Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Wind power generators

  1. Feb 24, 2009 #1

    I'm trying to build a vertical wind powered turbine system and I'm have trouble finding a small, cheap generator/alternator to use. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If you want to build something that works - rather than a science fair project check out these http://www.otherpower.com/
    They discuss why you should make your own generator from Volvo wheel hubs and wind your own coils!
  4. Feb 24, 2009 #3
    I'm not sure if this is too small, but any 12 volt DC motor from a car should work in reverse as a DC generator. These might be the motors that run the windshield wipers or those that operate the windows. The good thing about them is that they're already perfect for charging a 12 volt battery.

    I have one I picked up at a swap meet. It has a large speed reduction through a worm gear. To use it as a generator that worm gear would have to be removed and some other means of gearing it up arrived at.

    Most vertical axis wind mills are high torque/low speed and you need to arrange your gears or pulleys such that the generator is running at much higher RPMs than the windmill rotor. The slower the rotor, the more torque the wind applies to it.
  5. Feb 24, 2009 #4
    Define "small" and "cheap".
  6. Feb 24, 2009 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    What power level 1 kW, 10 kW, . . .?
  7. Feb 25, 2009 #6
    Small, as in under a foot diameter, cheap as in less than $50 dollars.

    1kW or less. nothing extravagant. Its for a small wind turbine to be used for airspeeds of less than 15mph.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook