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Author Topic: Wind power or solar anyone?  (Read 52189 times)
VolunteerK9
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« on: April 28, 2010, 12:27:16 PM »

I have been interested in alternative forms of energy production for a while now, so recently I have begun to build myself a windmill.  Pretty cool stuff. You use an old delco alternator (basically change everything inside), attach a tail and blade, wire it up and away you go.  Not quite done with mine yet as my beekeeping hobby depleted my she money account.  Anyone else on here piddled with this stuff with any success?
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2010, 07:07:36 PM »

Do you mean an automotive alternator?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 10:00:38 PM »

"basically change everything inside".  Could you elaborate?  I've been interested in windmills for fourty years.  Had a friend who used to refurbish old Jacobs generators.
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RayMarler
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2010, 01:21:06 AM »

I'm probably wrong as it's been many many years since I was a mechanic and I never have been an electrician. But, I think standard GM auto alternators are 3 phase alternating current which gets changed to dc current with a diode bank. Perhaps pulling out the diode bank with minor soldering maybe? would give you 3 phase alternating current output from your windmill for the house? Are there any electrical engineers in the house? Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2010, 06:21:32 AM »

Remember old generators back before the alternator started appearing? She is rewinding an Alternator into a Generator. Alternators charge at the same rate no matter if they spin fast or slow. A generator charges more the faster it spins so they are better suited to wind power.

I played with the idea of wind power, but we have an ordinance against setting up towers higher than the peak of the house. Unless electricity gets a lot more expensive or the state starts offering a credit to switch to solar I can't afford that route.       
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2010, 08:20:02 AM »

You might consider doing something more simple as an experiment just to see if you have enough windy weather for it to be worth while - I don't think it is in my part of TN.   DC motors also work as DC generators.  Tread mill motors for example.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2010, 08:26:15 AM »

I'm probably wrong as it's been many many years since I was a mechanic and I never have been an electrician. But, I think standard GM auto alternators are 3 phase alternating current which gets changed to dc current with a diode bank. Perhaps pulling out the diode bank with minor soldering maybe? would give you 3 phase alternating current output from your windmill for the house? Are there any electrical engineers in the house? Cheesy

You are correct about all that, but the bigger issues for using an automotive alternator is that they aren't "self exciting" because they use electromagnets instead of permanent ones - they have to be connected to a battery to work right.  Also they have to spin pretty fast before they kick in, but that can be overcome with gears or pulleys.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 09:39:09 AM »

"basically change everything inside".  Could you elaborate?  I've been interested in windmills for fourty years.  Had a friend who used to refurbish old Jacobs generators.

What a lot of people are using is the Delco 10si or 12si which was a high output alternator to start with. There are parts available to pull more wattage out of it such as a different coil, permanent magnet rotors and a more efficient rectifier.  For lower wind zones, larger blade diameters and more blades help bring the alternator up to producing speed

.
You might consider doing something more simple as an experiment just to see if you have enough windy weather for it to be worth while - I don't think it is in my part of TN.   DC motors also work as DC generators.  Tread mill motors for example.

Yeah, I look ed up the wind zone chart for my area, and I'm right on the border line. My house sits right in the middle of a valley at the edge of a mountain so I get some good wind gusts where my neighbor on the hill barely gets any.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2010, 12:45:26 PM »

"basically change everything inside".  Could you elaborate?  I've been interested in windmills for fourty years.  Had a friend who used to refurbish old Jacobs generators.

What a lot of people are using is the Delco 10si or 12si which was a high output alternator to start with. There are parts available to pull more wattage out of it such as a different coil, permanent magnet rotors and a more efficient rectifier.  For lower wind zones, larger blade diameters and more blades help bring the alternator up to producing speed

.
You might consider doing something more simple as an experiment just to see if you have enough windy weather for it to be worth while - I don't think it is in my part of TN.   DC motors also work as DC generators.  Tread mill motors for example.

Yeah, I look ed up the wind zone chart for my area, and I'm right on the border line. My house sits right in the middle of a valley at the edge of a mountain so I get some good wind gusts where my neighbor on the hill barely gets any.


It seems like the wind mostly blows at my house when it's inconvenient.
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 12:59:32 PM »

There's tons of sites that offer step by step instructions - you can hand wind your own 5KW turbine if you like,  but they have generator/solar/whatever to house interface instructions. I haven't charged hard  into it myself but I will.
        I caught the power co-op charging unjustified late fees again and again (had to argue with the cashier every month) it didn't stop until I wrote a letter threatening a class action suit. - then the lineman showed up at my house at 9:30 PM saying he had to inspect my meter immediately.
   Can't wait to tell them "this is my last payment" along with a finger.
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Jahjude
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2010, 10:57:27 AM »

Wanna jump onboard the alternative energy train soon also but between work and side biniz,beekeeping beeing my latest,I'm stretched thin.
But racking up a wind turbine system is definately a goal of mine-lots a great sites on da net and youtube has got some great vidz also rolleyes
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lenape13
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2010, 12:52:40 PM »

I've been wanting to play with wind generation for some time, but it will have to wait until the colder months when I have some free time.  If I could just figure out how to turn junk mail into electricity, I'd really have it made!
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2010, 03:23:51 PM »

I've been wanting to play with wind generation for some time, but it will have to wait until the colder months when I have some free time.  If I could just figure out how to turn junk mail into electricity, I'd really have it made!

...There's conventional steam power from fire. - unless you mean spam.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2010, 11:26:43 PM »

If I could only find a way to recover a bunch of those $4 solar yard lights that get thrown away....
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2010, 09:32:40 AM »

Hey LaFerney... the amount of wind we got this weekend, with a couple of wind generators we could have went off the grid for a couple of days. My house is minus a few more shingles again.
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Shawn
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2010, 11:17:25 AM »

Ive been looking at this also however I'm not good at building things. I was looking at this website below. It is exxpensive but I think would be worth it.

http://windenergy7.com/
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iddee
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010, 10:07:27 PM »

Mistake, sorry.
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2010, 10:55:27 AM »

Remember old generators back before the alternator started appearing? She is rewinding an Alternator into a Generator. Alternators charge at the same rate no matter if they spin fast or slow. a generator charges more the faster it spins so they are better suited to wind power.

I played with the idea of wind power, but we have an ordinance against setting up towers higher than the peak of the house. Unless electricity gets a lot more expensive or the state starts offering a credit to switch to solar I can't afford that route.       

I don't remember if it's  Florida law or federal law, but, in Florida for sure, you can move into the snobbiest, most restrictive, meddlesome Homeowner association run subdivision, and mount up a wind generator. They CANNOT make restrictions prohibiting you from harvesting alternative power. (they might be able to demand that your stuff be aesthetically of good fit and finish, but I'm not sure they can even do that.)
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AliciaH
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2010, 10:35:58 AM »

There's tons of sites that offer step by step instructions - you can hand wind your own 5KW turbine if you like,  but they have generator/solar/whatever to house interface instructions. I haven't charged hard  into it myself but I will.

Can you provide a lead on these sites?  I'm interested in this but am a total novice.  I've tried to search in the past but keep ending up on sites that want to charge a fee for the information.  For one, it's not really in my budget.  Two, even though I know some funds will be required to build the windmill, I'm hesitant to pay a fee for information when I don't know what the information will include and whether or not I'll be able to understand it when I get it.  Thanks!

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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2010, 10:43:04 AM »

Missouriwindandsolar dot com is the one that I ordered most of my stuff from. I'm still working on mine as funds are real limited for me right now.  Just waiting on the ole income tax return to finish everything.
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