Building an Electricity Producing Wind Turbine

Posted on June 20, 2007  Comments (5)

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine:

Several years ago I bought some remote property in Arizona. I am an astronomer and wanted a place to practice my hobby far away from the sky-wrecking light pollution found near cities of any real size. I found a great piece of property. The problem is, it’s so remote that there is no electric service available.

Whether you build your own, or buy one, you will need some sort of controller for your wind turbine. The general principal behind the controller is that it monitors the voltage of the battery(s) in your system and either sends power from the turbine into the batteries to recharge them, or dumps the power from the turbine into a secondary load if the batteries are fully charged (to prevent over-charging and destroying the batteries). The schematic and write-up on the above web page does a good job of explaining it.

My ultimate goal is to have enough power from wind and solar sources to power a small cabin and observatory on my remote property that will only be occupied occasionally and won’t have much need for electricity. If you need a bigger system, then you need someone with experience with bigger systems to help you out.

Very interesting home engineering project. Related: Awesome CatCamEngineering at HomeThe sub-$1,000 UAV Project

5 Responses to “Building an Electricity Producing Wind Turbine”

  1. CuriousCat: Home Engineering: Windmill for Electricity
    July 3rd, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

    “I built my first windmill when I was 15. Over the next few years I kept refining the design. I made many modifications to the plans i found in the book. For example, I increased the blades from three to four to provide more power output…”

  2. Anthony Arrigo
    July 30th, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

    It is now virtually impossible to get away from the effects of light pollution in the continental US. I saw a study conducted by the National Park Service that shows every single park suffering from some degree of sky glow. These are some of the most remote regions on the continent and even they are impacted. Granted, in many instances, the skies are still amazing from a suburbanites point of view, but there is nowhere that you can go and get yourself under totally pristine skies. I hope that your new location is far from any potential growth sites.

  3. Barry
    August 10th, 2008 @ 2:55 am

    Great post. I have read the article on this guys journey of building his own wind turbine to provide power on his remote property. This guy is truly a inspiration to every diy-er out there that cares about the environment.

    Like this guy here are a few others that have taken the same approach and have built their own wind turbines.

  4. John Mowatt
    December 4th, 2008 @ 11:53 pm

    I am retired now but when we were living on our farm I built three wind turbines using auto parts and a few odds and ends.They cost very little and served us well for many years.We had a battery bank which stored power when we were not using it.Nowadays all kinds of people are looking for ways to cut their “carbon footprint”.Building a wind turbine or two to produce at least part of the power you use is a great idea.

  5. Pierre Godin
    January 17th, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

    Shouldn’t be too hard to power that cabin. A little elbow grease does wonders.

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