Today you will learn how to choose wind turbine motors and build a simple and cheap low power motorwind turbine, homemade from scratch.
Do you want to know the best?
You can easily find the best motors for DIY wind turbine plans online.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and complete a purchase, freeonplate.com earns an affiliate commission for you, free of charge.
Or better yet, you can build a homemade wind turbine entirely out of some scrap parts.
In fact, both approaches are affordable and fairly simple. I'll reveal everything in a minute.
And for those who are nervous about getting started, I have good news.
2022 it is possible to buya complete wind turbine kit for the price of a motor!
Here is the proof:
|Product||Horizontales Wind Turbines KIT||Motor for DIY wind turbine|
|perfomance||800 W||400 W|
|Preis||Check price on Amazon||Check price on Amazon|
Or the following runner-up products:
|Product||Vertical Wind Turbine KIT||Motor for DIY wind turbine|
|perfomance||400 W||400 W|
|Preis||Check price on Amazon||Check price on Amazon|
Read on if you are determined to just buy a motor and build your DIY wind turbine from scratch.
Table of Contents
- Types of wind turbines
- Types of Wind Turbine Engines
- How to build a small wind turbine
- How does a wind turbine generate electricity?
- How to build a wind turbine using a floppy drive stepper motor
- Cheap Wind Turbines: How to Build a $5 Wind Belt Generator
I am often asked for advice on how to build a wind generator from scratch.
The truth is that most of them just want to build wind turbines for fun.
However, some people are forced to look for alternative ways to get electricity as they live in an area without access to a power grid, making renewable energy the only option.
Let's see what are the types of wind turbines and how wind generators work in detail, and explain some advanced concepts of generating electricity from wind energy.
After thorough research I have come to the conclusion that it is a success if you get the same price per kWh as with the energy supplier.
On the other hand, the kilowatt hours produced by the wind generator are generally more expensive for the following reasons:
- High maintenance costs;
- In the first place, incorrect sizing of the wind turbine (local conditions and average wind speed of the area should be considered before building the wind turbine);
- Expensive system components (neodymium magnets for wind generator, SLA batteries, PWM charger, converter/inverter and construction itself).
In the USA, electricity production for personal use is permitted without taxes and duties. However, it is illegal to sell it (unless you are registered to do so).
The legal building height on private residential lots is 12 m, which is the maximum height of a propeller-driven windmill in the United States.
Types of wind turbines
There are two basic types of wind turbines, HAWT and VAWT.
Let's explain both types:
HAWT - horizontal windmill with propeller and wind direction indicator, with 50% maximum efficiency (i.e. when the wind is blowing, the windmill can convert 5 kWh/m2 only 50% of it into electricity. Important characteristics are the area covered by the rotor - "swept area". "(if a blade is 1m long, the total gripping area is 3.14m2), then the area of \u200b\u200bthe propellers themselves, the pitch of the propeller, the ratio of the rotational speed of the propeller to the wind speed "tip to speed ratio" etc.
Its main disadvantage is the constructive solution of the current transmission from the rotor to the pole (usually with graphite brushes, but with losses due to sparking and poor fitting) and power losses due to wind direction changes and high loading forces when changing direction. "Roll", by changing the propeller pitch to an empty so-called "yawn", hydraulic brake, parasitic load (three heaters, electronically controlled load at a given speed).
VAWT - vertical windmill, used in areas where the wind direction is variable, as it is immune to change, maximum efficiency is 40% (for Darius type, has excellent application due to the simple design and solid construction features), key features are the profile of the propeller or in this case sails (AIRFOIL NACA 0018 is the most commonly used for example), then the angle of attack of each sail or "pitch" or with 20% efficiency (Savonius type, high torque, significant drag losses "drag ", low speed, rarely used).
motors for wind turbines
Choosing the best wind generator motor is not easy. The following engine types are commonly used as a generator for wind turbines:
- DC motor, also called dynamo generator;
- Single-phase AC motor, also called alternator;
- AC polyphase motor.Stepper Motor Generatoris such an example. Permanent magnet generators are 3-phase AC motor generators.
How does a wind turbine generate electricity?
Wind generator uses wind energy as mechanical energy to generate electrical energy. Check out this impressive animation of theWorking principle of the wind turbine.
How to build a small wind turbine
Today we will also show you how to build two types of wind turbines:
- DIY wind turbine made from an old floppy disk drive
- DIY wind turbine from an old VHS videotape
Does anyone know what VHS tape or floppy disk is?
Stepper Motor Generator: How to build a wind turbine with floppy disk drive
You can connect incandescent bulbs, LED lights, or similar devices that draw up to a few watts to a small homemade wind generator made from parts and a motor scraped from an old 5.25" floppy disk drive!
The construction looks like a toy. Still, it can be useful in different situations: camping, fishing, sailing or anywhere the mains electricity is unavailable.
There was a good reason to use a stepper motor salvaged from a floppy disk drive. PC technology is aging very quickly, and a floppy disk drive can be bought cheaply or even for free.
Stepper motors are very useful for small wind generators. First, they do not require a gear mechanism and the rotor can be attached directly to a turbine propeller. Such a design simplifies the construction of wind turbines and reduces the noise generated by the windmill.
The stepper motor generates a stable voltage even at low speeds (200 rpm), which is a great advantage compared to DC generators/motors. DC motors require at least 10 to 15 times the speed to achieve similar performance. This is very important, especially during weak wind periods.
If you want to start smaller, there is a wind belt DIY project detailed later in this post. Wind-Belt can also charge mobile phones, bluetooth speakers and batteries (AA/AAA Ni-Cd, Ni-Mh).
Do wind turbines produce AC or DC power?
Most wind generators produce alternating current; However, some motors generate direct current.
Wind turbines based on stepper motors or permanent magnet generators only produce alternating current.
DIY wind turbines that use a DC motor produce DC power.
Do wind turbines need inverters?
A rectified and stable power supply is provided via an electronic circuit (few diodes, resistors, capacitors and an integrated circuit). Anyone with soldering experience will be able to construct it.
EDIT: In 2022, electronic circuits will no longer need to be designed from scratch unless you want to. It's cheaper and easier to buy complete electronic modules on aliexpress or eBay; 5 volt buck converters only cost a few dollars.
How much voltage does a home wind turbine produce?
When it's windy outside, the generator in our little windmill produces enough electricity to power the LED flashlight or charge the battery. We connected a USB socket to the wind generator. In this way, Wind could charge all your mobile devices: iPod, cell phone, Bluetooth speakers and more.
Does a Residential Wind Turbine Require Batteries?
The wind turbine doesn't necessarily need a battery to operate, but you do need to use the electricity generated immediately. However, adding batteries to the wind generator system allows you to use electrical energy even in windless periods.
Combine a battery-backed wind turbine with solar power and you have a nice off-grid system.
Steps to build a floppy disk drive wind turbine
First find an old generation PC386, open it up and remove a 5.25 inch floppy drive - pic 1. As you guessed, the floppy drive serves as a "donor" for the most important part - the stepper motor. After opening the floppy disk drive, carefully remove the motor (pictures 2 and 3).
Drill two holes onto the shaft with a stationary drill as shown in Figure 4. Now you can attach the turbine (propeller) directly to the stepper rotor with two screws.
Next we build an electronic charge controller (picture 5). This circuit converts AC power to DC power (DC rectification) and stabilizes the voltage at exactly 5 volts (Image 6), allowing us to plug in any USB device harmlessly.
Figure 7 – Schematic representation of the wind generator
Electronic components should be soldered according to the circuit diagram above. We need to connect wires coming out of the stepper motor to 1N4004 rectifier diodes (pic 7 - shown on the left).
WARNING! Stepper motors usually have five wires, although there are some with 4, 6, or 8 wires. It is important to determine what type of stepper motor you have in order to properly interface it with the wind generator electronics. Here you will find the necessary details for the connectiondifferent stepper motors. Although it is not so easy to "burn" a stepper, I advise you to be careful!
We bought a USB extension cable (pic 8) off E-Bay, cut it in half and connected the wires coming out of the USB socket directly to the output of the windmill electronics (pic 7 - shown on the right). The USB extension cable has four wires, but we only need the outer two, plus and minus 5V (pic 9).
If you want to use a wind turbine just to charge batteries, you can build much simpler electronics than the ones we used (pic 10).
WARNING! Before connecting a USB device, you must check the polarity and the exact voltage (it must be between 4.9 and 5.2 volts) on the USB port!
Installation of wind turbines
Now it's time to make the remaining mechanical parts for the wind generator: prepare a bracket and a turbine (propeller). The bracket consists of the aluminum tube with 3-4mm diameter. Don't forget to fasten it tightly. If you want to move wind generators from one place to another, the best solution would be a mount that attaches with an umbrella stand for portability (pic 11).
The generator (stepper motor) can be easily attached directly to the bracket with clamps or with a metal L-profile. The solution depends on whether you are using a horizontal or vertical turbine. We created both versions and it's up to you to decide which one you prefer.
What is the best material for wind turbine blades?
If you decide to make a horizontal axis wind turbine, you can use the gauge, pen, and scissors to cut sheet metal to create a three-bladed propeller.
You need a metal sheet of 0.8x0.8m, 0.5mm thick. Cut and shape the pieces as shown in picture 12 and attach the turbine to the stepper motor rotor with screws.
If you do not have time to do everything yourself, you can buy ready-made propellers at any hardware store (photo 14).
For the vertical axis wind turbine, the simplest option is to make a turbine out of a plastic bucket (paint can). Cut it in half and attach it to a round wooden or plastic board (pic 13). Finally, the whole windmill structure should be mounted on the generator rotor (stepper motor) with screws.
In strong winds (over 10 m/s), the mini windmill generates around 5 watts. This is the maximum you can get with a floppy drive stepper motor.
However, the power output also depends on the dimensions of the stator and propeller blades.
Vertical axis wind turbines are best suited for roof mounting as they are most effective in turbulent conditions (rapidly changing wind direction). For outdoor use, you can use a horizontal axis windmill with a three-bladed wind turbine.
Can a small wind turbine power a house?
Our small 5 watt wind generator is not capable of powering a house. However, we are currently preparing another DIY project - a 100 watt wind turbine.
In combination with the right battery bank, 100 watts can easily power a television, an LED lamp and a laptop.
As the generator core we use a stepper motor again, but this time from an old A3 dot matrix printer.
What is the Average Cost of a DIY Wind Turbine?
Read on to find out:
Cheap Wind Turbines: How to Build a $5 Wind Belt Generator
So how do you build a windmill without a motor?
Microwind beltGenerator is the answer. And it's probably one of the cheapest and easiest DIY projects ever. Despite its limited power capacity, a small wind turbine can be used in situations where traditional wind generators would normally fail.
Windbelt is assembled from less than $5 worth of parts, making this windmill extremely inexpensive! The price can be even lower if you use an old VHS tape, a small fridge magnet, and transformer coils.
When camping or sailing, a wind belt generator can easily charge your Bluetooth speakers, batteries, cell phone or small LED flashlight...
What is a "Windbelt" wind turbine?
The Wind Belt is a vibrating membrane equipped with a pair of magnets oscillating between coils of copper wire. It even works in a light breeze, making it an ideal small devicewind generator.
The device itself contains no mechanically moving parts; It uses vibrations to generate electricity. Traditional wind generators with rotating blades do not scale well due to the high friction of moving parts and other mechanical components.
When it's windy outside, the small wind band generator produces enough power forSolar LED Flashlightor battery charge.
VHS wind band generator - construction details
First, we gathered all the necessary parts for our micro wind generator:
- An old VHS video cassette serves as the membrane (image 1);
- Two small neodymium magnets scraped from a PC hard drive (pic 11) or fridge magnet souvenirs (pic 2);
- Copper wire spools - pic 3.
You must attach the magnet(s) to a VHS tape with glue. When a magnet moves near a coil, an electric current is generated and flows through the wire. Therefore, the wind belt begins to generate electricity.
Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3
Wind Belt Inverter Electronics
If you want to use a wind generator for LED lights or to charge batteries, no high-tech or complicated electronic circuits are required at the output. If you only want to charge batteries, you can use a very simple rectifier circuit (Figure 4).
To charge USB powered devices you will also need a small voltage regulator (Pictures 5, 6 and 7). You will also need two neodymium magnets and two coils (connected in series) on the wind belt.
Electronic components should be soldered according to the schematic diagrams shown below. Wires coming out of the coils should be connected to rectifier diodes (pic 7).
Picture 4 Picture 5 Picture 6
WARNING! There is only one way to connect the diodes correctly! Check out how to do itDetermining the polarity of a diode; It is important to locate the anode pin. Low power 1N5817 Schottky diodes are best for wind belt generators.
Pic 7 - Electrical Schematic of the Windbelt Pic 8 Pic 9
We bought a USB extension cable (pic 8) off e-bay and cut it in half. Then we connected wires coming out of the USB socket directly to the output of the windmill electronics (pic 7 - shown on the right). The USB extension cable has four wires, but we only need the outer two, plus and minus 5V (pic 9).
WARNING! Before connecting a USB device, you must check the polarity and the exact voltage (it must be between 4.9 and 5.2 volts) on the USB port of the micro wind generator!
Windbelt has nothing to do with a construction based on the Tesla turbine design.
The prototype with a 65 cm long membrane (Fig. 10) and a strong neodymium magnet (Fig. 11) can generate 40 mW at 10 km/h wind.
Not much power, but a series of wind belts could be assembled to generate more power. The existing Windbelt prototype can generate electrical power in wind speeds in excess of 4 mph and at angles of attack of up to 60 degrees.
What wind speed is best for a wind turbine?
As the wind speed increases from 4 to 14 miles per hour, the power output increases at a rate close to one cube of the wind speed increase. At wind speeds above 22 km/h, the power output becomes constant.
One way to improve and stabilize the performance of a wind band turbine over a wider range of wind speeds would be to dynamically increase the tension of the membrane as wind speed increases.
Picture 10 Picture 11
The main advantages of Windbelt over existing micro wind turbine technology are not only cost but also simplicity. Also the fact that it is made up of turbulent wind currents, e.g. B. in built-up residential areas, can absorb electricity well and is also very quiet in operation.
Unlike PV solar panels, wind turbine generators don't scale down as well. Large wind turbines can generate cheap electrical energy very efficiently. As the size of the wind turbine decreases, so does efficiency and the cost per watt produced increases dramatically.
Availability of wind band turbines
Wind belt is a highly efficient and mechanically very simple replacement for the wind generator. Its cheap components can be bought almost anywhere in the world. Windbelt is an original innovation by Mr. Shawn Frayne.
Shawn constructed this simple device using a stretched Mylar membrane fitted with a pair of neodymium magnets that vibrate in and out of coils due to the mechanical resonance of the membrane with the wind blowing across them.
At wind speeds of 16 km/h, the membrane oscillates at 90-100 Hz - the magnets move in and out of the coils 90-100 times per second. Unlike a photovoltaic solar panel or a traditional wind power generator, anyone can build, repair and maintain a wind belt. Large home-made versions of the Wind Belt are doable, but the problem of noise usually arises.
This is the truth about wind belts:
The performance potential of such a low-tech energy source is quite modest. Therefore, windbelt can only supply devices with low energy consumption with electricity. But it is perfect for use in remote areas where we have no alternative.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What is the best motor for DIY wind turbine? ›
You should be looking for a motor with a minimum amperage rating of at least 5 Amps. Anything above 5 Amps and you are good to go. Remember, the more amps and volts the wind generator creates the more power it is producing!Which motor is best for generate electricity? ›
Rule #1: For generation of DC voltage select a brushed DC motor or use a brushless EC (BLDC) motor with voltage rectifier. For the generation of AC voltage, select a brushless EC motor and connect 2 phases only. Hall sensors are not needed on brushless motors.What kind of motor is used in wind turbine? ›
Traditionally, there are three main types of wind turbine generators (WTGs) which can be considered for the various wind turbine systems, these being direct current (DC), alternating current (AC) synchronous and AC asynchronous generators. In principle, each can be run at fixed or variable speed.Can you generate electricity with wind using a motor? ›
This depends on the motor, of course. If your average wind speed is low, then you'll want a lower powered motor – a high powered motor will not produce enough of a voltage in low winds to start charging your batteries, and as such will not operate efficiently.What can a 500 watt wind turbine run? ›
NATURE POWER's wind turbine can produce up to 500-Watt of power. Use with an inverter to run small TVs, phones, lights, radios, and power tools, in your cottage, cabin, work site where power from the electric company is too expensive or not available.How much electricity can a 12v DC motor generate? ›
12v DC motor with maximum 1.5A capacity can generate 18W of power. 12v DC motor with maximum 3A capacity can generate 36W of power.What is the strongest motor type? ›
A high temperature superconductor (HTS) developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation and tested by the U.S. Navy holds this title. It is the world's first 36.5 megawatt (49,000 horsepower) HTS ship propulsion motor.Which motor has maximum efficiency? ›
(3) with respect to armature current and equating it to zero, i.e. Therefore, the maximum efficiency occurs in a DC motor when the variable losses become equal to the constant losses for the motor.Which motor gives high torque? ›
DC motor is used for high starting torque as well as for wide range of speed control is required. DC series motor gives the maximum torque at starting.Is wind turbine power AC or DC? ›
On large wind turbines (above 100-150 kW) the voltage (tension) generated by the turbine is usually 690 V three-phase alternating current (AC).
Are wind turbine generators AC or DC? ›
Wind pumping systems are designed to use direct current (DC) provided by a wind turbine, although some newer versions use a variable frequency AC motor and a three phase AC pump controller that enables them to be powered directly by wind turbines.Can I use an AC motor for a wind turbine? ›
RE: Ac Motor used as a generator on wind turbine
Any induction motor can run as an induction generator. You need to rotate it faster than the motor's synchronous speed. Speed control of the wind turbine will be fairly critical.
1,000-1,800 rpm is the rotational speed required by most generators to produce electricity. The high-speed shaft drives the generator which produces AC electrical current. Power cables transport the electricity to ground level.Which objects converts wind power to electricity? ›
A wind turbine turns wind energy into electricity using the aerodynamic force from the rotor blades, which work like an airplane wing or helicopter rotor blade.How many rpm does a wind turbine spin? ›
Wind turbine blades rotate between 15 and 20 revolutions per minute at constant speed. The life of a wind turbine is between 20 and 25 years, during which time they operate continuously for as much as 120,000 hours.What is the most powerful wind turbine built in 2022 how many watts? ›
As of January 2022, the most powerful wind turbine that has received customer orders that is at least at the prototype stage is the 14 MW GE Haliade-X. Prototype deployed July 2020. Rotor diameter of 185 meters.How big of a wind turbine do I need to power my house? ›
A typical home uses approximately 10,649 kilowatt-hours (kWh), an average of 877 kWh per month. Depending on the average wind speed in the area, a wind turbine rated in the range of 5 to 15 kW would be required to make a significant contribution to this demand.What is better 12v or 24v wind turbine? ›
In our experience if you have 1 Deep Cycle battery then 12v is best, if you have 2 Deep Cycle batteries then 24v is best and if you have 4 or more Deep Cycle batteries then our 48v Wind Turbines would be best for you.What happens if you run a DC motor at higher voltage? ›
On the other hand, running a motor at a voltage higher than nominal increases current draw and can cause the motor coils to overheat, decreasing motor life.How long can a 12V DC motor run continuously? ›
So if your motor, on average, draws 1.5A, and ran continuously, then it should run for 75/1.5 = 50 hours. If it only operated one second out of every minute, then it's duty cycle would be 1/60, so would last up to 50h * 60 = 300 hours.
How long can a small DC motor run continuously? ›
Brushed motor life is limited by the brush type and can attain 1,000 to 3,000 hours on average, while brushless motors can attain tens of thousands of hours on average, as there are no brushes to wear.
So in summary, in the range of 1800-3600 RPM the 1800 RPM motor will provide you with more torque to operate your pump! For some pumps there are some other minor considerations such as fan size and motor efficiency, but in general you're better off with the 1800 RPM motor for a centrifugal pump application.What is the fastest type of motor? ›
The British appliance manufacturer Dyson claims to have developed the world's fastest, most efficient motor for domestic appliances. The Dyson Digital Motor (DDM) v2 is a single-phase brushless DC motor, which operates at speeds up to 104,000 rpm with a claimed efficiency of 84%.Which motor has the highest power factor? ›
So, the capacitor run type single phase induction motors have highest power factor at full load.How much electricity does a 100 hp motor use? ›
This 100-horsepower centrifugal pump motor, if fully loaded, should be consuming nearly 80,000 watts (80 kW).Which is better more HP or torque? ›
So, which is better for you and your racing dreams? Well, if you just want to go fast and hit 140 mph, then horsepower would be more effective for you. However, if you want a strong car that can pull boulders and take off quickly, a high torque might be more important to you. In short, torque makes your vehicle quick.Does torque or HP matter more? ›
Since horsepower is calculated from torque, it's not an either/or question. While there are exceptions, an engine that makes more torque tends to make more power when comparing similar powertrains (gas to gas, and diesel to diesel, etc.).Is more hp better than torque? ›
If you're looking for a general sense of how powerful a vehicle is, look for the horsepower: the higher the number, the more oomph it'll have. If you're interested in towing with your vehicle or want a vehicle with great acceleration, you want to take torque into account.How much power can a homemade wind turbine generate? ›
A small wind generator that you might put in a backyard might have a capacity of about one kilowatt. An average annual wind speed of nine mph would produce more than 200 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, and average wind speeds of 14 mph could produce more than 600 kilowatt hours per year.What is the most efficient wind turbine for home use? ›
Dyna-Living 500W Wind Turbine – Best Overall
The Dyna-Living 500W Wind Turbine is our pick for the best home wind turbine. It offers a great balance of cost versus value, reliably generating a good amount of power at low wind speeds without breaking the bank.
Which is better for wind turbine generator AC or DC? ›
Wind turbines should be obtained from the AC electrical energy. Because, according to the DC transmission, and is easy to use.Can I use a car alternator to build a wind generator? ›
Re-purposed car alternators have become extremely popular and relatively cost-effective for use in small wind generators. Most ACDelco generators that you find sold for the express purposes of being a wind generator have been re-purposed or refurbished.How many homes can 1 MW of wind power? ›
Though this number can vary greatly due to factors such as size, wind conditions, repairs, and blade length, a typical wind turbine can power 1000-2000 homes in one year. One megawatt of energy production capacity will power about 1000 homes, and many onshore wind turbines have a 2-3 MW capacity.Can 1 wind turbine power a house? ›
To put it another way, the average wind turbine that came online in 2020 generates enough electricity in just 46 minutes to power an average U.S. home for one month.What design of wind turbine is most efficient? ›
Wind turbines with blades and horizontal axis.
The common horizontal axis wind turbine models use three blades, the most efficient solution.
Lighter wind turbine blades are easier to turn, and hence more efficient. So this is also important to their performance.Can you use a DC motor on a wind turbine? ›
Permanent magnet direct current (DC) machines can be used as either conventional motors or as DC wind turbine generators as constructionally there is no basic difference between the two.Are large wind turbines AC or DC? ›
The generator in wind turbines produces Alternating Current (AC) electricity. Some turbines convert this AC electricity to Direct Current (DC) with a rectifier, and then back to AC using an inverter. The purpose of this, is so the frequency and phase of the electricity is in line with that supplied by the grid.Can you run a wind turbine without a battery? ›
Increasingly, there are also systems which don't use a battery bank at all – the electricity flows directly from the wind turbine into the special 'grid-tie' inverter and then into the grid.What is the best voltage for a wind turbine? ›
Medium-voltage (MV) equipment is the ideal option for wind turbine switchgear. These systems operate between 600 volts and 100 kilovolts, which presents several advantages for renewables like wind turbines and the employees who manage them.
What voltage do windmills generate? ›
The turbine generator voltage is normally classed as 'low', in other words below 1,000 V, and is often 690 V. Some larger turbines use a higher generator voltage, around 3 kV, but this is not high enough for economical direct interconnection to other turbines.What is the best 12V wind turbine? ›
- Best Overall – Automaxx Windmill DB-400 400W 12V Wind Turbine Generator Kit. ...
- Runner Up – Tumo-Int 1000W 3Blades Wind Turbine with Wind Boosting Controller (24V) by Tumo-Int. ...
- Best Budget Choice – Happybuy Wind Turbine Generator 400W DC 12V.