What is Wind Energy?
When it comes to making a choice to reduce the demand for energy sources that pollute the environment, the wind
that blows for free offers one solution.
Most people are familiar with the picture postcards of windmills that used to dot the landscape in Holland, but
modern DIY wind turbine construction is a vastly different proposition.
Bulky structures are a thing of the past and the windmill is replaced with state of the art technology that
generates electricity efficiently for the home and small cities.
Don't misinterpret these developments as putting the construction required beyond the skill level of the average
They are neither difficult to operate nor expensive. Anyone considering a DIY wind generator will need only the
usual tools in the workshop and a few hundred dollars for the complete unit. Even less if materials are available
from a recycling center.
What most people don't realize is that there are few moving parts in the modern turbine and lighter
weight construction means no need for a high tower to support the generator and its blades. Build a secure frame on
the roof, and a site for a DIY wind turbine is available.
The next requirement is to mount the blade and gearing on the frame. Kit sets for these are readily sourced
online. Choose the ones that are well referenced, and try to see one operating nearby before commencing
This last piece of advice is most important but often neglected. Seeing a unit operating will answer questions
that most people don't even think to ask.
turbines come in all makes and sizes, so getting one for a specific site, and the amount of energy required
will be time well spent. Investigation into local building codes, noise limitations, and things such as height and
where the prevailing wind will come from are almost more important than knowing how to put the unit together.
The installation may take only a few days, unless you are thinking of building everything from scratch. Blades
are the driving force and those from wood or fiber composites are cheaper and less prone to vibration and noise
than metal ones.
A tail assembly to keep the unit facing the breeze can be made with simple woodworking or engineering skills to
make a DIY wind turbine fully efficient.
Gearing and the DC motors can be purchased online and bolted together. A wiring plan may confuse those
unfamiliar with electricity, but it is worth involving an electrician at the final stages to give an ok to the home
Most of this seems to be simple and it is. A DIY wind turbine is not a toy though, and access to it
should be restricted. The blades can be fatal for children and adults alike, and any electrical installation should
be well insulated.
If the unit is mounted on a tower this should not be able to be climbed by the adventurous. Use fencing to deter
potential climbers and security lighting to scare away those thinking the structure is an advanced playground.