Green and renewable energy has become one of the new and exciting technologies that offers a clean and constant energy source that is free and off the grid. Places with a constant and high amount of wind may be suitable to build a wind powered generator that will help to supplement your electrical needs. While building a generator yourself may take some craftsmanship, it is possible to do.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Used electric treadmill
- Deep cycle batteries
- AC converter
- Electricity regulator
- Wood to carve blades which will catch wind
- Hub/ housing
- Blocking Diode
Measure the wind around your property with an anemometer. Look for an anemometer that you can set up and return at the end of the day to see what stats such as the highest wind speed recorded and average wind speed. Measure the wind speed in different locations multiple times so that you know the best place to build your wind generator. On average a ten mile per hour wind will generate one hundred watts of electricity for a system with a four meter blade diameter.
Convert the powered treadmill motor into a permanent magnet alternator. Break open the treadmill housing to find the generator. It should read "permanent magnet motor." Mount the base of the blades from the turbine housing to the flywheel that is attached to the end of the treadmill motor. Add the blocking diode that will be placed between the motor and the deep cycle batteries so that it will not drain the batteries.
Carve your blades. Get a set design. The most important features are how many blades you will use and how long the blades will be. Remember that the larger the blades, the more wind will pass through your system, with the potential to generate a greater amount of electricity. However, the larger the blades, the slower they will spin. The tip speed ratio will determine how much faster the blades will spin compared to the speed of the wind, and is the most important statistic to consider when building your blades. You will want to match the electrical output produced by the revolutions per minute of the blades with an average wind speed to the capabilities of the motor's output in watts.
Assemble your hub. Make sure that it is large enough to house the treadmill's power generator, which will be converted into a permanent magnet alternator. Attach the turbine blades onto the front of the housing and the tail in the back.
Weld the permanent magnet motor to the housing for the wind generator hub. If you can attach it without welding, perhaps by utilising zip ties or some other types of connecting materials such as a strong adhesive, then that may be best.
Connect the wiring from the generator to the deep cycle batteries. Be sure that you place the electricity regulator in the circuit between the batteries and the generator, so that your system will be able to block excess electricity from going to the batteries and shortening their lifespan.
Tips and warnings
- Playing with electricity can be dangerous. Make sure that the system is disconnected whenever you are doing any maintenance.
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