How to Build a Wind Turbine


You can build a small wind turbine at an affordable initial investment. Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT) or Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) are two types of wind turbines. VAWTs easily adapt to changing and turbulent wind patterns. They are easier to assemble than HAWTs. With parts supplied in kits, VAWTs can be constructed from easily obtainable materials. (The building process and other information in this article is from Other Power User's Manual in Resources)

VAWT Coffee Can Turbine

Things You'll Need

  • Plans with parts for VAWT
  • 12-, 24- or 48-volt battery
  • Blade finish
  • Couplers and guy wire connectors
  • Winch
  • Locally defined Permits
  • Wiring
  • Rectifier assembly
  • Shut down switch
  • Optional/recommended Controller and dump load
  • Optional/recommended Metering
Step 1

Prepare renewable energy (RE) system before building the turbine and tower. You need a battery to which you will connect the turbine. The wind turbine will power the battery, making it a renewable energy power source, The wind turbine's stator determines the voltage of battery (12, 24 or 48).

Wind Turbine Generator
Step 2

Choose a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT). Although debate continues about HAWT vs. VAWT, the National Aeronautical Establishment' study shows that: "[VAWT] aerodynamic efficiency compares with the current horizontal axis machines." For simplicity of design and lower initial investment, VAWTs offer hope for affordable and DIY wind energy. (cited from Mother Earth News, see Resources)

Commercial WInd Turbine Schematic
Step 3

Purchase plans that include tower and turbine parts. Be sure to set out all parts, including parts not included in kit. Use manual as reference check. Parts included in kit are blades, alternator, tail boom and blade hubs.

Savonius Rotor
Step 4

Begin VAWT assembly by installing the rectifier assembly into the battery-based RE system. Wire shutdown switch and controller, breaker, and dump load into the RE system. Connect wire from tower to RE supply.

Darrieus Wind Generator Plan
Step 5

Test raise the tower. Run guy wires to stabilize tower. Attach turbine to tower top. Connect tail vane to tail boom and blades to rotor and attach to alternator. Blades must be balanced.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT)
Step 6

Raise tower and turbine. Your wind turbine is ready to supply power to your home. Use any contact and support information that comes with the plans.

Completed Wind Turbine Model

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Tips & Warnings

  • Take a tower raising class or consult a professional before raising your own tower.
  • These steps are outlines of a more complex endeavor
  • Follow all safety recommendations. There is significant danger around wind turbines. Associated dangers are electrical, mechanical and tower dangers.
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