A few years ago to build a wind generator, with which wanted to charge a battery to power a refrigerator and a radio in my small farm, where there is no electricity supply. I applied it an automobile alternator, but this component was not a good choice, because a small wind turbine can never have enough strength to rotate the alternator, which is very heavy when producing energy.
The solution may be to apply a generator that is light and produce power at low revs. The machine was built with recycled scrap materials, but it is very safe and can handle high winds.
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Step 1: The automotive alternator is not for wind generator
Most car drivers have some basic knowledge about the electrical system of your vehicle; They know, for example, that the electricity used when the engine is not running is supplied from the battery and it is also stripped of energy required to actuate the starter. They also know that, in turn, the starter motor will rotate the motor vehicle, causing the first spark in the plugs and consequent explosion of fuel, after which the machine starts to work regularly, passing this time all its electrical components to be supplied by energy produced by the alternator. Yet they know that with the car running, the alternator also supplies the battery, keeping it in a position to return to power the vehicle when it is again fixed and is necessary that energy and also to carry out re-starting the engine.
This operation as simple and harmonious alternator, when integrated into the car's system, coupled with the fact that component be easily acquired by low or even almost free in any sucateira, can make suppose to build a small wind generator handmade construction It could be the perfect choice as it rotated by the wind would produce energy that could be used at the time, or stored in batteries, to consume in the absence of wind.
However the car alternator may not be the best choice for this type of project, unless it is introduced in even some changes in your electrical system, or the blades of the wind generator are very large, which does not It seems very feasible, a small homemade contraption.
The reason an alternator will not be the ideal choice for a homemade wind system is due to the fact that perhaps many do not know, to be needed a lot of strength to rotate the shaft of the alternator when the latter, after reaching a certain number of rpm, starts production of energy.
The driver of any vehicle, can not know the size of that effort unless it has extended knowledge about the functioning of the alternator. It is therefore evident that this effort is taken from the engine to the rotation of the alternator causes increase fuel consumption, which will be greater the greater is also the consumption of electrical energy, especially at night.
But by the friction caused by the belt on pulleys, plus the effort that the car can be negligible, but that the wind generator can be a downside to consider.
A direct connection turbine turbine to the alternator could avoid the friction of the inconvenience caused by the belt or belts in the transmission if not for the need to multiply the speed of the alternator, which further aggravates the problem of effort, because to achieve to obtain the minimum number of rotations required for the production of electricity by the alternator, which should be higher than 1,000 rpm, there is the absolute need to be a multiplication, because a small craft turbine never reach the minimum speed required even with strong winds.
Just imagining ourselves driving a bike to stay with an idea of how stress increases when we use the system changes so that with fewer chainring turns to print more speed machine.
Thus an alternator can never serve to generate busy energy by a small turbine driven by the wind, as it does in a car, because here the alternator is driven by power from an internal combustion engine, nothing comparable to the force exerted by the wind on the blades of a small turbine.
Step 2: The machine should be resistant to endure the wind
One of the most important factors to consider when building a homemade wind generator is, without a doubt, its robustness and ability to withstand storms and high winds. No one will install such a device in a sheltered place, that would be a paradox, because what is natural is that it is, as much as possible, exposed to the wind. But also can not disassemble the machine and collect it when there are atmospheric situations of very strong wind, which is natural at certain times of year, it is absolutely necessary to build the machine so that it will endure not only with these winds seasonal strong, but with possible stormy phenomena that may occur.
Having already encountered small wind generators destroyed or damaged by wind and noticed that in places where there were equipment in these, they are no longer there, I deduced that possibly would not have endured with the wind, and / or their owners have given up on them for any other reason.
The truth is that my machine is six years ago exposed to atmospheric occurrences, in a place that is traditionally buffeted by strong winds and it seems only just been placed there. By chance, until it was once hit by a storm, but not directly, because what happened was that a roof of corrugated iron came loose and was reaching the guiding the generator, which was badly damaged, having been forced to make their replacement. Out of curiosity and to try to assess the strength of this storm, I mean that the roof was ripped off in full and the woodwork underneath was launched more than fifty meters away.
This means that, with regard to robustness and safety of the machine, the construction was successful. Admittedly it was built in a very peculiar way and perhaps this has been so safe, which does not mean you should be a role model or not there are other better ways to build such a device, but the truth is that I have, through research on the Net, read and seen, through videos, many home generators that possibly will not be built in a very safe manner. It should be noted that it can be very dangerous, in days of strong wind, sitting next to a device that has not been built safely. My opinion is that one should look not only at the most technical part of the project and the successful attainment of generating energy but also to the strength of the set, because otherwise it is not worth this success, which can be very ephemeral and end the first storm.
In the case of my generator even I believe I could have built a turbine diameter slightly larger, with wider and long blades because its strong structure, certainly that would endure the impact of wind. A larger turbine would have the advantage of printing more power to the machine and to run more easily in low wind conditions. I consider that this was a design error, but in any case, this error can be corrected by removing one turbine and building a bigger, what I'm equating do just that has a more suitable generator for this project than what there It is currently an automobile alternator.
Step 3: Construction details of my wind generator
The robustness and security of my wind generator starts right at the base. It is perfectly based upon a small house built of stone and the tower that supports the generator in addition to not be too high consists of a pipe of 20cm in diameter than the background is still somewhat wider. This tube was filled with concrete based on a shoe that was built on the roof of the house it is also in cement concrete.
On top of this cylindrical pillar was built a piece of iron pipe, tapped a metal anchor of the works. This piece of tube about 30 cm long, with at the bottom a bearing, which will become another piece of pipe, this extracted from the inside of the strut, namely the male, that tube having holes to put the bolts.
This narrow tube is threaded into the wider tube that is embedded in the tower, but then goes up and at the top he was applied to extracted part of an old washing machine, ask the one that holds the bearings and shaft where belt pulley and the turbine at the other end. For a better understanding of the operation of scheme, we can say that the turbine generator is the drum of the washing machine and the alternator is the motor that rotates through the belt and pulley, except that here precisely the opposite happens, of course.
The so-called tube detached from the metal anchor, from the tower top is embedded within the larger tube and wrapped in cement and iron, not only to better hold the part of the bearings, but also for the whole become heavier and there is no risk of Tower undocking. Bearing that was in the tower hole bottom, allows the joint to rotate easily when it is driven by the wind hitting the advisor.
As the turbine it has a diameter of 1.35m and is comprised of ten blades with length 0.45 m by 0.15 m wide. These blades are made of stainless metal that has been extracted from the interior of a dishwasher. Its great advantage is that it need not be painted because it does not rust and is of unlimited duration. The frame that supports consists of tubular metal rods that are embedded in a piece of round tube which in turn is hooked to the shaft of the washing machine where the drum had been before. These metal rods of the frame pass, at the base of the blades by means of a circular metal piece that is neither more nor less than a rim of a wooden barrel. This ratchet makes the metal rim of the rods that hold the blades and the whole is further enhanced with galvanized iron wires arranged in a circle in the middle and at the tip of the blades.
The alternator was attached to the top tube, through an application to the belt tension and has a small metal cover to stay with some shelter from the sun or rain. With a crank bike, a piece of wood and some metal staples was improvised a system of brushes, to allow the pass current through a cable into the home, without there being any kinks in the cable, as this was previously built inside the tower and connected to small metal alloys circling the top of the tower.
Finally, I will talk about the tail or the turbine advisor. This element was produced from the sheet metal of the same machine washing which has been extracted from the rotor shaft and is screwed to a tubular square iron resting upon a piece of round tube having on top a metal application to allow placing the guiding an angle of 90 degrees with the turbine, so that it receives the wind from the front, laterally or else going to receive the wind turbine like a flag. The change of position has to be done manually, but it is important to do in case of a forecast of unusually high winds or when you want to have the generator stopped. The piece of pipe which is based stem from the advisor is just there so that this element is placed in line with the center of the turbine, which is only for a better visual appearance, because otherwise it would not be necessary.
I painted a Cross of Christ in guiding because I think it bears some resemblance to the sails of Portuguese ships bearing this symbol. Sailing is on the wind, it is the wind that moves these ships, which also happens with the wind turbine. Is that why and like a lot of ships that drew there.
All materials used in the construction of wind generator, with the exception of the cement, were recovered scraps.