Windpower

The Windpower wind generator was developed in the Mojave Desert of Southern California to take advantage of the high prevailing winds that cross the mountain ranges to enter the desert. It uses readily available parts found at most hardware stores. The power unit is a very popular automotive alternator found in most General Motors vehicles.

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Windpower

The Windpower wind generator was developed in the Mojave Desert of Southern California to take advantage of the high prevailing winds that cross the mountain ranges to enter the desert. It uses readily available parts found at most hardware stores. The power unit is a very popular automotive alternator found in most General Motors vehicles.

There are many good, efficient, lightweight wind generators available on the market today, but I have found them very expensive, and it is hard to find replacement parts. I wanted a dependable wind generator with parts I could build and repair and get immediately from the local hardware store and auto parts store.

The Windpower wind generator has evolved from trial and error and if built to specifications, will perform surprisingly well, from a 10 mile per hour breeze, to a 60 mile per hour windstorm.

At full peak power in a 30-mph wind, the Windpower Generator should, theoretically produce 720 watts of power. (12 volts x 60 amps = 720 watts) However, it would be wise to be conservative and assume 500 watts of usable power.

In a steady breeze over a period of several hours, this would be enough to charge 5 to 10 deep cycle batteries.

There are two options that you have with a bank of fully charged 12-volt batteries.

First, you can wire your house or cabin with a separate 12-volt circuit, on which you can install low voltage lights, and appliances available at Camping/Trailer supply stores.

Of course the drawback to this type of installation is that you must install a separate 12-volt circuit, and purchase new appliances.

This option should be considered especially if you are powering a remote cabin where there is no permanent available 120/240 volt AC service from a utility company.

The second option is to install one or more DC to AC  power inverters. These state of the art electronic units convert 12 volt DC to a usable 120 volt AC.

You can wire these units directly into the existing 120 volt AC circuits of your house.

The drawback to this installation is the purchase cost of DC/AC converters and the power loss these units exhibit.

An ideal system would be a hybrid of multiple 12-volt DC wind generators charging a bank of 12-volt deep cycle batteries. Wired directly from the batteries would be outside security lights and interior lighting using 12-volt DC light fixtures and the use of small DC/AC converters for the use of necessary 120 volt appliances.

A 3000-watt gasoline generator would be a perfect addition to this system to power additional AC appliances when needed and to provide DC power to keep the batteries charged during periods of insufficient wind.

At this time I do not recommend purchasing solar voltaic panels. They are too expensive for the amount of power they produce.

As for water well pumping, a shallow well jet pump can be powered through a DC to AC inverter, provided it is wired to operate at 120 volts. A typical jet pump is ½ hp and draws about 8 amps. This would require a minimum of a 1000-watt inverter and two deep cycle batteries by itself.

A more logical installation is that which I have installed at my 5-acre ranch in the Mojave Desert of Southern California.

I have two Windpower Generators charging a bank of six, deep cycle batteries. Several automotive road lights provide outside security lighting. Interior R/V lights provide interior emergency lighting. Two, 1000-watt inverters   provide necessary AC power for tools and appliances. If you are conservative, this will power most other lights, TV’s, computers, etc.  It will just not do it all at once!

My water supply is a deep well, at 410 feet. It requires a 3 hp, 240-volt AC submersible pump. For this, a 3000-watt gasoline generator is installed in the well house. This  is powered up as needed to fill a 2000 gallon storage tank. A 12 volt pump maintains pressure to the house.

Included in the detailed plans are further installation instructions and ideas.

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The Windpower Generator is fabricated of steel and weighs approximately 45 pounds.

It is comprised of a steel frame on which a shaft is mounted.

On one end of the shaft is attached the hub onto which two, 36 inch long blades are attached, creating a 6 foot diameter rotor.

Below the frame is mounted a 12 volt, 60 amp General Motors automotive alternator.

Behind the alternator and fastened to the frame is the rudder.

The whole assembly is connected to a mounting collar with with a roller bearing. This collar is designed to slip over an installed 2-1/2 inch pipe cemented into the ground.

When mounted atop a 20 foot pole, and in a 20 mph breeze, the whole unit will immediately face into the wind, the rotor will turn at about 300 rpm and the alternator will produce about 500 watts.

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Page 1 of the detailed plans

Page 10 of the detailed plans

The plans contain 18 pages of  computer generated drawings, color pictures, parts lists and instructions.

The 26 minute technical video shows complete assembly of the Windpower wind generator plus helpful hints.

Actual clips from video below

 

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