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How to Build a 17-ft Wind Turbine

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the perfect-for-annoying-neighborhood-pets dept.

Hardware Hacking 335

agentfive writes "The people over at Treehugger have found an amazing little article on how to build a 17ft - 3kW+ output Wind Turbine. Apparently this is the latest project of OtherPower.com and the site has a variety of other engergy saving/producing projects including a Homebrew Maytag Gas Battery charger."

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huh? (-1, Offtopic)

isecore (132059) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056087)

and what use might a windtunnel in my apartment be? It's not like I'm designing fighter-jets or the new Ford here.

Re:huh? (2, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056114)

I think if you replace the term windtunnel with windmill the answer will become clear.

That or if you bothered to read the article.

Re:huh? (1)

FrontalLobe (897758) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056511)

Windmill? You looking to make flour or something?

Re:huh? (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056129)

and what use might a windtunnel in my apartment be? It's not like I'm designing fighter-jets or the new Ford here.

Wind Turbine, not Wind Tunnel. You can stick it on your roof and run a cable to your computer. Poor man's power, as it were.

Don't feel too bad, though. I misread the headline the first time as well. :-)

Re:huh? (1)

dasunt (249686) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056305)

Wind Turbine, not Wind Tunnel. You can stick it on your roof and run a cable to your computer. Poor man's power, as it were.

Considering that the article said that at ~100 rpms, there was 6 amps @ 6 volts (36 W), and that at ~1000 rpms (heavy wind?) he predicted about 400W, it seems an iffy proposition to power a desktop computer.

Poor men use laptops, I guess.

(Only read the first page before /. killed the site. Later pages might have had more info.)

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056138)

Turbine != Tunnel

not sure if you were being funny or stupid...but there you go...

... those windmills will keep them cool... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056192)

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056335)

Scarry that the world has such stupid people in it...not only do you misread it, but you launch an elitist attack into your misread of it. You are truely an idiot.

Or... (0, Offtopic)

InVinoVeritas (781151) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056088)

Tie Rush Limbaugh to a post.

Lets count... (0, Troll)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056094)

until the first moron posts the usual "it will NEVER produce as much energy as it consumed during production !!!!111" propaganda...

Something to add... (1, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056131)

After lots of real bad articles (like that beamer), this is finally some REAL DIU.
Starting from the copper wire and magnets, there is actually some real construction involved.

Re:Lets count... (0, Troll)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056338)

Ok, point proven.
Slashdot, home of the asshats and bigots.

Beautiful! (4, Funny)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056097)

I'll take 2 please, mounted side by side, in opposite directions, my current window fan just isn't cuttin the mustard...

Re:Beautiful! (1)

Beau6183 (899597) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056384)

Uh, this is a passive windmill, not a fan. It does not generate wind current: it generates electrical currents from wind force.

Thus creating a perpetual motion... (1)

Uptown Joe (819388) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056544)

powerplant that will be able to provide engery for the entire world? - If only it was that easy.

ahem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056103)

FP

Amazing! (-1, Troll)

th0mas.sixbit.org (780570) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056108)

Amazing! Hackaday [hackaday.com] only posted this on Monday! Slashdot's speeding up!

Re:Amazing! (1)

tgrimley (585067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056120)

If you saw it on Monday, why did you submit it?

Re:Amazing! (1)

a3217055 (768293) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056153)

Yeah slashdot has fallen in stories, it might be the editors are going out and meeting peope ro something :)

Re:Amazing! (1)

imaginieus (897756) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056350)

Well, in their defense, Hackaday stole [hackaday.com] two of slashdot's links yesterday, so they cant be doing too bad.

Slashdot is brought to you by Sears Craftsman (5, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056116)

DIY stories so far today:
Homebuilt 19" Mini-ITX Server Rack [slashdot.org]
The Floating Powerbook [slashdot.org]
A Practical Guide to DIY LCD Projectors [slashdot.org]
How to Build a 17-ft Wind Turbine [slashdot.org]

And it's only 2:45pm EST.
Did Bob Vila donate a large sum of money to Slashdot or something?

Re:Slashdot is brought to you by Sears Craftsman (1)

mkw87 (860289) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056190)

Slashdot is turning into a text version of all the showns on TLC (The Learning Channel) about home improvement.

Re:Slashdot is brought to you by Sears Craftsman (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056191)

Nah, they realized that it's summer and they don't want anymore "Hacker sentenced to Death" stories.

Got to keep the geeks occupied.

Re:Slashdot is brought to you by Sears Craftsman (2, Insightful)

courtarro (786894) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056598)

You'd rather be reading about Google and Apple? This is truly 'news for nerds'. I for one welcome our new DIY overlords.

Re:Slashdot is brought to you by Sears Craftsman (1)

Uptown Joe (819388) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056605)

I imagine a ton of these crap projects strewn all over CmdrTaco's house..

Local restrictions (1)

crow (16139) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056133)

Much as I would love to generate my own electricity, a wind turbine isn't likely to be allowed by my town.

Pretty much the only clean energy that I could generate legally is solar, and that's just not cost effective, especially in Massachusetts.

Re:Local restrictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056215)

I demand that you stop this AT ONCE! It's unfair competition!

Re:Local restrictions (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056319)

Local restrictions suck.

I'm in a prime location to put up a beast like this. Only problem is that I don't own the building.

The rear of the building faces a highway and train tracks. They certainly wouldn't complain about it.

But I feel for you Crow. MA is out of control these days.

Re:Local restrictions (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056436)

In vermont we have act 250 which is an all inclusive 'fuck you' from the zoning baord as it is worded to prevent any structure that would damage the natural scenery of the property.

natural scenery was never defined in the bill.

PhotoVoltaic Roof Shingles (2, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056560)

Roof Shingle power sources. There are now a number of suppliers.

http://www.kingsolar.com/catalog/mfg/uni-solar/shr 17.html [kingsolar.com]

Uni-Solar shingles are unique and have been honored with thePopular Science Grand Award, " Best of what's new (Environmental Technology)," and Discover magazine's "Technological Innovation Award" for best innovation (Environment).

The PV shingle permits roofs of commercial and residential buildings to evolve from mere protection from the weather to a source of electric power. The flexible, thin-film solar cell shingle blends into roofing pattern of traditional asphalt shingles or roof tile.

Wind Tunnel Usage (3, Funny)

LeoDioxide (836870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056137)

It's obviously for your dog! Now you can simulate the head-out-the-window-of-your-car experience right in your very own studio apartment.

Re:Wind Tunnel Usage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056448)

there was a recent "there ought to be a law" contest for kids here in good 'ole pennsylvania. the winning entry was a law banning dogs from sticking their heads out the window.

in other news, taxes increased 16% and legislators got a 16% pay raise! i'm leaving this hole as soon as possible.

Re:Wind Tunnel Usage (1)

ifdef (450739) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056603)

Insightful???

Now I don't feel nearly so good about when one of my posts is modded Insightful.

The parent poster is talking about a wind TUNNEL, while TFA is talking about a wind TURBINE. Or, I assume it is, because it's slashdotted already so I couldn't read the article.

Let's try to restrict Insightful to those posts that actually show SOME insight, okay?

3 KW....pfffft (4, Funny)

charnov (183495) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056145)

Hey, all I want to know is how many birds it'll kill...we have a real starling problem where I live.

Re:3 KW....pfffft (2, Funny)

raygundan (16760) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056259)

You don't want a 17' turbine, then, I think. The bigger they are, the slower they spin-- you want a nice little 3' turbine that spins like an airplane propeller. It has to be fast enough that it blurs, and they think it's just air.

Alternatively, you could just get a big picture window. Or a cat.

Re:3 KW....pfffft (1)

Actuator Man (874693) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056502)

You also need an umbrella every time you go outside, to deflect all the bloody chunks of dead bird dropping out of the sky.

They Kill Bats, Too!! (1)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056416)

Environmental Disasters I tell you!! Fire up the coal burner.

Links (5, Interesting)

dwight0 (513303) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056149)

I like some of the sites they link to. Some useful stuff. Like how to make a rocket out of a match.
http://www.matchrockets.com/ [matchrockets.com]
Before internet, I once payed $2 out of the back of a comic book to learn that.

Perfect! (4, Funny)

mogrify (828588) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056151)

I've been looking for something like this. Now I just need a death ray to use on my homeowner's association and I'll be good to go.

Re:Perfect! (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056523)

Not only can you find one of those on the net, you can find one that also uses "green" power to do it [solardeathray.com] . Now you just have to get them all to stand in the same spot long enough...

My dad would like this (3, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056154)

he runs off the grid in Vermont, with a battery-power system, some solar cells, and a river paddlewheel turbine, and has a ridge on his 42 acre property that he could site this on.

Which is why he uses a laptop instead of a PC - easier to wire it to trickle feed from the battery system.

Re:My dad would like this (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056228)

Out of curiousity, but, how hard was it to set all of this up? How much did it cost?

apparently they need another wind turbine (4, Funny)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056155)

... to power their websites.

slashdot effect in... er... effect.

Re:apparently they need another wind turbine (1)

HyperChicken (794660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056216)

All links were Coral Cache'd. Images were not.

Re:apparently they need another wind turbine (0, Troll)

chevelleSS (594683) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056227)

they're not slashdotted.. the website link is wrong it should link to treehugger.com.

Solar Power In Wired (2, Informative)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056158)

Wired [wired.com] had an article [wired.com] this month about rooftop solar power that was kinda cool. I thought that the project they highlighted (no pun intended) could be DIY with a little money and time.

Reminds me off... (2, Interesting)

turbofisk (602472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056163)

this kinda reminds me of a guy made a small powerplant for his stream... He actually got money back from the powercompany as he was now supplying instead of drawing power :) hellacool... I wonder if this will be the same case?

Bad link (4, Informative)

kitzilla (266382) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056170)

Bad link in the article text. It's here [treehugger.com] .

Re:Bad link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056225)

Wow, cute tree huggers! Quick, coralize!!

Wind Turbine??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056171)

Talk about Passing Wind!

Re:Wind Turbine??? (1)

milktoastman (572643) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056452)

Your Passing Wind will pass right past me and I will take you down with Heavy Fists (aka, 'the 10 dollar Fists')

Yes, but can I use it as a heatsink? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056173)

Oh wait, it's been done [slashdot.org] , sort of.

Re:Yes, but can I use it as a heatsink? (2, Funny)

RabidJackal (893308) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056278)

Just when we thought they had run out of insane cooling techniques, they tell us how to build a 17ft wind turbine. It wont just cool your computer, it will blow it down the street too!

Otherpower.com Rules! (5, Informative)

Coocha (114826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056178)

I've been following the work of the Otherpower.com folks for a while now. They're damn good DIY engineers. Not only are their wind turbines quite nice, but my interest was also piqued by their use of single-cylinder Lister engines. Coupled with a biodiesel recipe, it looks like they can run their entire shop for 8 hours on a single gallon of carbon-neutral gas.

One of my lifelong goals is to live simply, on a large plot of undeveloped land somewhere. I'm glad there are people like the Otherpower folks who are paving the way as far as alternative energy creation, and being considerate enough to document their work as they go.

Re:Otherpower.com Rules! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056251)

Wasn't aware they allowed the Unabomber to post from jail.

+1 Teddy K. reference. NT (0, Offtopic)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056348)

awesome

Re:Otherpower.com Rules! (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056331)

In my experience, living simply is hard.

What I'd really like to see is cheaper, cleaner energy solutions that work on a large scale, so that people like me who live in HumanHives(TM) (aka, apartments) benefit from something slightly cleaner than coal.

Re:Otherpower.com Rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056376)

And you are working towards that goal by wasting electricity and the environment by reading and posting to /.?

Great...

Re:Otherpower.com Rules! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056462)

"One of my lifelong goals is to live simply, on a large plot of undeveloped land somewhere. I'm glad there are people like the Otherpower folks who are paving the way..."

Ah, irony.

Re:Otherpower.com Rules! and sells magnets (1)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056494)

wicked strong magnets [wondermagnet.com] ...well technically, wondermagnet is selling but rumage through the website and see if you can figure out their business relation ship to otherpower, I can't.

If you are into this DIY power generation, do visit their site...they also homebrew hydroelectric systems. And the participants in their discussion groups include a few very well versed engineers with good ideas for off the grid living.

Re:Otherpower.com Rules! and sells magnets (1)

Hays (409837) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056589)

homebrew hydroelectric? Like daming up the creek in your back yard? That sounds like about the coolest thing ever. Do people actually do that? That would be so fun.

Re:Otherpower.com Rules! (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056552)

their use of single-cylinder Lister engines

I much prefer Rimmer engines myself...

Re:Otherpower.com Rules! (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056592)

Their shop is powered by a composite power system. They got a bank of batts being charged by several wind turbines, the Lister engine, a couple of hydrogenerators that supply a surprising amount of power considering that they were orginally squirrel cage blowers that came out of a central AC system.

Their power plants are not state of the art, but homebrewing/improvising at it's finest.

Otherpower and Treehugger, not enough power... (1)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056181)

They need to beef up the power to their servers which are already crashing and burning...

In case of slashdotting, there is a mirror... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056219)

...of the turbine plans over at birdkiller.com [birdkiller.com] .

I submitted this (4, Informative)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056242)

with a more accurate headline.

The website doesnt really show YOU how to build one.

Rather, it shows you photos of the various steps taken by someone else to build one.

Sure, you could probably look at the photos and read the descriptions and use your brain to fill in the missing details and build one yourself, but there would be additional work/calculations needed.

It's still a pretty frickin cool project though.

The Problem With Small Wind Turbines is this: (0, Flamebait)

dabigpaybackski (772131) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056243)

You put up one of these in the city and you're going to kill a lot of birds.

Of course, that could be a bonus if we're talking about pigeons.

Re:The Problem With Small Wind Turbines is this: (0, Redundant)

Cecil (37810) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056413)

Where's your reference for this "fact"? It's not that I don't believe you, it's just that I don't believe you. This is mostly a myth as far as I've ever been able to figure out.

Besides, even if they do kill birds, you'd have to build a LOT of wind turbines before you came anywhere close to the number of birds killed by trucks, deforestation, pollution or even windows (the transparent glass kind, not the OS). Should we outlaw trucks or windows to protect the poor birdies while we're at it? I ask you, How many birds would be saved by replacing coal burning powerplants with wind turbines?

Re:The Problem With Small Wind Turbines is this: (3, Insightful)

Nytewynd (829901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056480)

How many birds would be saved by replacing coal burning powerplants with wind turbines?

Most of them. In 100 years when greenhouse gasses kill everything, birds will wish they had windmills.

Re:The Problem With Small Wind Turbines is this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056465)

Free energy AND food. Sounds good to me.

Wind Power (4, Interesting)

Dracolytch (714699) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056244)

I've never really gotten an answer to this question:

What are the implications or potential problems from removing energy from Earth's weather systems? Is the energy we're removing negligible enough to be ignored? Could it potentially change weather patterns by blocking/slowing wind?

Do we have any information about changes in weather from other man-made things such as cities? I've heard beltways can cause enough heat to slow/redirect some weather. (I know that birds of prey use updrafts caused by hot highways to help them gain altitude using less energy)

Any reliable sources for this kind of information, or are all sides biased?

~D

Re:Wind Power (4, Informative)

glenmark (446320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056308)

What are the implications or potential problems from removing energy from Earth's weather systems? Is the energy we're removing negligible enough to be ignored? Could it potentially change weather patterns by blocking/slowing wind?
It should have no more effect than a tree does, and in windy areas where wind power is a viable source (my old stomping grounds in West Texas spring to mind), having windbreaks is generally a good thing in terms of reducing erosion.

Of course, there has been a lot of chatter in the media lately about birds getting killed by windmill farms. Wildlife impact is a definite consideration in the design and placement of the things...

Re:Wind Power (1, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056430)

It should have no more effect than a tree does, and in windy areas where wind power is a viable source (my old stomping grounds in West Texas spring to mind), having windbreaks is generally a good thing in terms of reducing erosion.

Huh? I think there's a big difference between an inert blob that the air mostly just flows around (with some turbulence and loss of energy), and a windmill carefully impedance matched to the wind to extract the maximum possible energy from it.

Also, it's not at all clear to me that changing weather patterns is a good thing globally just because it helps locally.

I'm not trying to say we should stop all wind power, just that the issues are more complicated than they appear at first glance. Fossil fuels are bad, so it's not a question of whether wind is harmless or not, but one of whether it's worth the costs. Sane and balanced investigation of the tradeoffs is required, as always. But in the meantime, we should start building more sources of renewable energy -- let's avoid the trap of paralysis via overly detailed studies.

It's not even close to an easy problem, but that doesn't mean we can't try to solve it.

Re:Wind Power (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056541)

I'm sorry, but you appear to be insane.

Re:Wind Power spoils the view! (1)

bubbaD (182583) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056553)

I'd think the Jet stream and other major sources of wind are largely unaffected. What impact do all the turbine jets on airplanes have on weather patterns?
the real problem is that windturbines spoil the nice views! Just ask the people on Martha's Vineyard.

Re:Wind Power (3, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056573)

Even if you had a giant wind turbine that was 1/4 mile high and across your still using less than 1% of the total wind power available at that point vertically in the atmosphere.

If they start making large fields of 1000+ foot hight turbines I might start worring about the environmental effects. For now a small forest I'm sure has far much more effect on wind resistance than a field of turbines.

Re:Wind Power (4, Insightful)

glenmark (446320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056628)

Huh? I think there's a big difference between an inert blob that the air mostly just flows around (with some turbulence and loss of energy), and a windmill carefully impedance matched to the wind to extract the maximum possible energy from it.
I think you may be underestimating how much energy transfer takes place when wind strikes a tree. Of course it will vary wildly depending upon the species of tree, as well as its size and age, but it takes quite a bit of energy to get all of those branches swaying. Just try pushing a large branch around on a calm day and keep it going. See how long it takes you to get tired. Then extrapolate that effort to all of the branches on the tree...
Also, it's not at all clear to me that changing weather patterns is a good thing globally just because it helps locally.
I don't disagree. Predicting the impact of manmade structures is a non-trivial feat. Just take a look at the plethora of journal articles studying the impact of suburban sprawl on temperatures with its huge expanses of concrete and asphalt. I'm simply arguing that the impact of a windmill on wind patterns would be no greater than that of a tree. In fact, I would expect that trees should have a greater impact due to the cooling effects they provice.

Of course, these are all simply educated guesses on my part, as I am not a climate researcher (my science background is primarily in solid state physics). I could easily be mistaken.

Re:Wind Power (1)

danharan (714822) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056613)

I wouldn't be surprised if DIY turbines were bad for birds. Smaller turbines tend to move faster and be more deadly. Modern blades spin far more slowly and result in few bird casualties.

To put it in perspective you could look at birds getting killed running into smokestacks from your nearest coal-fired energy plant or residential/office high-rise buildings. Even cats are more deadly than turbines.

I would choose a model carefully if it was installed near habitat for endangered birds. But most of the time, we're looking at something that is several orders of magnitude less problematic than the status quo.

Re:Wind Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056362)

This sort of thing has always concerned me about the various ideas of putting solar power stations in orbit and beaming energy back to the surface. The earth currently receives a set amount of solar radiation (more or less). Now you're talking about grabbing some extra out in space that wouldn't have hit the planet, turning it into microwaves or whatever, and beaming it down to earth. Those microwaves get converted into electricity (and some heat during the conversion). Then that electricity gets turned into, say, compressor motor whirling (and some heat), or runs thru your CPU (and turns into heat). Seems to me we'd be adding a whole lot of extra heat to our planet...

Re:Wind Power (4, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056380)

To help provide some insight into your questions you could start with this BBC link [bbc.co.uk] which talks about microclimates.

CNN has an article [cnn.com] which talks about the same phenomenon.

This link [metoffice.com] has not only a discussion of microclimates but pictures and graphs to to illustrate the effect.

If you really want to numb your mind you could read this research paper [lbl.gov] which goes into a whole bunch of details relating to microclimates.

The above should get you started. I didn't provide the proverbial link to a Wiki article since there are enough of other sources to provide the same information.

Re:Wind Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056408)

Another problem I've read about is radar reflections from the turbine blades mucking up ari traffic control radars.

Wind farm foe cites risk to radar [capecodonline.com]

Go planet! (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056526)

What are the implications or potential problems from removing energy from Earth's weather systems? Is the energy we're removing negligible enough to be ignored? Could it potentially change weather patterns by blocking/slowing wind?

I doubt it, since all wind turbines operate at such low altitudes that higher tropospheric activity is not affected. Weather resides in the first 10 miles or so of the atmosphere, whereas turbines are installed within ~.3 miles of sea level (Denmark has some that are actually seaborne). It'd be like wondering whether fish swimming a couple thousand feet underwater affect the waves at the top. There's plenty of empty volume for the fluid (whether it be air or water) to bypass any obstructions (turbines, trees etc.). And there's a lot of terrain nearby with no wind turbines at all.

I've studied wind turbine and helicopter rotor design (they have some remarkable similarities, and differences). For wind turbines, the airspeed gradient through the blade disk isn't as great as you may think.

As for "bias," well, I've noticed that many deem any opposing opinion as "biased." So what ever.

Pre-emptive (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056280)

Looks like their webserver is running from a wind turbine!

Not exactly friendly (3, Interesting)

Nytewynd (829901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056281)

I'm pretty sure most towns won't let you construct a 17 foot windmill in your yard. There are a lot of ordinances where I live, and I see this as being against at least several of them.

Also, don't windmills produce tons of noise, to the point where they actually are a cause of noise pollution? That ought to make your neighbors thrilled.

Re:Not exactly friendly (1)

jjeffers (127519) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056609)

Having stood below everything from 1000 watt home scale turbines, to 1 megawatt utility scale turbines I can tell you that they are not loud. A car travelling 55 MPH makes a much louder noise than any turbine I've heard.

Full article mirror (4, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056290)

Here [networkmirror.com]

I keep telling myself I need to learn how to weld. I really do

Misleading (1)

Y2K is bogus (7647) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056295)

I read the site the other day when it appeared on Hack-A-Day. At that time it was a 400w turbine at 48 volts. I hate when submittors overglamorize the title of the article to get it posted.

Once /.'ed (3, Informative)

WasteOfAmmo (526018) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056316)

In a related story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056334)

otherpower.com's servers are apparently powered by a 17' wind turbine

Dammit! (3, Funny)

serutan (259622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056352)

Nice, but I need plans for an 18-ft turbine.

Article text (1, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056389)

In order to make your own 17' wind turbine, you will need the following items:

1) Seventeen tubes from paper towel rolls. [brawnyman.com]
2) A roll of Duct tape [octanecreative.com]
3) Ten cans of Bush Beans [bushbeans.com]

Next week, we put it all together.

1.21 Gigawatts!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13056451)

Sweet, I just need 403333 of these for my delorian and I'm outta here!

cache (0, Redundant)

jayteedee (211241) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056458)

It takes a village (1)

Foolomon (855512) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056492)

It takes a village...worth's pile of shit to completely hit this thing.

Ezz Empossible!! (5, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056513)

making your own generator with magnets and wire is just plain crazy. Designing and building an efficient generator is WAY beyond anybody's homebrew ability. You need to know electromagnetics, have a source of silicon steel laminations, the ability to stamp them out to 0.010" precision, the ability to wind interleaved 6-phase coils, and much more.


The only wattage mentioned is "36 watts" from turning it by hand, and using not a WATTMETER, but a voltmeter. Voltmeters are notoriously inaccurate at measuring "wattage", especally of weird waveforms you're likely to get from a homebrew generator. Also if thye were turning it by hand as hard as they could, the output should have been around 250 watts, assuming an average efficiency generator. So if we use these figures, it looks like their homebrew generator is only about 12% efficient.


This is not a great example of good DIY-ing.

Oh good (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056527)

The 10 foot wind tunnel I have now was really starting to show it's age . . .

Very neat article and site (1)

Hays (409837) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056564)

This is a really fascinating article. Power generation is an interesting concept but I've never really seen a detailed explanation of how a generator is built, what engineering trade-offs go into such a construction, etc. I consider myself pretty well educated by I'd be at a complete loss to do this on my own. It's really neat to see the engineering that goes into making power. Suddenly this seems so much more accessible- like something I really could do myself.

So does this mean I can use my 120mm PC fans... (1)

kuom (253900) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056583)

to power the wind turbine? And then use the wind turbine to power my PC? :P

home-built wind turbines (2, Informative)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13056585)

In the alternative energy crowd it's actually very popular to build one's own wind turbine instead of purchasing one pre-built. There are kits available, but some design them from scratch.

Often it's rather sobering looking at a wind speed map [awea.org] that your region isn't quite windy enough to make a turbine pay for itself. One needs Class 4 speeds at a minimum, and then you've got to deal with city ordinances about various crap with building a large structure.
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