Build a Backyard Wind Turbine in 5 easy steps free chapter
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While you’re here check out the free resource list below to get you started.
1. Sizing Your Wind Turbine
Ok, let’s start with a sizing calculator so you can find out exactly how much energy your wind turbine will create each year. There are plenty of online calculators that let you calculate the power output of a wind turbine. They also give you lots of information about the different inputs you can put into the calculations.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth calculator use one of the below links depending on your location. These calculators take a lot more variables into account and describe each one well so you can get a good feel for what you can take into account when designing your turbine.
We have also developed our own power and savings calculator. This calculator allows you to calculate exactly how much energy your wind turbine design will produce every year along with the potential savings which we guarantee will surprise you. So much so that we have a free version you can try right now!
The free version of the calculator can be accessed here. In the free version, you can see how much energy a small wind turbine with a blade diameter of 1.5 meters as well as the potential yearly savings.
You can also purchase a fully editable premium version of the calculator from our store. The premium version comes as a downloadable excel file that allows you to enter your own design parameters as well as change the wind speeds to see how effective your design will be in different wind conditions. We’ve also included information about component efficiencies to give you a more accurate estimation at power, energy, and savings.
We’ve used the calculator in this post to calculate the annual power output and saving of 3 different wind turbines, a professionally installed small wind turbine, a small wind turbine purchased on Amazon and a DIY built wind turbine/ Check out the results here.
2. Instructables.com Guides
There are loads of articles on Instructables.com showing you how to build a wind turbine step-by-step. Most of these guides show you how to build the turbine out of scrap you can find around your house. These are great guides and we’ve built one (shown below) using the guide in the link provided. While this is a good place to start it can be hard to construct a solid, durable and efficient turbine out of scrap.
Want to build a tribune like this one we made?
3. Amazon essentials
Just a heads up before we start, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases, the links below help monetize our site.
The first essential is the Wind Turbines For Dummies Book. A great book to get you started. You can learn a load of great information from this book and as it’s a For Dummies guide you know it’ll keep it simple. You’ll find out if backyard turbine is a viable project for your home and whether it’ll meet your needs. You can find out how much money you can save in electricity costs and dive deeper into all the components that make up a wind turbine. Have a look in your local library (that’s where we found out about the book first). But it’s always great to have a copy at home or reference whenever you need it and it’s pretty cheap on Amazon:
So, as we mentioned most of the Instructables.com guides show you how you build the turbine fully from scrap, but realistically unless you’re a very skilled mechanic or have a degree in engineering you’ll struggle to build the generator and charge controller required for the job. But fear not that’s where Amazon and eBay come in handy. It’s what we used to build the turbine you see above. You can find some cheap deal on eBay, but these prices can fluctuate so we’re linking the Amazon ones instead which are more reliable.
There are loads of cheap small generators you can go for. We recommend looking at the Instructables guide linked above which tells you all you need to know about which generator to buy. But we can break it down to a good cheap one and a good expensive one. The more expensive one is perfect for a backyard wind turbine getting the RPM’s and Volt ratings just right. The cheap one will do the one too but not as efficiently as the expensive one. Have a look around yourself first before you buy, but here are the ones we recommend.
Next up is the charge controller. Again, check out the Instructables guide for more information about what this is and how to actually build your own. But if you’re lazy like us you can just buy one. Basically, a charge controller controls the flow of electricity into your storage batteries, so they don’t get damaged by overcharging and can dump excess electricity into a grounded unit or something useful like a heat pump or even simpler, a light. Anyway, here’s a link to the one we used that works great for backyard wind turbines.
4. Building your hub
One of the most challenging aspects of building your wind turbine we found, was making a hub that works. The hub is the key to attaching your blades to your generator and it’s the main component used to transfer the energy between the two, so you want it to work well. Finding aluminium disk to do the job can be hard and they can be expensive to buy. But if you already have one, then following the Instructables guide and drilling the appropriate holes will do just fine. If you don’t have one, then again Amazon comes to the rescue. You can buy a decent (and cheap!) generator attachment shaft using the amazon link below. It goes without saying make sure you buy one with a diameter matching your generators shaft diameter or it won’t work.
So, when we used this to build our turbine it worked well…for a while, it eventually gave in due to all the stress. All you need to do is go out and buy another one if this happens to you. We, however, were not happy with this and decided to design our own. You can see this the design in our free to download eBook: 5 Steps to Building a Backyard Wind Turbine.
5. 5 Steps to Building a Backyard Wind Turbine eBook
Did someone mention free eBook? Well, the fifth resource we have for you is the Renewable Energy Methods eBook, and we’ve made it free to download. In this eBook, we outline how to create your very own backyard wind turbine in 5 easy steps. We break down the project into 5 easy to complete subprojects:
- Hub and Tower
This report will help you get all 5 of the major systems up and running and then assemble them together into a working, free clean energy-producing, money-saving wind turbine. The eBook unlocks the details about wind turbines and how they work.