Wind Turbine:


The wind turbine is up and operational. However, as there has been no wind to speak of since I finished it, I can only guess that it works.


The motor came from Wind Stuff Now and was, in my opinion the best deal on the net. Ed makes the hub and blade rotor. He sold me the whole thing for $88.00 which included shipping and I had the kit in two days. On E-bay there is always a bit of guess work when buying a motor and a hub. Therefore, having the whole kit come from one supplier looked like a good deal to me.


Wind Turbine construction:


I used 6” PVC pipe for the blades. The cuts were made using a jig saw but a better choice would have been a table saw. Cutting along a straight line on a round surface is not an easy task.


The size of the blades was selected based on an article (  that had been referenced in several other building projects. I followed their basic design and did some modifications. I did not cut a notch in the mounting end  and I used a 1” dimension for the tip width.

A grinder was used to shape the blades but a belt sander or palm sander would work just as well. The idea was to round the edges so they were more like an airfoil. There is nothing skilled about this aspect of the effort; just take off the square edge. However, it does produce some fine dust that gets into everything. I did mine outdoors in the back yard so I would not have to clean up a mess in the shop.

Barbara insisted I paint it green so the first to be painted were the blades. You might also notice the tail.


In an effort to re-cycle, I used two old license plates for the tail and painted them as well.  The 2X4 was a piece I had and the motor was mounted using two stainless steel pipe clamps. The pivot is a floor flange and a short length of pipe that simply fits into a larger pipe.  The power cable is run down the pipe through a hole in the 2X4.


My original design called for a length of PVC pipe as a motor cover but when I went to find some, I could not fit the motor into a piece. Therefore I made a fiberglass box that was wider then the 2X4 and covered the motor. While it does not provide the nice rounded appearance I wanted, it does protect the motor from the elements.


The mounting configuration was again based on practicality. I used a chimney mount from Radio Shack and a piece of black pipe from Ace Hardware for the mast. I removed an old TV antenna and used the back side of the chimney to mount the turbine. This puts it up about 22 feet. Not as high as I might like but it is above the roof line.


One of my first observations was that because of the trees the wind was disrupted. I could get the generator to point into the wind but beyond a few  turns of the blades, there was nothing. I had expected better performance in moderate winds but I guess I shall have to wait for a better “wind day” to really evaluate the system.


I also noticed that the green colour tended to blend in with the tree in the back yard.


In any case, the wind system is installed and nearly complete. I have to build the regulator but that is not a difficult task. When the wind finally comes again I will measure the output and comment.

May 25, 2008 Update


The evaluation of the wind turbine project is both positive and negative. The positive side is that the turbine does work but the negative is that it is unlikely I shall see any benefits from it during the summer. The placement of the turbine on the chimney was necessary and was a compromise. The idea was to get it up above the roof peak and while this was a laudable goal, the surrounding trees disrupted the wind to such a degree that no useful output is possible, at least during the summer months. Essentially it makes a few revolutions and then will sit there. The highest voltage I got from it was about 9 volts.


The motor runs at about 27 RPM’s per volt and to perform useful battery charging I need to see about 375 RPM’s. As we have had no sustained winds of any velocity since I put it up, I have not been able to conclude more then noted above. As a project it was a success. It was however a failure in that I did not get the additional charging capacity I was desirous of.


My next experiment will be to build a vertical axis wind turbine and try it. The advantage to the vertical turbine, in my environment, is that it responds well to wind from any direction and can produce useful energy at much slower wind speeds. Torque is improved so four to one or five to one gearing mechanism is practical. This will turn the motor fast enough to produce practical amounts of energy in light winds at a slow rotation speed.

Update on the wind turbine:


I have moved it to the CSA farm and it is now working as it should have.

Text Box: Home and Farm
Wind Turbine monitoring system

There are two projects that were completed with wind turbines. The first is the lone listed below which was the initial construction of the turbine. The finished unit was mounted on the house in the early spring and performed badly, due completely to the surrounding trees and the lack of height in the mast.


While I was satisfied with the results of the effort because it did work, we simply did not have sufficient wind in our urban location to make it worth having it on the roof.


It has therefore been moved to the CSA farm we recently joined. It is part of a hybrid renewable energy system that includes solar and wind.



Amertek Motor

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