This week we will look at how to build a wind turbine mounting pole. A steel pole can be used to get your wind turbine up above any obstructions such as houses and trees. Obstructions can stop the wind from getting to your wind turbine. Industrial wind turbines are constructed up to 100 meters tall, but luckily a backyard wind turbine doesn’t have to be that high. Although, we should know that the higher up the wind turbine is the more power it is likely to produce.
First, let’s get a brief look into the background of mounting wind turbines in the air. At sea level, the wind quality is often better than it is over land where turbulence will be higher. Weather forecasts usually measure wind speeds at 10 meters above ground level and lots of things can influence wind speeds. If it is reported that there will be 10 m/s winds tomorrow, it may not necessarily be that speed at your wind turbine. This is why it is very important to get the wind turbine up high and out of turbulence.
Weather forecast also measures wind speed at huge distances from obstacles like trees and buildings to get more accurate readings. Turbulence causes the wind turbine to shake from side to side. This can cause damage to the turbine and make it very noisy. We need to reduce this shaking as much as possible to reduce this damage and noise when it’s operational. Again, height is a good solution for this.
For wind turbines on a boat or a caravan, the turbulence will appear when the wind hits the vehicle, so the closer the wind turbine is to it the more turbulence there will be.
When building backyard wind turbines, mounting them away from trees and buildings will be nearly impossible. In residential areas, there will always be some sort of turbulence around your turbine. However, we can take steps to reduce this interference.
The image above shows the arc of turbulence give off a house of height H. The image above shows the further away from the house the turbine is located, the shorter the mounting pole can be. Let’s look at an example of estimating your ideal wind turbine mast height.
Say there is a 10 meter tall two story house with a backyard length of 100 meters (typical size of a soccer pitch). If you want to set up the wind turbine at the bottom of the yard you would have to build the wind turbine mast 10 m tall to avoid turbulence.
Let’s say we half the length of the garden to 50m then we’d have to mount the wind turbine up twice the height as the house which would be 20m.
Alternatively, we could mount the wind turbine on the roof of the house. Then it would only have to be about 1 m above the top of the roof to avoid the turbulence. Although this would be an unsightly option. Not to mention you would probably have a hard time convincing your neighbors or the local council to let you do it.
If your in a residential area we recommend mounting your wind turbine as far away from your house as possible and using the rule shown above to calculate how high it should be.
For a caravan or boat mounting the turbine over a meter above the vehicle should be enough to optimize performance while reducing noise levels.
Constructing the mast
Constructing the mast is actually quite easy. All you need is some lengths of strong steel rod. You should be able to get this in your local hardware store. If you’ve used our guide to construct the body of the wide turbine (read the post here) you will want to get some hollow cylindrical steel rod. This is so the bolt part of the pivot center easily slides onto the wind turbine mast. Just add some grease and the turbine will spin freely when the wind changes direction.
*PRO TIP* You know how everyone has caged trampolines? Well, the steel rods used to hold up the net are the perfect solution for the wind turbine mast. Even better most of them are design to slot into each other. So you can make the mast any height you need it to be. So now you can go out and pick the perfect spot for your wind turbine. Then, estimate the height of your wind turbine mounting pole using the guidelines stated above.
Or you if you have a lot of money to spare you can source a great one on Amazon like the one shown in the image below. It is very expensive though. We are an Amazon Associate so buying through clinking the image below supports the site and really helps us out.
We’ve just given you given a lot of information so we’ll stop here. Next week, we’ll show you how to construct a base for your wind turbine. We’ll also look into how to secure the wind turbine mounting pole so it remains sturdy and safe during high winds.
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