How to Build a Wind Turbine Using an Old Fan

What You'll Need
Old fan blades
Electric motor

Knowing how to build a wind turbine gives you awareness of alternative energy. When it’s in place and hooked up it can also cut your electricity bill and you’ll be making the environment greener. As part of how to build a wind turbine you can re-use old fan blades for the turbine blades.

Step 1 - Attach the Blades

You need good size blades for the fan. Those in a 24-inch case fan would be ideal. The best way to use the blades is to attach them to a hub that will attach to the motor hub. Most motors will have a hub, especially if you use an old treadmill motor. Remove the hub from the motor and use it as a template, noting the holes on it to mark a piece of metal. Attach the blades to the metal and the hub with ¼ inch bolts, making sure they’re fully tightened. Put the hub back on the motor.

Step 2 - Protectng the Motor

You can use a piece of PVC pipe to protect the motor, making sure it’s a tight fit. From here, use a piece of 1 inch by 1 inch wood to attach to the rear of the pipe, and thinner wood as a tail. This will help the wind turbine to keep facing into the wind.

Step 3 - Assembly

Having made the blades and motor unit, you need to connect it all together. For this you will need some square tubing. Attach the assembly you’ve made to this, with the assembly sitting above the square tubing, which will be behind it. Now you need to put a diode on the square tubing and attach the wires from the motor to it. The black wire goes to the positive terminal, the red wire to the negative terminal.

Step 4 - Rotation

Remove the wheel from a large caster. You will be able to attach two of the screws to the underside of the PVC tube holding the motor in place. This will allow it to rotate freely in the wind, which is what you need.

Step 5 - Tower

The tower should be made of a hollow steel pole. The higher the tower, the greater the wind, but be aware you’ll need to use guy ropes to secure it at every 18 feet in height. Use copper wire to go through the pole from the diode. You’ll need to cut a hole in the pole at ground level to bring out the wiring. The holes on the caster that would have attached to the wheel can be bolted to a metal cap that will fit over the top of the tower.

Step 6 - Power

The wiring will need to go to three stages. At ground level it will need to be attached to an ammeter. This in turn will go to a charge controller, so there are no large surges of power. From here it will go to charge the battery after which it can be used to power appliances. The tower needs to be firm in the ground.