Building Your Own Wind Turbine is Nowhere Near As Hard As it Sounds! By JT B. Abney
So a few months ago I announced to my friends and family that I was going to build a wind turbine. Seeing as how I've never been very handy yet can be quite tenacious, there were mixed predictions on my success. Truth be told it is not that hard to build a wind turbine on your own with the proper instruction manual and I'm not alone in being a homeowner who is sick and tired of paying the utility companies rising fees to the point of taking action. Renewable energy systems, like wind generators and solar panels, are now much more attainable and affordable than they used to be. It's certainly not a 2-hour job to throw one of these together but with the proper instructions, and a good dose of tenacity, you can be assembling your own wind turbine pretty quickly.
I certainly wouldn't recommend undertaking a project like this without a guidebook. And for anyone that has worked on a project with the help of an instruction book before, you know that all guidebooks are not created equal. Whatever you do, do not shop based on price alone. Look for value but also for something that is easy understand, preferably with a lot of illustrations. There are also tons of internet forums and online resources that can aid in your quest to build your own wind turbine.
Wind generators are made up of four basic parts that should help you to get acquainted with their make-up. These are the batteries, the towers, the turbines and the tail/propeller assembly. The tools that you should have on hand for your project are fairly basic and you may not need to purchase anything special. Make sure you have wrenches, a drill and a saw for starters. Depending on what type of project you chose, you may need additional tools but I'd hold off until you take a good read through your instruction book before making any purchases.
One thing that you probably won't be building from scratch, thus will be purchasing, is the motor. Motors on wind turbines require very little maintenance so that should not be a huge concern. Expect to do some oiling and follow the manufacturer's directions and you will have a more efficient running machine. Space is a concern as well. If you haven't done so already (this is one of the first things I did), take a walk outside and think about 1) where you're going to build this thing, ie- work space, and 2) where you're going to set it up. Depending on how much electricity you're looking to generate, your turbine blades can get up to 8 feet in diameter.
In the end, I put the naysayers in the their place and built my own wind turbine. It's not that difficult if you can follow directions and the whole thing pays for itself very quickly because I am now generating my own electricity. How cool is that? Pun intended. Building wind turbines and solar panels is becoming very popular these days and there are some great products on the market to help consumers do just that - affordably.