For the conservative and frugal home owner, any extra help with the required resources to keep it functioning is welcome. It is surprisingly easy and
relatively inexpensive to convert the wind in the eaves into an extra line of electrical energy that comes completely free.
Detailed schematics and parts lists can be found in many places online. YouTube videos follow the creation of functional electricity producing windmills for as little as $150.00 to $200.00. Some even show how to salvage the majority of the parts required to make the windmill and electrical converter. Even if you decide to go completely commercial, kits are available for as little as $1,000.00 that need only be bolted together to be done. There are some very important similarities in all the designs of these remarkable Do-It-Yourself windmills.
Location is very important when you contemplate harnessing the wind for electricity; you need wind. According to the United States Department of Energy, you need an approximate 12 m.p.h. average wind flow to power an average small generator windmill. If your wind flow is too intermittent to provide continuous current, alternate methods of harnessing other elements would include building a water wheel in a stream or runoff way through your land, or at last resort, onto a stationary exercise bicycle.
Each windmill, of course, has blades made to encourage spin when wind passes by the device. They can be made from such diverse materials as HDPE or PVC piping, or organic materials such as bamboo. After forming the blades you will have to attach them to a hub that can turn on a gear wheel. Each windmill has a tower support that holds the blades of the mill into the breeze. They may be either free-standing or attached to pre-existing structures.
Once you have the blade assembly done you can add a “tail” on the blade. This long piece with its fin helps direct the wind flow into the blades most effectively. An electrical generating motor is the only bit of the windmill assembly that requires major machined parts. The wires off your generator lead down the tower supports and are attached to your converter unit and the storage batteries that are the heart of your wind powered electrical generating system.
A single windmill is easily capable of generating as much as 13 volts of charge. As the load increases beyond this, excess energy is dumped into the battery for later discharge. Do not be under the impression that these small self-made windmills will power all the electrical needs of a modern house. They are designed to supplement existing current for economic savings or as electricity in an environment that is not wired through the utility company.
A couple hundred watts will keep a refrigerator going and maybe a light. You could use it instead for any other small electrical appliance including power hand tools while building a home or shelter far into remote areas. If your total electrical requirements are more than one windmill can provide, the answer is simply to construct a second or even third windmill to increase the available power.
It is possible for large enough systems to produce more current than can be used and can then be sold back to the utility company if you are still hooked into the grid. It is always a possibility that is worth investigating.
Harnessing your own electrical power is a lot easier than you might at first think. Considering the ever increasing rates charged by utility companies, the addition of a self generating system is both practical and frugal. Besides, even if the main power goes out, your private windmill can still give you a light in the dark so long as the wind does blow.