HOMEMADE WIND TURBINES
Besides the ever popular solar power systems that are more prevalent now then ever before, homemade wind turbines are the up and coming craze in the renewable energy home market. Whether this is a stand alone system or a back up power source for a home solar power system, homemade wind turbines are an important part of the quest to offer a power source when there is no electrical grid to tie into or to simply lower your monthly electric bill long term (see Save On Your Electric Bill). The technology behind these units is quite simple and for the do it yourself type out there they can easily be built for a relatively low cost.
WIND TURBINE KITS
There are plenty of companies that offer pre-fabricated kits for $1500-3500 depending on the manufacturer. These kits definitely have their applications, but for the typical home owner who is interested in the idea of lowering their electric bill, the idea of shoveling out a few grand as an initial investment isn’t always feasible. This day and age there are plenty of homemade wind turbine construction guides that take you step by step through what to buy, where to buy it, and how to build it. Here’s where it gets tricky when choosing a kit like these. Remember when I said the technology is quite simple, well actually on top of that it’s pretty universal. It’s kind of like buying a cookbook on baking cakes. You could buy the hard cover version with color pictures and scratch and sniff pictures (ok..maybe not scratch and sniff) that talk about baking cakes or you could buy the paperback version that share the same exact “universal, ancient secrets!” in cake baking technology for a fraction of the cost…I hope I’m clear. There are some fantastic guides for less than $50 that share how to build these homemade wind turbines for a fraction of the cost of the pre-fabricated kits.
DO IT YOURSELF KITS
The do it yourself kits will explain the components that make up a wind turbine, and give you ideas of where to purchase them. For simplicity of this article, the basic components consist of a stand or mount for the actual unit, the turbine blades themselves (these vary in size but most units have 3), the generator unit and housing and some basic wiring accessories. Two other components which actually complete a homemade wind turbine system like this are the storage batteries (see Deep Cycle Batteries) and an inverter (see Solar Power Inverter). The batteries are designed to store any excess power that the unit generates beyond what is being used and the inverter will convert the DC (direct current) output of the generator and storage batteries to AC (alternating current) power which is used for home use.
GOTTA START SOMEWHERE
What hasn’t been talked about here is of course the need for a fairly consistent source of wind. Wind turbine blade size is also going to affect the generator output and will need to be determined based on the average wind speed in your area. Most systems can generate electricity with wind speeds as low as 7 miles per hour. Now you’re not going to get yourself to a “grid free” status with this amount of wind, but remember, once you’ve built one of these units you simple repeat the system and build the next one. It’s all a matter of taking the plunge and getting your first one up and producing electricity.
If your goal is to eventually be completely “grid free” (see Off Grid Living), then you’ll need to get a handle on your household energy requirements. This will give you the big picture goal of the power output level you’ll need to eventually reach with the systems you intend on buying or building yourself. If you haven’t considered it already, having a home solar system working hand in hand with your home turbine is a great way to be sure your home power plant is generating electricity more often. Take your time when planning this out and be smart about it. The technology is available and the information is out there. Contained in this website are several products that have proven results in the do it yourself market. Do some due diligence and enjoy the journey to Grid Free Living!