Statistical figures say wind power (providing 2.5 percent of total electricity) has reached an all time high worldwide consumption with 197 GW capacity and 430 TWh of total energy production. Now, for comparison’s sake the combined capacity of wind facilities around the world just marked at 17.4 GW in 2000. This exponential increase (more than 11 times in 11 years) can be attributed to improved technology, effective administrative measures and in some cases efficient user contribution.
So let’s get out our rusty tools and check out the 5 fascinating DIY Vertical Axis wind turbines (VAWT) contrived by the ‘common man’.
1. Homemade vertical axis wind turbine from PVC pipes
Created by Instructables user Faroun, this unique (and dirt cheap) contraption combines recycled garage elements to make a full fledged vertical axis wind turbine. According to the creator, the V8-4” turbine was ‘salvaged’ from PVC pipes (cut to shape), permanent caps from sewer pipe aisles, an axle from an old bike, a tricycle wheel, a DC motor, electricity wire, and screws. The final product with a cost of paltry $182, has improved RPM and greater blade area, while Faroun aims to make it capable of generating 100 watts at 35 km/h of directional wind speed.
2. VAWT made from scrapped rechargeable drill
Above Secret Post user Citizen Smith has designed a VAWT from the stripped form of a rechargeable drill (including the embedded circuitry and body shell). Now, this ‘hollowed out’ drill was test powered by another cordless drill, with a final result of 150-200 rpm at 11.5 V. With this sufficient rotating mechanism, he went on to contrive a helical turbine design made from corrugated cardboard. The wing section was then covered in fibre-glass mat and resin for the finish of mold, which could then be used (for casting blade components) into the 3m high helical rotor structure.
3. Lenz2 vertical axis wind turbine
Constructed wholly from easily available household materials, the Lenz2 was showcased at PopSci for a cost of less than $300. For the wing, a primary component of plywood was used, connected with 4 ft rods and then draped with sturdy aluminum. For the alternator, magnets were attached to two separate steel discs, while copper wires were taped to a plywood one. All of them were fixed to the main shaft around their axis. Other clamps and welding were used along the shaft, to hold the DIY contraption in one piece. This singular component in turn can generate (by connecting rectifier to the alternator) 50 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month for 8 battery pack, at optimum wind speed of 10 km – 36 km/hr.
4. The Zoetrope VAWT
This device was created from locally available hardware components like stove pipe, metal brackets, plastic sheet, and even a trailer hub. Designed specifically for low cost and zero emission water heating, the power output of the simple yet sustainable can be regulated to suit the micro-climate and characteristic of the site. Testing phase showed an output of 150-200 watts, while the nigh perfect wind (gust) velocity required was estimated at about 25 m/sec.
5. 55 Gallon Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
The conspicuously bulbous 55 gallon barrels were vertically cut down through halfway for Savonius type turbine. For the vertical axle – a 3″ PVC pipe was used to be utilized as fixing component for the two halves of the barrel mounted on each other. The plastic clamps were connected with two square plywood planks with ball bearing (on the inside) for added fluidity of motion. Coming to power generation, a permanent magnet alternator was used with custom shaped gear for optimum gear ratio. Finally, a fan blade was integrated for the cooling process of the whole generator in case of higher wind speed.