Introduction: DIY Wind Generator

About: Being a science student i love to indulge in projects related to engineering as i love to learn things practically...

The idea of generating electrical energy using the wind energy always attracts me. So now being a well equipped DIYer its time to built the first wind generator from scratch.

The whole idea is to built a small wind generator using relaible techniques and the stuff thats best suited to serve the purpose while gathering all the material from the hardware store or a junkyard.

Well time to get our hands dirty.

Step 1: Material and Tools

The following list of materials and tools is what we need to get our idea into reality but the goal is to get the job done and thus can vary.

List of material used in this project:

  • Old hoverboard
  • 6 inch PVC pipe
  • 5mm round metal platees
  • 1 inch metal strips
  • Ply wood
  • Nut and bolts
  • 2 inch galvanize pipe

List of tool used in this project:

  • Hand drill
  • Jig saw
  • Angle grinder
  • Soldering iron
  • Pliers

And some other hand tools...

Step 2: The Generator

Yes the generator, for that we have decided to use a brushless hub motor and the one that we found was from an old hoverboard, as these days you can easily find one arround in a scrap yard. The reason for using a permanent magnet hub motor is the fact that you dont need to worry about the brushes wearing out as in a brushed motor and their effiency, which is far better than a similar size brushed motor.

Besides that these hoverboard motors can produce good voltage even when handcranked. Now this factor is important for a wind generator as even with slight gusts of wind we can get voltage that can get the system working.

Now with all the factors in mind we have dissassembled a hioverboard and get our hands on one of the motor. Most of the times these motors are in good condition but just to make sure they are in working condition, mount the motor on a bench with the shaft using a clamp. Now attach a 12v bulb on any two of the three thick wire and give the motor a quick spin by hand. The bulb should make a decent glow , now you can do that with the other remaining wire as well.

Next, we dissassembles the motor with the six flat head screws on the back of the motor. Pull the back plate and remove the tyre with a screw driver. Now time to step on the casing and pull the stator using a plier , sure you are going to need some fore doing that.

Once the rotor and stator are seperated,

Step 3: Blades Adapter

To get the motor spinning , we need to translate the wind energy into mechanical energy. So to make the motor spin we need to mount the blades on the hub motor and for that we are going to need an adapter.

Now the adapter is made of two 3mm thick steel plates with a diameter of 6 inch. The blades holder are going to be 1 inch wide 5mm thick steel stripes that are going to be sandwitched between the steel discs.

A template scetch later we did a bunch of holes that are going to help as mount the discs on the hub motor and hold the blades aswell.

With a paint of coat all the parts are ready for the assembly.

Step 4: Assembling the Blades Adapter

While assembling the adapter make sure that everything is as balanced as it can be because if its the otherway arround than bearings are now going to last much.

Once we got the adapter assembled on the rotor, we reassembled the motor and this time we cut of the five thin wires as they are useless in our case.

Step 5: Main Holder

To hold everything together we are going to use a 2 inch wide 7mm thick steel stripe. We are going to mount the hub motor by using a pair of adapters that the motor is mounted with on the hoverboard and for that we have drilled four holes.

The other end is going to hold the tail so two 6mm holes for that as well. Now for mounting that bar on the moving platform we have to get a 36mm hole almost across the centre of the stripe, this will allow the head of the main bolt to be tightened across the whole assembly.

Step 6: Moving Mechanism

Now to keep the blades into the wind we need a moving mechanism. To save us time and money and lots of machining we adapted the hinge mechanism of the hoverboard that allows the board to get tilted in either direction for turning the board.

We first cutoff the centre piece off the hoverbaord body, split the connecting rod into half and with a bunch of holes our moving assembly is ready.

Now to mount this moving assembly onto the pole we made a pair of adapters out opf two 4mm thick steel plates with a diameter of 4 inch.

One of the adapter plate will be welded to the mounting pole on the roof top with the other one is going to be sandwitched with the moving mechanism to mount the whole assembly on the mounting pole.

Step 7: The Tail Assembly

In order to make the tail for wind turbine we are going to need a piece of 10mm plywood. We cut a triangular shape and mounted using two 5mm metal plates. The tail holder is going to be a hexagonal rod which is going to get the tail mounted on the main plate.

Step 8: Blades

The blades are made out of 6inch Dia PVC Pipe. No calculation but just a good assumption to get things going. The blades were cut down using a jig saw, could be done with a handsaw as well. Each blade is 5 inch at the widest part and nearly 2 inch at the narrow end. Both the ends were trimmed to give them a nice shape and make them spin smoothly.

The blades were 40 inch in length and yes the most important piece of advice, make sure you use the heaviest gauge of pipe and cut all the blades with the taper/pitch in the same direction.

Step 9: The Paint Job

In order to protect our wind turbine from rust we are going to paint every thing using the matalic black spray and that gives the wind turbine pretty nice look. Simple as that....

Step 10: The Final Assembly

With paint dired, we assembled everything together starting from the moving mechanism. Once the moving mechanism is assembled we temporarily mounted in on a wooden baord that is clamped to the table. Next we mounted the hub motor on the main plate. Later the blades were mounted again making sure that they are well balances with equal distance between their tips. Finally the tails assembly is completed and yes with that being done the generator is ready to convert gusts into sparks .... Yes we need some more work to gut those sparks into useful form of energy.

Step 11: Rectifier Unit

Remember three thick wires poping out of the hub motor, yes its a three phase brushless motor and thus its going to produce a three phase Alternating current. Now to convert it into DC volatge (More useful form) we have designed and built a customized three phase rectifier unit.

To make it as neat as the rest of the parts, we decided to built the rectifier unit on our own customized Printed Circuit Boards. Now this customization is made possbile by JLCPCB, one of the largest PCB manufacturer in China, proving a vast range of soultions for manufacturing your customized Printed Circuit Boards at an outstanding price right at your door step.

The Design Files for the rectifier unit can be uploaded on JLCPCB and after going through a bunch of options you can easily place your order.

We recieved the boards within a week and the quality is flawless. We than gathered all the parts and sottered them on the PCB.

With that being donw our rectifier unit is ready to be attached to the generator.

Step 12:

In order to mount our wind turbine unit we are goint to use 3 inch diameter galvanize pipe. The lower end of the pipe is mounted using two metal brackets on the floor and on the upper end of the pipe we have welded the 5mm thick metal plate to get the flat surface

Step 13: Final Results

With the rectifier unit attached to the generator, the generator is mounted on top of our roof.Its nearly 40 foot high with decent clearance all arround.

Now the rectifier unit coupled with a buck boost converter is allowed to charge a 12v lead acid battery to act as a load for the generator. The generator started spining with moderated gusts and started charging the battery.

The generator is able to produce nearly 150 watts of power (12-15v at 14-10 Apms) with a wind speed of nearly 5 to 7 m/s. Now that is our first attemp at building a wind generator so we are looking forward to built a bigger one so get some more energy out of the winds.

Hope you like the projects.


DIY King

Make it Move

Second Prize in the
Make it Move