One Man's Adventures into Renewal Energy

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DIY Horizontal HAWT Wind Turbine / Generator

2nd February 2014

I've been watching my Savonius Wind Turbine over Winter, and cutting a long story short, it's a bit rubbish!
I don't know what the problem is, but it just doesn't spin. I suspect it's because it's so close to the surrounding trees, which is creating some turbulent wind.
I also never connected it up to my charging circuit, so on the odd day when it did turn, it wasn't creating any electricity. I suspect that if I was to put load on it (by making it generate electricity), it would just be dead still.

So I've decided to give up on it and instead go down the more conventional Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine.
I believe this will yield a more reliable and more powerful generator.
It'll also be more aesthetically pleasing.

DIY Horizontal HAWT Wind Turbine
Using some of the drainpipe I bought for the Savonius turbine, I've cut three lengths down to 25cm.
I clamped and screwed them together and used an angle grinder to cut them into rough blade shapes.
I decided on three blades, because even though more blades are more efficient, there is a diminishing return effect - ie, the percentage gained from each added blade is half the previous added blade.
You'll also be wondering why so small (25cm), two reasons-
I simply haven't got the space in my back garden.
And noise - the bigger the blades, the faster the tip speed, the more noisy it becomes.

DIY Horizontal HAWT Wind Turbine
I needed a hub.
It needed to be strong and weather resistant.
Aluminium is the obvious choice.
Finding spare aluminium of the right thickness (5mm) without buying it, was proving difficult, until I raided the pan drawer.
Getting approval from the missus, she sanctioned the destruction of an old frying pan.
And here you go! A nice strong aluminium hub.

DIY Horizontal HAWT Wind Turbine
Here are all the major components offered up against each other.
You can begin to get a feel the end product.

DIY Horizontal HAWT Wind Turbine
All bolted together, it becomes a very strong unit.
You might want to invest in a set square to do the markings for where the bolts should go on the hub, as well as the centre hole.
It pays to spend some time on this, failing to do this properly could result in an unbalanced wind turbine, which may spin itself to pieces in high winds.

DIY Horizontal HAWT Wind Turbine
Here is a close-up of the hub assembly attached to the wind vane.
I simply used 10mm threaded rod through a 10mm linear bearing.
Fixed it all in position with double nuts.
I used a couple of jubilee clips to strap the linear bearing to the frame.

It's plainly obvious that there is no motor/generator attached. This is just proof of concept at the minute, and once I confirm my turbine will work, I'll then develop the actual electricity generator section of the contraption.

DIY Horizontal HAWT Wind Turbine
The finished article!
I've bolted it onto a 10mm steel pole I had lying around.
And I've attached a crude piece of plywood for the vane.
Even though it looks a bit rough and ready, it does feel very sturdy.
When I install the motor/generator, I'll most likely increase the thickness of various elements to improve strength, as well as weather proof the components.

Here is a short video on day 1 of installation.
It wasn't especially windy, but I am happy that the vane is functioning well and that it turns!
I do wonder if it's too close to the trees, which might create some undesirable turbulence, but it's early days, so I won't start adjusting things just yet.

DIY Horizontal HAWT Wind Turbine
Here is the motor I'm going to use. - SANKYO LLN4B21 / 80723-T
Bought this off Ebay for £7.
It's just a simple DC motor. Rated at 12v.
I've hooked it up to a meter and it reads around the 2volt mark when I give the spindle a quick flick.
The yellow/black wires are for a tacho. I never intended to have a tacho, but I'm thinking I could use it with my Arduino to give me an RPM reading at any time...might be quite interesting.


zAck - 02/03/2016 19:31:25


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