How to Build a Wind Generator to Charge a Battery

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Wind power is a clean, renewable source of energy that you can harness to power your home appliances or charge batteries. You can charge batteries by connecting them to a wind-powered generator, consisting of fan blades, a rotor that picks up energy from the blades and accelerates it, and a motor which receives energy from the rotor and produces DC current. By wiring the motor to the battery bank, you can efficiently charge your batteries in a relatively short period of time.

Things You'll Need

  • Generator
  • Rotor
  • Blades
  • Lightweight wooden mounting platform
  • AWG cable, 12-gauge
  • AWG cable, 8-gauge
  • Battery bank
  • Charge controller
  • Blocking diode
  • Aluminum tail
  • Dump load
  • Determine the voltage required to charge the batteries. Select a motor capable of producing that voltage. For example, charging a cell phone battery will require around 12 volts. When selecting a motor, err on the side of a voltage slightly higher than that required by your batteries, along with a low RPM and a high current. A low RPM to voltage ratio is necessary because, when you use a motor as a generator, it will not actually produce its potential voltage without an RPM significantly higher than its rated RPM. Therefore, select a motor that, with a fairly low RPM, can provide the voltage that you need.

  • Obtain blades and a rotor. You may want to purchase a manufactured set of blades and rotor if you are new to this, in order to save time and have potentially better results. However, you may find it more rewarding - not to mention cheaper - to build your own blades. They can be constructed from PVC piping. You can easily cut a PVC pipe in two, and use a knife to shape the pipe halves into blades.

  • Assemble the blades and rotor. If using pre-made blades, assemble them according to the manufacturer's instructions. If using blades you have created, fasten the blades to the rotor using bolts. Drill a hole in one end of each PVC piece. Place a bolt through each hole and secure it with a nut.

  • Mount the motor on the wooden platform, which must be large enough on one end to support the motor. Mount the blades and rotor adjacent to the motor and connect the shaft of the rotor to the shaft of the motor. On the opposite side of the platform, mount the aluminum tail, which will keep your generator turned in to the wind. Mount the entire assembly outside on a tower where it can catch a substantial amount of wind.

  • Wire the generator to the 12-gauge AWG cable. Connect the positive terminal to the black wire. Connect the negative terminal to the white wire. Connect the green wire to the motor casing to serve as a ground.

  • Wire the blocking diode to a charge controller. The charge controller must be configured for the total battery capacity of your battery bank and the maximum expected voltage of your motor.

  • Connect the charge controller to a dump load. This will prevent it from charging the batteries if they are already fully charged.

  • Connect an 8-gauge AWG cable to the positive terminal of one battery. Connect the other end of the AWG cable to the negative terminal of the battery next to it. Repeat this procedure for all batteries in the battery bank until all are connected together in series, meaning that all adjacent battery terminals with opposing charges are connected.

  • Prepare to charge the batteries. Wire the cable from the generator to the battery bank and wire the battery bank to the blocking diode. The batteries will charge to full capacity.

References

  • Photo Credit in the wind image by Marek Chalupnik from Fotolia.com
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