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Wind Turbine Projects

A Good Windy Day for VAWT Testing: Build #3 of VAWT Made from Wood Siding

5 Oct , 2014  

Scott-working-on-vawt For the last couple of months I wanted to test out the VAWT made from wood siding. I was curious if it would generate any power. But, as always, there was always something more pressing to be finished first.
Finally, during a weekend I was finishing up the deck project, the wind was really blowing. Thought it would be a good time to test out the turbine. So I took a few hours off and put it up on the roof of the cabin. (It would have been better on top of a tree, but did not have the resources or time.)
It was easy enough to attach the turbine, but the pulley system was difficult to attach. The pulley was either misaligned or really taught. It only spun when there was a big gust of wind.
I wanted to hook a multi meter up to a rectifier, but it was evident it would not turn freely in low wind. What a bummer! It probably would of worked better higher up in the trees.
The results were a mixed, it worked great on its own in the wind, but the pulley system was just not working well.

Back to the drawing board. IMG_4158

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End Cuts,Wind Turbine Projects

Build #4- Gear System for the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Project

1 Oct , 2014  

Blender-gear-system Once again, I was at the local recycling centre taking some newspapers and cans back. Spotted a discard base to a food blender in a pile of rubbish. A light bulb went off in my head and I remembered that the coils in a blender were normally always made for actual copper and not aluminum strand coated in copper. Plus, it was the size of gauge of wire for the fourth VAWT build. Sweet!

Later on that night after family chores, headed out to the shed to take apart the blender and see what parts can be harvested. Took a few screws out, opened up the underside and slide out the motor and gear system. Managed to wiggle and pry out the two copper coils. They were in good shape and the wires were not damaged. They were put aside and I took a look at some of the other parts. I was starring at the gear system and noticed how the gear reducer was neatly packaged up in a plastic container and fixed to the base.  Started to visualize how it could be used in a VAWT. It looked like a better set up than the breadmaker gear system. Plus, a homemade axial flux generator or a start PMA (treadmill motor) could be attached to the shaft. So, looks like I have another project to hack and modify for the VAWT build.

hard-drive-magnet I have also been spending time on the hard drive magnets attached to the saw blade. Went through a stack that my buddy from sent a box of 20 and a bunch from. First,  the magnets have separated into three different sizes. It’s a difficult process, because they want to stick to everything metal. It’s easy to get your fingers pinched.

Next, put the magnet and the backing part into a vice. Take a pair of vice grips and bend the metal. The magnet should break free of the factory epoxy.

Next, arrange them on the saw blade in a north, south, north, south configuration. (Note: each magnet has a north on one side and south on the other.) I made a mistake and assumed the shiny side had the same configuration. It’s not so. Double check with another magnet.

Use epoxy to seal and secure the magnets down to the saw blade. Magnets-on-saw-blade The local dollar store sells it for about $2.00.





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Wind Turbine Projects

Part 1 of the Breadmaker VAWT Project – Pulley & Shaft

19 Feb , 2014  

Breadman Bread Maker TR-444

Breadman Bread Maker TR-444

It’s been almost a half a year since the last vertical axis wind turbine project and thought it was necessary for an update.
This particular project started with another gleaned treasure from the local dump: a Breadman Automatic Bread Maker TR-444. A bread making machine or bread maker is a home appliance for baking bread. The manufacturer label on the back, said it was rated for 600 watts.




Heater element for baking bread


Insulated rubber feet

Hmm! Probably some good parts: motor, heater coil, gears, copper wire for VAWT coils. I couldn’t wait to get inside and start harvesting parts.

Took it home, opened up the underside and discovered a cool gear ratio system with a rubber pulley and timing gear (see pic). After removing the housing, electronics, bread pan, heater element and controls, it gave me an idea to use the pulley/timing gear in a small VAWT. If I could somehow attach the wind turbine to the existing bread pan shaft and then to a cordless drill generator, it could produce some decent electricity? That will be in the next video.

Check out the Cedar Workshop Blog for updates, ideas and more pictures!


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Power generation,Wind Turbine Projects

Build #3 of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) from Cedar Wood Siding

14 Aug , 2013  

Build 3 thumb This is the third version of the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) made from cedar siding lumber. It’s very close to the Lenz style of VAWTs. These type of wind turbines are fun to build. Lots of room for improvements and coming up with new ideas.
For example:
– the hubs with bearings, came from my portable generator. Had handy grease spout that could easily be greased with a grease gun
– The struts for the scoop (Lenz style) of blades were extended to clear the garage door style generator
– Used boiled linseed oil to seal the wood parts. The stain lasts forever and works great against the sun
– Did a quick test on top of our house, but, nothing really happened. (The motor garage door motor was not hooked up) The wind is quite poor in our residential area. Plus, without the aid of mirrors or a surveillance system, it’s difficult to see it spin when it’s right on top of your house.
– The VAWT was designed to be mounted on top of a tree a off-the-grid cabin
– At the moment, I’ve got the garage door motor on it, but, it doesn’t turn well with the belt-pulley system. The wind really needs to be blowing. I thinking about going the magnet and coil route.
– Had to take it down after 5 days. The neighbours started to ask questions and I didn’t want the bylaw officer give me a ticket.

Aces High and Cut and Run by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a CC Attribution 3.0.

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Power generation,Wind Turbine Projects

VAWT Made From Wood Siding

6 Mar , 2013   Video


This video and blog post is about a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) made from mostly a wood called  Western Red Cedar. It has contains images from the first attempt 2 years ago and video update of of the second attempt with modified blades/airfoils. It’s a fun project to work on, especially when it’s in your living room/workshop and the parts can be obtained as cheaply as possible. Sometimes you can come up with clever ideas to achieve the impossible!The parts where various materials for around the shop:- Blades (and struts) from 1 x 8 Bevel cedar siding lumber

– Hub- the top and bottom wood circle from a cable spool

– 1 inch outside diameter aluminium shaft

– Hub- 1 inch Floor flange

– Hub- 1 inch x 1-1/2 inch Reducing Bushing

– Two rare earth ring magnets (ebay), thin vinyl sheet for the blade scoops and assorted screws.

One of the blade scoops was on the VAWT was damaged slightly when it “moved” by a family member.

Future plans: Brace the struts, upgrade the shaft, create a better mount and somehow add a generator. Hopefully with the second tower in the making, I get the chance to test it out.

Shaping the blades
Adding struts to the hub
Right angle bracket for the blade

Close up of cedar strut. Cut from the thicker section of a 1 x 8 cedar siding plank

Shows how it was joined
High tech level system for blades. Sits on a spine of a VHS  tape case.
Birds eye view of the blades shape and mounted
Sandwiched the struts between the plywood cable spool
Shelf bracket for more support
Top of dismantled cable spool
Another shot of the shelf bracket. Wanted to allow space for blade angle, etc.

Shaft, locking collar and magnets inserted on the shaft. Ah, yes, I did add an extra bearing just underneath the reducing bear. Maybe a bit of my over engineering!

The reducing bushing fits nicely into the floor flange. Tighten and you have the plywood, struts all wedged together. Plus the shaft and slide inside.

Erected on tilt up wind turbine tower.

Not too high, but I wish it was! My noisy neighbour would report me for some height violation bylaw.

At least it looks scary…
Can’t really see it from the road. The trees really kill the wind.
Adding the airfoils to create a Lenz style of airfoil

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