I'm looking for a summer project and I'm thinking of building a wind turbine to generate additional power for our home. I want it connected to the grid so that it runs our meter backwards for times where we arn't using more power than we generate (on vacation or something, electric company has a net metering program), but I also want it connected to a back up battery system so our fish don't die when electric company gets bombed by china or something. Unfortunately, I don't really have much electrical knowledge. It's the one area in science that I really struggle in. I know the basic idea of a wind turbine. The wind spins some blades which turns a alternator which generates power. I don't, however, know exactly how to build these things. Like how exactly do you shape the blade so that it products the most centrifugal (I also struggle in the spelling department) force from the wind? How exactly do you build a alternator and how exactly do you harness the power generated? I know the alternator consists of rare earth magnets and some coils of wire and one of those two is spun by the wind which cuts flux lines generating power, but that's about as far as I know. I'm not exactly sure how to build the rotor and stator. Once I get the alternator generating power, how do I hook this to a backup battery system, and the electric grid? I've read websites saying things like to run the alternator to a charge controller which is hooked to some diodes and stuff, but it doesn't really explain the function of each part and that just makes me feel like a script kiddie. I don't feel I could really say I built if I just copy what they are doing without understanding it. It's like saying I drew an awesome painting when I just used crayons in a coloring book. Another thing on the alternator that I don't know is exactly how to place the magnets and coils. I mean how should they be arranged to produce the most power from a single rotation or what not? I would like to build all this from scratch, so that I can learn. Kind of off topic, but while working on this project (if it's not too expensive) I would love to buy a CNC mill (or would it be a lathe I need?) and learn how to use one of those. If anyone knows a cheap good one (that can mill both soft and hard materials) I'd love to hear about it.