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74 posts

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Topic # 160152 26-Dec-2014 10:41
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Hi

I am looking at building a home made wind turbine, for my test run I'm not interested in putting out alot of power just enough to run something small to see if I can actually do it.

Im thinking all I'll need is
1. Wind Mill Sharped Blades
2. A Low output Car Alternator
3. A Converter (Alternator to Usable Power)
4. Small parts to put it together and put it on a pole or my roof.

NOW does anyone have any advise for me on this interested in everything anyone has to say.

I am also going to after a few tests, i'm going to look at different ways of actually mounting them. Different angles on the blades and different ways to catch the wind and get it to the turbine.

Anyone with parts in whitianga hit me up bout them 

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  Reply # 1203961 26-Dec-2014 11:04
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For offgrid power I'd strongly recommend solar PV as your primary generation method. Solar panels produce 10x the amount of power per dollar spent, have far less mantainence and are a lot less situationally dependent than wind turbine.

This is what you will require for wind:
- A good site with lots of wind and no near obstacles creating turbulence (trees, hills)
- A long mast to raise your wind turbine 6 metres higher than any close buildings
- Remember to have some sort of speed brake or dump load!

If you really want to DIY, I'd strong recommend using a smart drive motor wired to produce 3-phase AC rather than an car alternator (as these have a built in rectifier to produce DC). The reason for this is you will need your turbine to put out a higher (preferably over 100V) voltage to accommodate voltage drop in your cable run.

Be aware of people offering plans online (especially at a fee) for DIY wind generation. Last year I met someone who proudly told me how he was running classes and charging people for this information - when I pressed further, it transpired he did not have a working example and he was not aware of even the basics I have outlined above.

A lot like hydro, this is an idea that may look nice and easy in theory but unless you get really lucky, you will quickly discover the realities... which go a long towards explaining why very few people micro generate power this way.

I speak from the experience of actually having my own micro generation plant. Mine is solar and with what I now know, I'm very likely to use a diesel generator as the secondary generation method.



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  Reply # 1203979 26-Dec-2014 11:37
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Good to know

But one thing

The 6 metres high you said, if they have to be so high how come a company here in nz sells that to be on you roof with only a 1.5 to 2 metre high mast, or is that 6 metres high including the height of a house and then the wind turbine too?

I just doing it to see if I can actually make one you know just to tinker with and make power, I'll get bigger and use different ways to get the wind to move the turbine.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1203985 26-Dec-2014 11:58
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If you want a little project just to fool around with, go ahead and use an alternator.

Designing & build a little 12V wind turbine system's fun.

We did it many years ago, modified & tweaked a lot of stuff as we went along, it gave us a good grounding in what's actually required.

Of course it won't generate usable power. Might keep a battery charged.

As MichaelNZ pointed out  there are people out there with no clue - the blind leading the blind - presenting themselves as experts.
You'll have learnt enough for your BS meter to go off when you meet them..

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  Reply # 1204006 26-Dec-2014 12:33
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DougWin:

The 6 metres high you said, if they have to be so high how come a company here in nz sells that to be on you roof with only a 1.5 to 2 metre high mast, or is that 6 metres high including the height of a house and then the wind turbine too?



The company is telling you wrong. I can not over emphasise this - it's a 'trendy' industry to be in right now but it has a lot of sellers and in reality not many customers.

If you want to have a play with generating your own power I'd go with solar as it's a lot lesser risk. As long as you angle your panels reasonably and have no shading, you'll get power. Have enough panels of a realistic size (200W+) and you'll get usable power.

Just don't replicate a well known NZ actor posing for Green party propaganda where her panels were all shaded by a row of trees. A rather unprofessional look, especially when you're trying to push the cause.

If you really want to have a play with wind, I'd look at the low cost wind turbines Jaycar is selling. They are not what I'd buy, but they are cheap, the real thing and it's unlikely you will be able to make your own any cheaper.

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  Reply # 1204203 26-Dec-2014 20:00
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If I was to DIY one, I'd use a helix turbine (Google it).  Mechanically a lot simpler than a traditional propeller model.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 1204205 26-Dec-2014 20:03
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And I'd get a hot water cylinder with a second element, use that as the load dump.  The thermal mass will take a lot of power, and will eventually vent while still absorbing power.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 1204225 26-Dec-2014 21:21
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Speaking of solar panels, exactly how fragile are they?


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  Reply # 1204227 26-Dec-2014 21:22
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Davout: Speaking of solar panels, exactly how fragile are they?



Pretty robust, though can you be more specific?

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  Reply # 1204266 26-Dec-2014 22:04
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I would like to get a solar panel set up for my mum, I wouldn't want her to worry every time there is a storm. Hail, debris in the wind, that sort of thing.

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  Reply # 1204270 26-Dec-2014 22:06
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Davout: I would like to get a solar panel set up for my mum, I wouldn't want her to worry every time there is a storm. Hail, debris in the wind, that sort of thing.


As long as you buy known brand panels you'll be fine. Solar panels are installed around the world in a variety of environments.

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  Reply # 1204274 26-Dec-2014 22:21
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Davout: I would like to get a solar panel set up for my mum, I wouldn't want her to worry every time there is a storm. Hail, debris in the wind, that sort of thing.


Anything that will damage them will cause other damage so you will be putting an insurance claim in anyway.




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  Reply # 1204309 27-Dec-2014 00:05
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keep in mind, car alternators struggle to charge much even at engine idle (appox 800RPM)
Most will only give you good charge rates at above 1200-1500RPM

So with wind power (without some gearing) you will be getting rather small trickle charge.

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  Reply # 1204359 27-Dec-2014 09:25
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Gozer: keep in mind, car alternators struggle to charge much even at engine idle (appox 800RPM)
Most will only give you good charge rates at above 1200-1500RPM

So with wind power (without some gearing) you will be getting rather small trickle charge.


After some complicated calculations (not!) we geared ours with a starter ring gear off a Kawasaki ride on mower, brazed the starter gear onto the alternator shaft.

Used a light truck front hub welded onto a length of pipe as the tower.

Made our own slip ring, self furler etc.



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  Reply # 1204366 27-Dec-2014 09:40
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I'm no expert (still just a casual browser on the subject, thinking about experimenting with it someday) but am I right in saying you probably don't want to attach this sort of thing to your house because of vibration noise it will cause?  Advice I have seen suggests you want a free standing pole or maybe a on a building other than a dwelling.  This may not apply to a quiet commercially built turbine, I'm thinking 'experimental' designs may be an issue tho.



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  Reply # 1204409 27-Dec-2014 10:18
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LesF: This may not apply to a quiet commercially built turbine, I'm thinking 'experimental' designs may be an issue tho.


"quiet" and "wind turbine"? Have you ever seen one IRL?

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