# Wind energy for the home

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Umm...

Any discussion points? Questions? Bold statements?

If you have none, I'll just throw one in: The energy-payback time of those small windturbines, including the adaptations you need to plug it into the net, or to provide some energy storage is longer than the lifetime of the turbine.

(I didn't calculate it, I'm just guessing - but at least there's a discussion now - you're welcome).

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Yes, commercial wind turbines are very expensive on a cost per watt basis, and that is just for the turbine. The battery storage and control circuitry is a whole extra money-pit.

Unless you live on a really large plot in an area of medium to high windspeed away from whingeing neighbors or are off-grid so that anything is better than nothing, then they barely get out of the "street-cred" or "green cred" area.

For a couple of years I have been lashing up various experimental configurations (always with the main aim of minimum cost and mechanical complexity).

In a nutshell I can definitely say that with windpower, size is definitelyeverything, and if capital expenditure is an obstacle, then DIY is the way to go but no guarantee of success without much hard work and many setbacks along the way.

Edited by gcol

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That figure of $200 is pure wishful thinking.The cost of neodymiums and magnet wire alone can gobble that up in a mill to produce anything but hobby amounts of power. The blades are hand-carved, the alternator homebuilt usually based on a Volvo wheel/brake hub assembly, coils handwound. You have not included tower, storage batteries, (deep-cycle, expensive,) rectifiers, voltage controllers, etc. Now add in all the unpaid man-hours as well. Do some business studies having regard to normal cost and profit figures, add in the costs of the installation team and if even a very modest 200w outfit comes in, retail, at less than$2500 I would be surprised.

The gulf between dreams and reality.

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Just wondering, do you have a link to the webpage of that guy who's using the volvo parts to make alternators? I haven't been able to re-find it after seeing it a while ago.

It sounds like your vertical axis rotor is like something I keep wanting to try, I figure that the walls of my house kind of act like a collector for stray breezes and a savonius rotor at a corner may be more effective than having a free standing one. I was hoping to get something like 500W out of something about 12' high by 2' diameter though.

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Try Googling hugh piggott and or scoraig. He developed the idea, it is now the most popular homebrew wind alternator system. But it needs higher rpm than you get with a savonius, and the lower axial loads on a savonius don't really need something that beefy. Need larger diam. rotors to get higher rim speed. With 2' dia, blades, why not 2' dia rotor? plenty of room. allows for more magnets than a normal person can afford! On traditional horizontal axis mills they like to keep alternator dia. down to reduce wind drag.

There are some really really good discusion boards out there on this stuff. Try "windstuff now" and "otherpower". Reluctant to say more, am fast approaching the limits of newbie idiocy. Don't want to give you wrong info. Good luck.

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