Introduction: Wind Turbine/s for Free! (Small 8"inch Blades)
Wanted to rig up a few (Small) DC Motor Wind Turbines 2 or 3,in order to gather energy from the sudden and very windy conditions here in the UK Sunlight is..not so harvest worthy as the wind..many cloudy and dull days will not gather anywhere near as much energy as it would from Direct Sunlight,so a combination of small units of both seem the way to go,frequent heavy storms with high winds lead me to the desire to harvest some power from these storm cells that are all too regular an occurrence thesedays.
Will be linked as to Charge A Duel AA Battery Pack,or other recycled battery,i will be using a 3.7v recycled battery charged by 2 small scale wind turbines which will be static,with no pivot mechanism to follow wind direction changes as such repositioning will be required,but not to often,or just set it up in a funnel area,corner of a building that wind likes to spiral around upon working its way around other such buildings.
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Step 1: Parts Needed (all Scavenged)
All the parts needed will be scavenged from various things,and the whole unit will be completely cost free,apart from some time and a little effort not even that much.
x2/3 Small Model DC Motors,or other small scale motor (x1)3volt & (x1)3.5volt.. (extracted mine from broken toys and floppy disk drives)
Thin lightweight,but strong,PVC Tubing about 1.5ft per turbine will be needed (i found mine thrown outside an abandoned house covered in slugs and such wash them off with a hose when you get home)
A broken Venetian Window Blind,one of the slats will be used for turbine blades and cut to shape.if not available use other plastic material try avoid card as weathering will destroy them quickly. (found around the home,or skips etc)
HotGlue and Gun,or Superglue,Just avoid water soluble glues,and glues that take weeks to dry..(a silicon gun would be better just an idea)
Wood or Plastic for the Base of Each Turbine,nothing fancy here,just a flat base to attach the 1.5ft turbine pole to add some ground stability and weight.alternatively you could use guide lines if high winds are expected.
Electronic components tools and parts: x1Blocking Diode(Optional),Some Wire (scavenged from a old power supply),Solder and Iron/gun,(voltage regulator,only needed with higher power motors) A Battery Holder,2 AA Batterys,1 L.E.D Green(optional),(Toroid bead for making a joule thief,needed for low wind speeds)(optional)
(Old PC's An TVs i collected nearly every component i needed from inside these which were found around the streets in skips and corners) battery's recycled from dead phones,AA Batteries from Old Solar Lights,Battery Holders can be acquired from the same place most people have one around the place already,if not just fashion one from a cut up aluminium can tape and some wires.
Step 2: Construction.
This all all pretty strait forward to construct.
1:Saw your PVC tubes too the desired size,around 1.5ft more or less up to you,and repeat as many times as needed for each turbine housing,and then Cut around 2/3INCH's of Tube As many times as there are turbines,this will be the motor housing,now cut a circle/square in the middle of the smaller sections see pictures.
2:Gather your Motors and Solder on A medium Length of Wires on each terminal,and add in your blocking diode on the positive wire,or solder two small wires to the diode and add that first,as to make it removable if cracked or otherwise damaged,common practice to add one to L.E.D's Motors etc.
3:Attach and Hot Glue your Motor Inside the 4/5inch Housing leading the wires out of the holes in the middles of each housing see pictures,and take the long sections and Glue them in place on the smaller sections inside the previously cut holes,should now resemble a Letter T with the right a bit shorter then the left top bar of the T
4:Add A small Tail Fin with Leftover Plastic Cut off's and Glue it in place on the Longer Top T section (Optional) ,Cut a small slot about half inch from the bottom up and slide in the two wires leading from the motor,now glue a small bit on the bottom so the wires do not just fall out of place.
5:The moter bearing is pretty simple cut two small pieces off a section of blind and cut into circles x3,glue two pieces together and then to the moter top itself,the last piece will be ontop of the blades after they are glued in place.
6:The 8" Inch Blades,take your plastic blind material and cut as shown/seen in the semi finished picture,or cut at desired angle use x2 layers of blind for some weight just glue each piece to one another,Glue your blades to the moter top and let dry add the last circle bearing piece,some are more Efficient then other Blade Designs and catch more wind and therefor create more power,so it is worth looking up the correct angle of the blades,but virtually all tapper to a point,and are bevelled on one or both sides.
7:Lastly make the base this can be made from card if you like and that is all that's at hand,plastic cut from a larger Tupperware or microwaveable container plastic in a few layers hot glued should be thick enough and weather resistant enough to be used,that or a piece of 4inch long hardwood with a circle cut in the centre to fit the diameter of the turbine,the battery pack will be added on the base when you want to charge it,or power whatever device,or charger,attach to a usb output for example.
Step 3: Finalizing & Testing.
Once it is Done Take it outside and test it!
Use a multimeter to test how much power you are getting in high wind conditions,Don't use a leaf blower on max power just for a test it is "unrealistic" unless you are expecting extreme wind conditions or know of a place where wind funnels and creates a constant and strong up-draft of wind,certain corners of high buildings catch alot of wind as do slops and hillsides,and coastal areas where wind is a constant and abundant source of free power.
Check pictures and vid too see the Wind turbine in action. (field tests yet to be carried out)
The moter's were of 3v & 3.5v ratings,and when spinning generates the voltage seen on the multimeter.This is in Millivolts 0.25Volts on my 3v spinning the blade "BY HAND" at medium speed...low speed around 0.16Volts...having just found out the exact voltage A joule thief seems a good idea to build into the housing steal some extra 0.09 volts maybe,might not be worth it...as Simply adding a secondary or more turbines in series Will charge a battery after a few days depending on wind conditions obviously a powerful storm that gives you 0.34v per turbine will be near enough 1volt to charge a small battery for your MP3 etc,3/4 turbines would be more ideal.
(I will Improve upon this design with extra parts and fancy bits at a later date,this just the basic no frills proto)
Step 4: (Improvements/Extras/add Ons)
Try adding a Joule Thief to the Turbines to squeeze out any extra volts in there. (to be tested)
Use More then One turbine In order to Double the Voltage output by half per same voltage moter (0.50v on a medium windy day with x2)
Add reverse charging protection so the turbine does not spin from the battery when it reach's a somewhat charged level.. (necessary)