Build a Test Wind Turbine

by Jeremey Weeks

Winter is the perfect time of year for trying to solve problems that you don’t have time for when the weather is good.

I discovered that during Spring and Fall, I have an energy problem.  I didn’t have power where I needed it.  I was using solar panels, but they weren’t getting the job done when several cloudy days would line up.

I’ve decided to try out wind.  Actually, way back when I first bought the property, I bought an anemometer to measure wind speed.  Things looked pretty good 20 feet off the ground.

I had never built a wind turbine.

I decided to build a model before investing a lot into this project.

I wanted a DC motor.  This would save a lot of tinkering.  I should be able to spin it and get juice.

So, I bought a scooter.

I paid $100 for this e300 razor.  A Craigslist special.

It’s a 24 volt scooter.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with it.  So, I took it apart.

There were a couple 12 volt, 7 amp hour batteries inside.

The motor below is 250 watts. (it’s under the Gerber multitool)

I can’t say enough good things about this scooter.  Razor builds a good product.  The wiring was quality along with the motor, batteries and even the frame was overbuilt.

I decided I could use the chassis as part of the initial build.  Here’s an amazing illustration that shows the plan…

What is there to say after a picture like that?

The plan is to remove the handle bars on the scooter and replace them with wind blades.

The motor will go between the forks, which will spin the motor’s shaft.  Voila!

This wind turbine is a vertical access wind turbine (VAWT).  There are two big issues with wind turbines.  Getting the blades to start moving is the first.  The second is getting them to go faster.  I decided to go with a Sharp Cycloturbine design to make self-starting easier.  It’s possible for this design to go faster than the wind that is turning it, which boggles my mind.

Here’s a video of the result.

My apologies–I managed to lose the amp measurements.  They were low, in the .1 range.  The voltage ran as high as .33, that was before the camera started running.

It took me a while to start recording.  I was stunned that my first effort worked.  Obviously, there is a long way to go before I reach a viable turbine.  Considering the use of dollar store materials and a quick and haphazard build, the result is fantastic.




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