Jul 11, 2012

Windmill cheap and easy

First I know I will come back to this post and add and fix so think of this as a public draft.

So first visit this one. I Like the more detailed photos.  CLICK HERE  this one is with PVC pipe.

As I troll the net for how to's Ted Baer wind mill is the stand out. It is easy, can be made with junk.  He came up with the idea to help poor people in  developing countries. Now I have come across a few thriftier things through my journey and will add those in. Things in italic are his words I will add my comments to simplify. Take a peek at these photo's of his Click here  (many things can be used for the windmill part) 

And click here for the original instructions

 The first step implies gathering all the necessary materials to see this through. Among them you can count a building flashing roll utilizing the pre-existing bend to make the aluminum vanes (2 studded 16” sections); these will later on clip on the spokes of the bicycle wheel using a "bent nail" and a bend in the vane. Add a surplus 24 volt DC permanent magnet motor makes for the generator, an output of 2 amps at 12 mph (18-20 volts) and you can buy an uv resistant endless belting from an online store. 

OK Translation.....  So you need the bike wheel, and something for the windmill part, Now I have seen others use heavy plastic siding and or cut pvc pipe or even super heavy card board or thin wood. He suggests flashing click here. But if you are in a shft situation you may not have that. Bent nails...well it is a bent nail, like a U shape.   24 volt DC permanent magnet motor people that is an ALTERNATOR! from a car! You can get a used one at the junk yard. Or strip down an abandon car. and save the belt that is with it. BUT I used rope once for a few days on a car of mine.


Some PVC piping accounts for the frame, while a 24 to 27 inch rear solid axle bicycle wheel is climbed on a PVC end cap via a hole drilled in the middle of the end cap. Secure both the motor and the bracket using radiator hose clamps. Also, to make the pole, use an electrical conduit that the 1.5 '' PVC can slide over and remember to cut a short piece of the PVC pipe to fix it into the metal conduit, while finding something to counterbalance the tail as well. 

  take note of the stands in these photos

OK blah blah blah and more blah.....You need a stand for the wind mill Pipe is best because the wiring can go through it and a secure area to mount the alternator. When looking at how it is mounted in the car you will get a better understanding on how to make this happen.  

Now you have to add up the vanes: fold the aluminum flashing over one spoke while hooking a bent nail around a second spoke; next, drill a hole in the vane for the nail.When it comes to blades, find some aluminum flashing, or 1/8 inch plywood or door skins and even plastic. If you decide to go for aluminum anyways, then just bend it over a metal rod about 1/8th inch in diameter, but you may need to stick two thicknesses together for something more resistant. 


OK translation  this is were the flashing will make it easy. You cut your wind mill parts and attach them to the bike wheel. Now you can use wire to do this to. Zip ties even.

It's now time to decide if you want to do a two-generator windmill or a one-generator model. If you go for the model with one generator and two wheels, then you definitely have to add some rigid metal electrical conduit or water pipe to make the horizontal PVC more solid and maybe bring the generator closer to the pivot point for more steadiness. 
Now take note to how the belt part is around the wheel....just like in the car you would attach the belt to the alternator. You are doing a one wheel one because you are using the alternator.

Now before we let you go, just as a quick reminder about the connectors: the five-way connector  (the one on the back supporting the horizontal cross piece and the tail) and the one-way slip connector can be secured in place with screws. Also, notice how the PVC connector is actually a three-way connector carved to form a cradle and how clamps were used to lift up the generator. Of course, the most powerful windmill implies two wheels and two generators, but it's up to you really. 
This is totally a trial and error, if you are a shop guy, your will look far different that a city girls but in the end they will work. 
Now remember you will attach the alternator to a car battery  to save the juice you are making in. Have a few battery's to alternate charging (again look at how the car engine one works) and then you attach you inverter (see my inverter post) to the battery and you have power.  

Here it is in use...different windmill but same idea...as you can see there is no set way of doing it, 

and I like some of the ideas in this video his mounting is interesting and easy.
End of song post has to be my childhood favorite song (it was on sesame street) 


  1. Good article. I've made one small wind turbine. It can power up a battery during the day that runs two lights on my patio. Hopefully, I will eventually get one up that is big enough to handle my pool filtering system. I live in the county near Las Vegas. I get 12 to15 mph breezes from my roof most of the time. That is fine to power my little vanes. Thanks for this article.

  2. Howdie How do ya get it to put the wire,s down the Hole and what keep,s the Blade,s On what Size of battery,s Ya Use ?How Long Are the Blade,s that You Use ?

  3. CAN YOU PLEASE SING ME UP FOR YOUR NEWSLETTERS MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS jethropaulraymergreen7373@gmail .com