How to Secure a Backyard Wind Turbine

Now that you have your wind turbine and you mast built let’s take about how to secure a backyard wind turbine. If you missed the other post you can check them out here.

Introduction

Securing your wind turbine into the ground is a crucial part of building your wind turbine. You need your mast to be strong enough to withstand storm-force winds. In this post, we’ll show you how to be confident your turbine will remain upright even in the most vicious of storms.

Wind Turbine in Storm

To properly secure your wind turbine mast you’ll need to do two things:

  • Create a concrete foundation for the base
  • Secure the mast using tensioned guy wires

Concrete Base

First, let’s talk about creating a concrete foundation for the base of the wind turbine. At your local hardware store, you can your hands on some concrete base buckets. These buckets come with a concrete mix already inside. All you have o do is add water and stick in whatever you want to cement and there you have it. You can then dig a hole in the ground, place the bucket in and cover it up.

This creates the perfect base for your wind turbine mast. If you can find this cement bucket mixes you can just create your own by buying a bag of cement, some sand, some aggregate (gravel) and water. Add all this into a bucket and it does the same job. Look out for details of the best mixing ratio on the bag of cement. A good ratio is usually 1 part cement 3 parts sand and 3 parts gravel.

Cement base bucket

Guy Wires

Now let’s look at creating the guy wires. Just like securing an aerial or telecoms mast you’ll need to secure your wind turbine mast using tension wires. In typical structural engineering (building bridges) triangles are the ideal design shapes. Just look at most bridges and you’ll see recurring triangular shapes. This is because triangular shapes are the strongest. So four a backyard wind turbine we want to secure using 3 to 4 wires in a pyramid shape like the mast shown below.

Wind Turbine Mast Tied Down

You want the angle of the wire and the ground to be approximately 45 degrees so it forms a right-angled triangle. Use a Swanson tool or large protractor to get this angle right. The length of the tie-down wire doesn’t matter but you do want to attach the wire as close to the top of the mast as possible. This will ensure the mast is rigid and stable in high winds. You can use something as simple as nylon ropes for the tie-down wire.

Or go for something stronger like steel rebar wire. It all depends on your budget. Then you can just tie the rope to the mast or use a bracket and clips to secure the steel wire to the mast as shown below. To secure the wires to the ground you can simply use ground pegs to secure the wire to the ground.

So that is it. Now you can be confident that your wind turbine mast will be strong and secure. Even in the most vicious winds, your wind turbine will be operational.

Aditional Options

To be extra safe a good thing to do is to install a fail-safe at the bast of the mast. This is so you can take down the wind turbine if extremely strong winds are forecast. This can be as simple as being able to lift the mast out of the concrete base by installing a larger pipe into the cement bucket and sliding your mast pole into it. Just be careful not to damage the wind turbine blades as you let it down to the ground.

As always we’d love to hear your feedback so feel free to send your comments or questions to questions@renewableenergymethods.com.

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