For my final project I have chosen to construct a wind turbine that I can actually use at my home. I came up with this idea from another one of my classes, where my group is creating a business plan for a hypothetical hydro turbine company. After doing plenty of research on small turbines, I realized that these turbines are not that hard to build, and you can get pretty creative with the final design. My first impression of this project is that it would be far too expensive to create given that I have almost none of the required materials at this point. However, after doing more research on the topic, I have found that you can construct one of these for less than $150. This may still seem like a high price, but this project is something I can use in the future and refine indefinitely.
Upon first impression, I want this turbine to look very sleek and low profile. It will need a custom housing to hide all of the technical components that go into it. The goal that I have set for this project is partially technical, but mostly aesthetic. I don’t want to simply create a DIY wind turbine that looks like it was assembled in a garage and barely functions. I also want it to appear very modular, so that you can place the turbine head on many other fixtures using a few household fasteners. I know that I won’t be able to create a perfectly sleek and functional turbine with the time and resources I have, but I really hope that by the end of the semester I have a starting point that I can continue to work on into the future.
Below are a few DIY wind turbines that I found online.
These are clearly not very aesthetically appealing. All of the wiring and components are exposed, and although they function correctly, they wouldn’t look very nice if they were mounted in your front yard.
The hardest part of this project will be creating a fully functional wind turbine that actually creates electricity. I understand all of the technical components that go into this project, but I know that when I actually start assembling the turbine, I will run into problems. I think the critical component of this project will be the fitting for the generator. I need to ensure that the rotor from the blades effectively connect with the generator, and that the lift from the blades is sufficient. Once I acquire the motor, I will be able to create a prototype fitting that I can refine before heading to the machine shop.
I am still working out the exact cost of this project, but I don’t see it going over $150. The required materials are: high DC Voltage / Low RPM motor, directional vane, blades (pvc?), hub, blocking diode, controller (may not get to this point). I know that I will have smaller components, but I will most likely be able to find those lying around the ITLL.
As far as the timeline goes, I would like to have all the major parts ordered/drawn out by the end of next week. The week after spring break, I can hopefully assemble the unit and begin troubleshooting any problems. The week after that, I hope to address the aesthetic portion of the project and brainstorm ideas about how to make the turbine unique and sleek.