How to build a wind generator using a car alternator

Written by william kinsey
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How to build a wind generator using a car alternator
Wind turbine (wind turbine image by MAXFX from

As the need to conserve energy and find alternative energy sources increases, more people are choosing to use wind as an alternative energy source. The basic idea is to use a wind turbine connected to a generator to produce power. Most units require a minimum wind speed of 5.4 meters per second (12 miles per hour) to operate at a usable level. Those choosing to use wind power should research the wind characteristics in their area before purchasing any equipment.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wind turbine
  • 7-inch diameter pulley
  • 36-inch V-belt
  • 12-volt car battery
  • 1000-watt power inverter
  • 1 positive and 1 negative 12-volt battery cable

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  1. 1

    Connect the 7-inch pulley to the turbine shaft and place one side of the V-belt on the 7-inch pulley. Place the other side of the V-belt on the alternator pulley and pull the belt tight while keeping the pulleys aligned. This is the position the alternator will have to be mounted. The easiest way to make a quick alternator mount is by using a few scrap pieces of block-shaped wood and a few well-placed screws.

  2. 2

    Run a positive battery cable from the positive terminal of the alternator to the positive battery terminal. Connect one end of the negative battery cable to the alternator housing. Connect the positive side of the power inverter to the positive side of the battery. Connect a heavy-duty switch between the negative side of the power inverter and the negative terminal on the battery. This will allow you to turn the inverter on and off. Be sure the switch chosen can handle the current draw of the inverter.

  3. 3

    Place the turbine generator where there is a good wind. Connect the negative side of the alternator to the negative post on the battery. As the wind spins the turbine, the difference in pulley sizes will increase the speed at which the alternator spins, allowing it to operate at a good operating speed. The alternator will then recharge the battery while the inverter supplies AC power.

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