Generating renewable energy through wind power is possible for homes and residences with a single wind turbine. Turbine systems, including the poles, installations, and batteries, can cost up to $20,000. For a low cost option, try building one yourself.
Accessing the free power of the wind for generating electricity is possible in many areas. The first step is to determine the average strength and velocity of the wind that blows over the property. If the average wind speed is more than 10 MPH, a wind turbine would be appropriate to install on your property.
Next, look online for some windmill building guides. While the information to build a windmill system yourself isn’t free, it comes from people who are dedicated to the technology, and who’ve spent years perfecting their individual systems. Comprehensive books, including Hugh Piggott’s A Wind Turbine Recipe Book and Off-Grid Living’s Homemade Wind Generator guide, are low-cost, step by step guides that provide valuable information from people who live to build wind power systems.
Common household tools can be used to build your turbine structure, including raising the pole on which your turbine will sit, connecting the turbine to the battery and inverter that will turn it into usable electricity for your home, and general maintenance.
The blades can be made from PVC pipe, plywood, corrugated cardboard, or metal if steel working tools are available. The base and frame of the turbine, and the tail, can be made from the same materials. Also, Honeywell sells turbines through Ace Hardware, which can then be mounted on a pole and connected to the electrical system.
The turbine itself strongly affects the amount of electricity the system can generate. Turbine blades should be the correct length to catch the most average wind; longer blades will generate energy even with slower wind speeds, while shorter blades can create energy faster from strong winds. The turbine should be mounted high enough in the air to be unobstructed by trees, buildings, and hills, in order to catch the strongest winds.
The turbine will be connected to the home via electrical wires that feed into a battery, which is where the energy will first be stored. The battery can be powered by regular AA batteries or NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries. In order for the energy generated by your windmill to be used by your home, it will need to be converted using an inverter.
If you plan to meet the entire home’s electricity usage needs with the wind turbine, your wind power system is complete. If you’ll be supplementing renewable wind power with electricity from your utility, you’ll need to connect the turbine system to your electric grid. Once connected, the grid will take in any extra energy generated by the wind turbine during times of strong wind, and will provide electricity to your home when winds are slow.
A comprehensive wind turbine DIY guide can provide specific plans and instructions for the builder. A DIY wind power system is a great way to save money for those mechanically inclined people, and it’s also a great opportunity to use salvaged and recycled materials for your renewable energy needs. The DIY wind turbine system won’t, in all likelihood, achieve efficiencies above 1000 KW capacity, but the opportunity is there for your household’s electrical needs to be fully met with renewable energy.
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