Home Engineering: Windmill for Electricity

Posted on July 3, 2007  Comments (4)

photo of windmill

William Kamkwamba’s Malawi Windmill:

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. The windmill now powers lights for 3 rooms and a light over our porch outside. I also use it to power my family’s two radios. I also can charge mobile phones that the neighbors have.

Two weeks ago I used a computer for the first time. I learned about Google and searched for “windmill” and “solar energy.” I was amazed to learn how many entries there were for both subjects. My friends showed me how to create an email address and now I am on Gmail. Now I am practicing sending and receiving emails when I have access to a computer.

On Sunday, my friends from National Solar and I completed the next phase of work on my electrical system. You can see a compete set of (my first) digital photos at my new site on Flickr. I had the following goals:

1. Upgrade the power generation in the windmill
2. Upgrade the battery technology and capacity, to provide more even power for more hours at a time
3. Increase the brightness of the lighting (lumens) to make it easier for my family to accomplish tasks at night, especially to read…

Photo: Back in November, the windmill was only 5 meters (15 feet) tall compared to 12 meters (36 feet) today. I raised the height because I discovered that the best wind was just over the top of the shorter windmill.

Related: Building an Electricity Producing Wind TurbineMicro-Wind Turbines for Home UseFloating Windmills

4 Responses to “Home Engineering: Windmill for Electricity”

  1. CuriousCat: Vertical Rotation Personal Windmill
    August 23rd, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

    “Ben Storan, a student graduating with an MA in Industrial Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art (RCA), has been working for the past year in conjunction with Imperial College to design an affordable personal wind turbine suited to the urban environment…”

  2. CuriousCat: Make the World Better
    October 15th, 2007 @ 10:47 am

    donate using the widget displayed in this post: to William Kamkwamba who built his own windmill in Malawi to get electricity for his home. The donations go to help him with his education and engineering projects…

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Home Engineering: Gaping Hole Costume
    March 15th, 2009 @ 10:11 am

    […] home engineering posts – Home Engineering: Windmill for Electricity – Awesome Cat Cam – Automatic Cat Feeder – Engineering at […]

  4. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » William Kamkwamba on the Daily Show
    October 13th, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    […] Kamkwamba on the Daily show. I first posted about William’s great work in 2007 – Home Engineering: Windmill for Electricity. What a great example of what can be done by sharing scientific and engineering ideas with those […]

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