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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

A Great Source of Copper Wire for Homemade Wind Generator

9 Oct , 2013  

DSC02246 DSC02247 A short video showing where you can find a good source of copper wire to make coils for a homemade wind powered generator.
The copper wire is found in regular household appliances like blenders, microwave ovens and old power tools. Try to find motors that use lots of power. For example, the blender I found used over 600 watts! It had really nice chunky copper wire.
Don’t be discouraged with get the layers of metal plates, it takes time. One method is to heat up the motor super hot and then drop it in a bucket of cold water. I tried doing that on my BBQ and didn’t really work. I was concerned that the enamel on the copper wire might melt off. I used a hack saw, drill, axe and attacked it in my vice. The whole process is like preparing a fish-eating, strip away the guts and bones to get at the meat inside.
Feel free to comment on what works
Music credit; Strange Days by YouTube music Library


Music credit; Strange Days by YouTube music Library

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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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Solar Power Projects,Wind Turbine Projects

Update to the DIY Off-Grid Solar/Wind Power System

9 Jul , 2013  

It’s the second year of my budget, do-it-yourself solar and wind power rig. So I thought I would share some updates with my fellow off grid friends.
The panels have worked great making power. The only drawback was some of backing materials were separating and starting to peel off. Used that sticky red Tuck tape and roofing tar to keep out the moisture. Managed to crack the glass on another solar panel by over tightening a roofing screw. It was fixed, but, the output power was reduced down to 40 watts. It was removed for the “array” and has been used with the remote pumping station.
Always look forwards to the summer. That when I make enough power to have a surplus. I can leave the outside radio on a little longer, run more power tools and NOT check the battery voltage meter every hour. For example, on July 2, the sun was really high in the sky and the panels were making 2 amps at 8:30am. Nice!

New additions
– Picked up a Motomaster Eliminator 1500 watt inverter from Canadian Tire on sale for $99.00. Hooked up to the battery box with 4 foot 6 ga wires. Lots of cool features: digital display, 2000 watt peak and a 5 meter remote on/off switch. A small feature to some, but, really handy for visitors or spouses that are not versed in the ways of generating alternative energy. Another big benefit, run a less off the generate and more tools off the back up power, like a cheap 8-1/4″ compound mitre saw or Porter Cable Orbital Sander.
– Add a XScorpion digital amp/volt meter to the wires coming in from the wind turbine. I don’t think I have it hooked up correctly. It just shows the battery bank volt status. Suppose to show the volts and amps from the wind turbine. Suggestions?
– Upgrade wires/connectors to solar panels and hardware
6 or 12 volt Battery Load Tester– Way to check the battery health
To Do’s
– Hook up 100 watt/12 volt/6.84 amp Monocrystalline solar panel and a budget MPPT charger controller
– Move panels to a better location. At the moment, they are an eye sore and were missing out on the full 9:00 – 10:00am sun
– Add 2 – 4 more batteries
– Bogart Trimetric: Have to move the shunt for the Bogart TriMetric Battery Monitor. The reading is incorrect. On some days, it says the batteries are at 114%
– Mount 500 Watt Wind Turbine and erect wind turbine
– Change Morningstar TS-60 Charge Controller to Diversion Load
– Hook up factory dumpload for wind turbine. Also monitor/test Homemade Dump Load

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Other,Wind Turbine Projects

Part 2 of the Homemade Dump Load for a Wind Turbine

24 Jun , 2013  

Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 10.29.58 AM

So, with fewer resistors, the layout had to be reconfigured and more copper wires were used to secure resistors in place.
It was suggested by some viewers to lower the ohms by connecting in parallel (positive to positive) to lower the ohms from 100 to 25 ohms.


Came up with three separate ideas for the bus bars. Originally, the clips would be soldered to a wire, but could not get the wires to slick. I was more concerned with the little contact and the chance for sparks. Decided bolt the resistors to an aluminium or copper bar. Could not find an affordable source, so, I located the pipe left over from the bathroom renovation. The bars were made from 1/2″ copper pipe pounded flat. The pipe was easily flattened with a sledge-hammer. Holes were drilled and the resistor clips were secured from underneath.

Ran some tests on a trolling style of deep cycle battery and slowly drained the battery. Note: More tests were preformed off camera with all safety measures in place.

The dump load will be used with the Morningstar TS-60 Charge Controller. It will be configured as a diversion load and will look after battery bank.

The battery bank will be charged by a 180 watts of solar energy and 500 watts wind power. The dump load will be used for in the summer time when the sun is higher in the sky.

Each ceramic resistors was 100 Ohm at 200 watts.

Thank you for your patience and enjoy!

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