Got Wind Energy? Learn Which Wind Turbine Parts Are the Most Important And Why The Best Option Is Not Always To Go Cheap

We are all looking to save money in uncertain economic times. If you live in a high wind zone, adding wind power can be a beneficial add-on to lowering your home energy bill. However, buying an inexpensive wind power kit or cheap DIY parts to build your wind turbine may not cut your home energy bill as much as you would like.

The main parts of a wind turbine are the generator, blades, mounting, tower and control panel. That doesn’t sound too difficult to put together, but the most expensive wind turbines are designed with computers for a reason…to maximize energy production.

To maximize your energy production and save the most on your energy bill, these are the wind turbine parts you should focus on:

The Generator: Is one of the most important components of a wind turbine which transforms wind power into usable electricity by reversing the direction of a DC motor shaft. You can use any DC motor such as a car alternator, old electric lawn mower motor or inexpensive DC motors in power tools if your goals for electricity production are small.

If you want to take it up a notch, invest in a good generator such as those produced by Ametek and focus on the RPM, voltage, amps and size of the motor. Ideally, you want to focus on a motor with a low RPM rating under 400 RPMs, which produces over 12 volts.

A low RPM rated generator will produce more electricity at lower wind speeds. So if you are not expecting consistent high winds in your area to drive your energy production, a lower RPM rated generator is usually the best option.

If dirt cheap is still on your mind, you can attach the wind blades to a larger hub and use a belt to drive the DC motor, basically like shifting gears on a bike. This will allow the motor to generate electricity at lower wind speeds. However, this will require more torque from the wind blades which will result in lower RPMs. Use a meter and test which configuration works best.

Wind Blade: Is another important component of the wind turbine and just as important as the generator. The RPMs of the wind blades are the result of two opposing forces: the blade’s ability to capture wind which is offset by the wind resistance of the blades. Homemade wind blades can have poor balancing if not properly constructed, which will result in lower RPMs produced, and more stress to the generator shaft bearings.

The most expensive wind turbines use the three blade configuration due to low wind resistance, good balance, and efficient wind capture to maximize RPMs.

If you choose to use a high RPM rated generator with larger hub, using a five blade configuration will increase your wind blade torque, but the additional wind resistance to the blades will lower your RPMs. Again, test and see which maximizes your home energy production.

Making your own wind blades out of PVC pipe or wood can be a low cost solution to building your own wind turbine. However, wind turbine blades designed with computers and made out of carbon fiber can be purchased from a commercial vendor for a relatively low cost and produce more electricity than homemade blades.

Choosing inexpensive wind turbine parts has its advantages in the short run, but investing in quality parts can provide you with a wind turbine that will last longer, has increased energy production, and will save you more money in the long run.

About The Author: Keith Garrett is a wind energy and solar power enthusiast for the home. His website at offers knowledge and tips to the homeowner on transitioning to renewable energy in the 21st century.

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Originally posted 2010-05-01 20:24:20.

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