Wind Generator (VAWT – With Alternator)

Introduction

I’ve been fascinated for a while to build a wind turbine. I’ve started off with buying a small stepper-generator (unknown manufacturer or model) from eBay. This can generate up to 150v DC! It’s perfect however the only tricky part is, is getting the blades, and mounting it to the rotor. I recently saw a video on YouTube of someone who used a 2 blade RC plane blade prop. All you have to do is turn the blades around and walla, it should spin in the wind.

Up until now, I’ve had an GM alternator for the past 2-3 weeks sitting in my garage doing nothing. It’s already hooked up to a spare leisure battery I borrowed and works pretty well… At high RPM that is. This is one of the only down sides to using an alternator… The second down side is that it needs a battery to self-excite the inner coils on the rotor, unlike a Permanent Magnet Alternator (PMA) which has magnets inside instead, which makes the need of having a battery obsolete.

Progress #1

Today, I started building a “Vertical Axis Wind Turbine” – VAWT.  I know that this will need to be spinning at around 1000 RPM to self-excite itself if I didn’t have some sort of ratio. The great idea about a VAWT, is that it will spin no matter where the wind is coming from. This is great since the problems with having a HAWT (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine) is that you need some sort of way to keep it facing the wind, as well as some sort of slip rings so that the wires don’t get tangled and forcefully pull themselves out of the generator when it faces the wind in another direction.

So, for now, this is the base done. It has a mounted Alternator and Bicycle wheel to get the alternator up to speed. There is a 200cm Fan-Belt to drive the alternator which goes round the wheel and around the alternators rotor.

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