Here’s another great DIY wind turbine video. The last DIY vertical wind turbine video was a Savonius wind turbine and so is this one. A Savonius wind turbine catches the wind using scoops rotating around a shaft. These are definitely the easiest style of VAWT to make, since the scoops can be made of virtually anything.
This vertical axis wind turbine has the scoops mounted on a bicycle wheel. Bicycle wheels are handy since they are so ubiquitous. It’s not hard to find one lying around.
Can You Use a Car Alternator in a DIY VAWT?
The interesting part of this set-up is the use of a car alternator. The bicycle wheel is linked to the alternator with a belt turning the alternator shaft freely. However, once a load is applied (i.e. the alternator is turned “ON” to generate electricity), the wind turbine isn’t strong enough to turn.
As this video shows, car alternators are not ideal candidates for a homemade set-up. The rpms have to be much higher before any effective energy is drawn through the alternator. Some newer alternators turn much slower, but when you’re trying to build a DIY vertical wind turbine from scrap material, older alternators are more readily available.
Additionally, when the wind isn’t turning the wind turbine, the alternator will draw energy out of the battery, draining it. A proper controller with inverter will prevent this and compensate for the fluctuating energy during changing wind conditions.
Check out the video. It’s an interesting attempt at a DIY wind turbine.