Living An Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

DIY How to Build a Wind Turbine with a Treadmill Motor.

I hadn't realized building a homemade wind turbine was this easy until I watched the video below.  Mark from AffordableSolarFrames.com shows us how to build a wind turbine from an everyday treadmill motor and a few other parts you may have lying around.  This looks like a fun project for spring and most of the parts shown can be bought for pretty cheap.

 For example, a quick search on Craigslist provided me with about 10 motorized treadmills being sold locally from between $20-200 and the slip-ring he used in the video is actually $99 on the website he mentioned, but I found some similar quality and size slip-rings on ebay for $40.  I have yet to find an affordable set of good quality blades though.  (If you know of any, feel free to post them in the comments)  I have read mixed reviews about building the turbine blades out of PVC, so unless I can find some professional blades for under $50, my treadmill based wind turbine will be redneck fashioned out of some good old American PVC.
 
After a little more research, I found plans to build a wind turbine using a Treadmill on GreenTerraFirma.com.  It's a pretty detailed step-by-step guide and seems pretty easy to follow. In the plans, it mentions that the ideal treadmill motor for the turbine should put out about 1 volt for every 25 rpm.  I have yet to find information on what treadmills have the best motors for these types of projects but for the sake of trial and error, I'll probably just buy whatever is cheapest and hope for the best. 
 
Before building a wind turbine, there are many factors to consider.  I've compiled a list of key points below the video...
 

How to Build a Wind Turbine with a Treadmill Motor

 

Things to Consider:

With DIY wind turbine projects, the results will always differ due to the use of different materials.  So here are some things to consider when obtaining your parts:
  • When choosing your motor, the higher the voltage the better. To determine how much your motor can produce, look on the motor's lable for voltage rating and RPMs. For example 4750 RPM at 95 volts. This means that for every volt going into the motor, it spins at 50 rpm. The same works in reverse. for Every 50 rpm, the motor produces 1 volt. In order to charge a 12 volt battery, this motor would have to spin at 600+ rpms.

  • Less blades equals more speed but less torque. More blades equals more torque but less speed. With small turbines, a 3 or 4 blade turbine gives the best power for low to medium winds 10-20 mph.

  • Longer blades start to spin the turbine at lower wind speeds, but have a lower maximum rpm. Shorter blades require more wind speed to start but can achieve higher rpm's than longer ones. You have to make your size decision based on the average windspeed at the turbine's location


So it looks like I'm going to purchase a treadmill and some supplies for spring and see if these really are this easy to build. Do you think you could do it? Have you ever built a wind turbine from a treadmill motor? I'm interested to hear what you have to say.

 
 

  3 comments:

  1. Great science project?
    A DC Generator is the same machine as a DC motor... So if you're building something for your home, then just use a DC motor and a simple belt an pulley to reduce the rotational resistance (or load) on the blades, so a slower wind can be used...

    For a Science project...
    Buid three loops of wire and seperate them 60° on the rotor of the wind mill. Place a magnet on either side. north to south
    Set up "brushes" (chunks of graphite like pencil lead) on either side so that as the rotor spins with the wind, the same side is going to the same terminal + or - no matter which side of the coil it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent ideas for science projects McDice

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  2. Great information. Thanks for providing us such a useful information. Keep up the good work and continue providing us more quality information from time to time. Read More Info

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