Wind generators, also called wind turbines, are electrical generators that use the mechanical energy from wind currents to produce electricity. This machine and its method of producing electricity is an environment-friendly alternative to the more commonly used gas turbine. Homeowners living in areas where average wind speed can be quite high can set up a small scale wind generator in their backyards to achieve a certain degree of self-sustainability in terms of energy.
1. Acquire an alternator.
It's possible to actually build an alternator from scratch, but this could prove impractical, starting with building accurate molds and shaping each of the machine's components. To bypass this process altogether, one can purchase commercial alternators. Fisher and Paykel motors, for example are popular for wind turbine projects. This approach may cost more, but it would also be speedier and involve less of the trial and error steps that would be necessary for home-made alternators.
2. Install the steel hub to the rotor.
The rotor is the alternator's rotating module carrying the magnets. This is the crucial component that needs the wind's mechanical energy to rotate and generate the magnetic field that will in turn generate electricity through the stator. The hub and rotor must be centered on each other as accurately as possible, and this can be done by utilizing a lathe. You will need to drill matching holes in both parts and use high-grade steel bolts to affix them to each other. Essentially, you will be attaching the blades directly to the rotor. The main shaft would simply keep both rotor and hub centered. After installation you can coat both parts with rust-resistant primer and enamel to protect them from corrosion. Again as with the alternator, it is also possible to manufacture the steel hub and blades from scratch using fiberglass and moldings. Acquiring one that's already pre-built may be a slightly more expensive detour, but this will be a more practical way to set-up the whole wind generator.
3. Balance the wind generator's blades.
It is important that the blades and rotor are well balanced so that they won't shake at high wind speeds. Excessive vibration could damage the rotor or the blades or even topple the tower set-up. The easiest way to go about this is to use a static balancing method. Using a lathe once more, you can put a hole in the center and attach a knotted string. This will enable you to suspend the hub, blades and rotor and establish its equilibrium just as you would in a scale balance.
4. Attach an electrical rotary connector.
The wind generator needs to be able to swing 360 degrees to move with the wind's direction and catch it. This creates a problem in that the electrical wires leading from the stator all the way down the tower will continuously twist. Electrical rotary connectors are specifically made to address this problem of bridging an electrical connection between two components when one or both could be moving.
With the blades balanced and attached to the motor, your wind-powered generator is actually good to go. The next steps will simply involve erecting the tower and mounting the wind generator on the tower.