Remember when you could make your own little hobby generator that involved twisting the wire around several nails? Its almost getting that simple to make your own DIY wind turbine using material found in your home or even salvaged from an old washing machine or treadmill. We explored the web for some top ideas on what it would take to create a hobby turbine or solar panel that could actually offset some energy expenses at your farm, cabin, boat, or cottage. Here is a sample of some creative ideas to get off the grid.
#1 DIY Car Alternator Wind Turbine – Mother Earth News
This simple project involves taking a car alternator with a voltage regulator and creating an off-the-grid source of electricity for the author’s remote cabin.
The small turbine is mounted on top of an old TV antenna tower, (remember those?), with standard piping and brackets to keep it all secure. The system is connected to on-site storage batteries. The whole DIY Wind Turbine project was about $1000.
It’s not the prettiest wind turbine, but it is cheap. The author did warn that due to the weight of the motor, getting the DIY wind turbine rig on top of the 20-foot tower was a challenge.
#2 DIY Snow Shovel Wind Turbine
This next project makes creative use of a common tool found in north country; the snow shovel. This author bought most of this gear on Amazon and created a tower for his DIY wind turbine on wood 4x4s.
Most of the material he bought on Amazon is comprised of electrical conduit pipes, joints, and nipples. The project generated power with a 300-watt permanent magnet motor mounted on the base.
The author, Mountain (Boomer) Mike‘s total budget for this DIY wind turbine, came in at a skinny $200. A real low threshold to get your wind turbine in place. A complete list of parts can be found at SolarPowerSimplified.com
#3 DIY Treadmill Motor Vertical Access Wind Turbine
This next DIY wind turbine project is a rig you can place just about anywhere. It could even be portable. Using bike wheel rims, PVC pipe, and a salvaged treadmill motor.
With an estimated 50 watts of generated power, this portable vertical turbine can be moved and placed where the wind is. The one drawback that the author notes is that it takes quite a bit of wind to get the rotation started. All the materials were scavenged from garages, and junk shops, effectively making the cost of this DIY wind turbine project $0.
#4 DIY Washing Machine Motor Vertical Wind Turbine
We saved the best for last. This author gives a step by step guide to creating a simple wind turbine using cut PVC pipe and an old washing machine motor. The PVC blades are stacked on a single pole for a nice look.
A 15 step guide; illustrated and explained in great detail. With hand power tools and salvaged materials, you can make a fully functional DIY wind turbine project. Thus, do it in one weekend! The author claims that this washing machine version generates 50 watts at no load. Specific plans can be found at making a vertical wind generator from a washing machine motor.
Related DIY Wind Generator Reading at Thumbwind
Construction of Thumb Loop Transmission Line. The loop is 62 miles starting from the site of the new Bauer substation in southwestern Tuscola County, to the new Rapson substation in Huron County, in Sigel Township.
Home Wind Turbines in the Future. – Michigan’s Thumb region will see more users of home wind turbines in use for farms, and cottages. Advances in technology have made this potential more affordable. Even “Big Box” home improvement stores have wind generation products for sale for home use.
Building a Wind Turbine in Five Minutes. MidAmerican Energy put together this terrific video that shows the entire process of building a wind turbine. The video is a little over five minutes and includes factoids during the entire process.