How Does Homemade Wind Power Work?

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Wind Generator Power

Can you as a homeowner benefit from homemade wind power? Wind energy is cost effective, clean, and renewable, so it's a sound environmental choice . .. but how does a DIY wind power system really work?

Learn more about homebuilt wind generator power, how much it costs and whether it will be a viable choice for your home energy needs!

Small wind turbines can be built for much less than purchasing a kit. Building a homemade wind turbine is definitely a do-able DIY project.

It's a viable option for many homeowners depending on a few factors:

  • Is there enough wind at my location?

  • Is my site large enough to accommodate a wind turbine?

  • Are there zoning regulations in place that would prevent me from erecting a tall tower?

  • How much electricity do I need or want to produce using the wind turbine?

  • Is it financially feasible for me?

Types of Wind Turbines

There are essentially two types of wind turbine designs - the horizontal axis wind turbine and the vertical axis wind turbine. Most people immediately think of the horizontal axis design because it is the most popular one used for both commercial and residential applications.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both designs, but the most important aspect of a wind turbine is the amount of energy it will generate for you.

Can I Create My Own Homemade Wind Power?

Absolutely! Wind turbines built from scratch all contain a minimum of the following parts:

  • Blades

  • Generator or alternator

  • Mounting - must keep the turbines turned into the wind

  • Tower - at least 30 feet into the air, if not higher depending on location

  • Back up batteries

  • Control system - to protect your turbine from the power of the wind, especially during high winds

You'll need a workspace with a few basic tools and a source of power. It's possible that you'll need a welder, steel cutter, and possibly a metal lathe. If you're carving your blades from wood, you'll need the proper tools for working with wood.

Your local home improvement store is an invaluable resource for parts and you may even find yourself visiting your local junkyard to score some inexpensive parts for your turbine.

Build a Homemade Wind Turbine

First, determine how much energy you want to or need to generate to operate the appliances and lights in your home. This will determine the size of the rotor blades you'll need for your turbine.

Next, design your blades. Blades for a wind turbine can be carved from wood or cut from fiberglass or PVC pipe. There are several online how-to manuals that can help with the details of this process.

Now you'll need an alternator or generator to power the turbine. You can purchase this item or build one yourself. The choice you make here will cause the overall cost to fluctuate a bit, but if you're not handy with this sort of thing, you may want to purchase one. Just make certain that the capability of the generator or alternator matches the size blade you've chosen.

You can build the body and the tail of the wind turbine from brand new or recycled materials. Don't be afraid to get creative here - use whatever materials are readily available and will work best for your project.

The location of the wind tower that will support the turbine is critical. Just keep in mind that the tower must be situated in a location where the wind turbine will be elevated at least 30 feet higher than anything else within 300 feet of the tower. Otherwise, you may experience obstruction issues.

Next, you must consider a battery backup system for your wind turbine. The batteries need protection from the weather and should be easily accessible. It's possible to find reconditioned batteries that will cost a bit less than brand new ones.

How Much Does Homemade Wind Power Cost?

Cost of a single homemade wind turbine generating 1,000 watts of power: $100-$250

Cost of a wind power system and professional installation: $22,000 and up

Benefits of Building Your Own Wind Turbine

  • Save thousands of dollars

  • Lower your electricity bill by 50%-90%

  • Aesthetically pleasing

  • Prevent power interruptions

  • Wind energy can be stored with a battery back up system

Does Homemade Wind Power Really Work?

Yes, it does! A properly built wind turbine that has been situated in a location with good wind movement can generate power for your home and save you money over time. You may not be able to go completely off the grid, but it's encouraging to note that your electricity bill will be significantly lower each month.

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