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12-25-2009

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine. Part 9

UPDATE 05/17/07

Here is a photo of me setting up the wind turbine on my remote property during our May 2007 trip to Arizona. I had left most of the equipment on-site in Arizona. I only brought the turbine head and charge controller back home with me. Everything weathered the winter ok. Just some slight surface rust on parts of the tower base. Everything went back together quickly and worked great.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine

I used the wind turbine to power my new popup trailer on my spring vacation. The strong spring winds kept the wind turbine spinning all day every day and most of the nights too while I was in Arizona. The turbine provided enough power for the interior 12V lighting and enough 120V AC at the power outlets to keep my battery charger, electric shaver, and mini vacuum cleaner (camping is messy) all charged up and running. My girlfriend complained about it not having enough power to run her blow-dryer though.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine

Here my volt meter is showing the turbine producing 14.5 volts in a stiff wind. Although the wind turbine powered the popup fairly well, I think there is room for improvement. I was powering the popup with 120 Volts AC via my inverter. The popup has its own 120V AC to 12V DC power supply for powering the interior lighting and other 12V accessories. The losses involved in converting power to 120V AC and then back to 12V DC probably heavily contributed to the battery running down fairly quickly a couple of times during periods of light wind. Powering the 12V systems directly from the battery would probably work better. The only downside I see is that the DC voltage won't be regulated and could swing a couple of volts up or down with changes in wind speed. That wouldn't bother most kinds of lighting too much. Other devices could have a problem with it though.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine

This photo shows the turbine spinning away and cranking out the power. I haven't had the time to complete the rebuild of the charge controller in a weather-proof enclosure. So this time I just put all the electronics in a plastic bin to protect them from the elements. Good thing too, since it rained several times while we were there this time. The jug of lamp oil is on top of the bin to prevent the wind from ripping the lid off.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine

To be continued

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