivel is a piece of the 75mmX50mm box section with a 150mm length of 50mm inside diameter pipe welded on the bottom for the swivel. this is all held on by two u-bolts to allow adjustment for the furling.
The tail is the 200mmX20mm steel pipe welded to a section of pipe with a 30mm inside diameter at a angle of 55 degrees with a gusset for strength, this is the swivel end. The other end has a piece of plywood or sheet metal bolted to it, This needs to be about 700mm square at least.

Step 3: Alternators

The smart drive motors straight out of the washing machine will produce from 0-400v 3-phase AC at only a couple of amps, which is useless for battery charging or anything else. so it needs rewiring for this i found http://www.thebackshed.com/Windmill/FPRewire.asp very useful it tells you all you need to rewire one of these for your needs. I ended up rewiring my with all the poles in parallel on each stator to give the highest current and lowest voltage which was good for a 12v system then i make a electronic control to switch the two alternators from series and parallel to get best efficiency in different wind condition. This isn't needed each alternator could just be wired together.
to mount the two stators on one shaft the shaft had to be modified the spline has been extended to fit new position of the magnetic rotor this was done by a engineer. the bearing holder is set up so the stator can go on both ends so the second stator was just bolted on the other end.

Step 4: Blades

The design for the blades can be found here http://www.otherpower.com/bladecarving.html In this the blades are made out of solid wood to make a stronger blade try laminating multiple pieces of wood together or layer plywood like i did.

Step 5: Tower

The tower i decided to use was fold down for easy maintenance, it consists of 50mm by 5000mm square tubing for the main base that was concreted at the bottom and bolted to the shed at the top. Then a 50mm diameter pipe 4000mm long with a pivot in the middle for lowering and raising.

Step 6: Electronics

The electronics i built all myself, the designs for the charge controller are from http://www.mdpub.com/555Controller/index.html is is a very simple design but works well and by changing the current rating of the relay, can switch huge amounts of current. i also included a logger to record all the data from my wind turbine the design was from http://www.thebackshed.com/Windmill/PicLog.asp this was fun as it included programing and was a test of my skill. the last electronic component of my wind turbine was a gen stepper, i designed and built this myself its function was to switch the two alternators from, in series in low wind so i got a low wind charging speed then when the wind picked up it would switch the two alternators in parallel to give maximum current and charging capabilities. this made this turbine very efficient. The gen stepper had to switch using the rpm of the generator because the voltage was clamped by the batteries and it had to be programmable to make it calibrated to get it to switch at the best time. A instructables for this project can be found here https://www.instructables.com/id/Improve-your-renewable-energy-setup/

Step 7: Finished Wind Turbine

Just before i got the whole system working together we ended up moving house so the whole project has gone into storage for a while, so soon as a get it up in its new place i will get photos and data from the logging up on this page. if you want to have a look at any other wind turbine projects of mine , show me your own or ask me some questions have a look at my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homemade-wind-turbines/225629190800214 .
a wicked idea bro , put to good use. A question to all if i may? an idea popped into Swaxmans brain whilst cutting pvc blades for his WindCoGen. the idea a " ducted fan wind turbine" . basically self explanitory. 360deg of turbine blades shrouded in a cylindrical houseing , normal centre bearing , and shaft coupled to the MagCoGenerator, Blades being ,practical and $$ viable .producing good torque work well, could swaxmans ducted fan design work and be as efficient as three blades?
By thicknesser do you mean a Micrometer?
<p>A thicknesser is a machine that decreases the thickness of timber. google wood thicknesser.</p>
Ahh I know what you mean now.
efficiency will be greatly improved with blades.
Yes efficiency has now been improved with blades!
lol I really hope that was meant as a joke. <br>
What are you using with the coils? in terms of magnetism, you didn't cover that part? <br> <br>Nice design though!
The alternators are off smart drive washing machines. they have the magnetic rotor with them that i leave un-altered so thats why i didn't put it in. the coils are just re-wound to give a lower voltage and higher current.
This looks interesting, but what on earth is the VGA cable there for? and how would you use it?? It looks to me like a small PCB circuit, and I see no micro controller that could produce a GUI...
Its a serial port, not VGA. it is used to program the picaxe micro-controller and to collect the logging data.
I have a lot of UPS units which most of the small ones were srapped, but wonder if you could use the larger systems to convert to 120volts, while using the battery stack to store the wind generated power. I would also like to know if there is a way to increase or modulate the generators to keep blade speed at a managable speed in high wind conditions, or basically, as a brake and thus being able to utilize all power developed, instead of using a mechanical brake to keep blades from over-spin...... <br> <br>I really like this instructable, please update when you get moved and get the unit operating.... <br> <br>Dan
Yep your idea should work well. the speed of the blades are regulated by the self furling tail so it will get to its max output then as the wind speed increases it will furl towards the tail regulating the blades speed.
Having easy access to the head and blades is very important, as bugs are one of the downfalls of blade performance. They will need to be cleaned frequently if you expect to operate at peak performance. <br> <br>Keep up the good work, and any designs that will make this a maintenance friendly system. This has always been a problem with the much bigger commercial units, keeping it clean that is........ I always wondered about some kind of teflon coating for the blades, but even then you would need access to wipe the blades clean. <br> <br>Dan
how do you protect the whirly bits from inclement weather? <br> <br>The bearings and wires were never meant to stay outside in the rain, snow, sun, etc... <br>Or do you just tilt the tower down, and rebuild them when stuff starts to go wonky?
Very good point as i said i didn't get it all quite working before i packed it up before moving house, there is a fiberglass cover that covers all the electronics and things up top.
Well There some sealed bearing /heavy duty that exist, they were made to work outside, with some water displacing grease you would only need to grease them from time to time (Grease line could be fitted look up &quot;Auto-librification system&quot; for idea) <br> <br>As for the wire... there a lots protector type. A good quality one combined with ether &quot;pro-seal&quot; or Deutsch connector could do the trick.
Hey, I like the turbine design, but just a thought to make it more efficient. You could turn the second motor backwards and put a second set of blades going the opposite direction of the first, this would give you more than wife as much efficiency beause each blade would be easier to turn because of less drag from the motors, you would now have two, and the opposite directions is used in high efficiency plane and nuclear turbines. Just a thought, it wiuldn't require any rewiring just a new setup for the alternators.
The problem with that is the second alternator would get turbulence of the first set of blades decreasing its efficiency hugely, your properly better off having them on the same set of blades and making them bigger.
Could you please add a handmade drawing for this?
i was with you until you suggested;Heavy gauge insulated two core wire to run the power from your wind turbine to where you want the power.. Take it from me, When ever your dealing with Any kind of Metal on a High Pole, Always 3 Core electrical Wire, Such as Romen-X Metal shielded Wire, So it can be Easily Grounded. Thus Saving You, Your Family and Your Home from Lightning Strikes and Fire. <br>Also, Always Keep your Storage Batteries separate from your house, Depending on what type of battery you use, Your Battery room can be full of Hydrogen Gas resulting in a very Deadly Explosion. But your Idea looks great, Good Job.
Yeep your right about the earth wire thanks. The batterys are been keep separate they have there own little shed. <br> <br>thanks for your advice
Ciao Ben, <br>very well described, indeed. <br>Have you got any preview or real information about the amount of achieved power w/r to wind conditions? <br>Even early preliminary data would be welcome.... <br>
Beautiful, very simplistic design and a very good one. Thank You for sharing

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a student studying engineering at Canterbury University in New Zealand. with a passion for renewable energy, electronics and almost all engineering. I have ... More »
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