homemade energy producing windmill?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by No Regrets Farm, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. No Regrets Farm

    No Regrets Farm Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2003
    Hi, All!

    Ok, I got a bug to try to do this. I have a small (4 ft) windmill. I would like to find some plans that will teach me how to make it into an energy producing windmill. Basically, I want to power a single light in my chickencoop. It seems feasable to me, but, alas, I am not able to find the plans I seem to need.

    Do you have any ideas, plans, websites that might be helpful? I have done many searches on google and come up with a couple ideas, but they dont go into the detail that I need. If only someone could give me step by step instructions, I know I can do it! ; )

    Thanks for your help!
  2. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Oct 14, 2004
    Can you include a picture of what you have to start with?

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    ..............Take alook at this website... http://www.otherpower.com/
    ..............You maynot want to build a windgen as big as they did, but you can downsize as the same principal(s) will apply , you'll just have less output , fordy :)
  4. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Sep 22, 2004
    . Are you mounting it high up or are you one of the lucky folks that get a good breeze really regular?

    I would think that a auto alternator setup would be inefficient due to the rotation speed needed etc etc.

    Go to one of the dozens of sites like otherpower.com etc etc and learn how to make a permanent magnet set up. I have seen the large type of these produce at very low rotational speed and I would assume the same thing only sized down accordingly would work although the charge amount would be only a guesstimate at best til you build one.

    As far as a single light for usage I would think any of the self charging solar lights out there would work fine. I have seen small plastic crosses that are about 1 ft tall in graveyards here that have a small 3x3 inch solar panel that charges two double a or triple a batteries and the cross will stay lit up all night off of the charge it gets from the sun. They run about twenty bucks. I am going to buy one and replace the colored bulb with a regular 1157 or 3157 12 volt bulb. A couple of those small 50 cent bulbs will light up a small room rather well.
  5. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    Latest Northern Frieght has a couple pages on solar panels. One is a panel to connect to, say a shed, and it powers a pull light. It does not say how much light this puts out, if it incadescent or what. But it might be enough to keep chickens happy. Then again, it might not.
  6. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 1, 2003
    Far West in the White Mountains, Arizona
    No Regrets Farm,

    Since your specific requirement is to use your existing 4' high windmill you don't have many options. The size of the propeller is limited, therefore the power produced by the blades is also limited. You required ONE light bulb. An auto generator or alternator is overkill. At one time a small generator was made to light a front and back light for a bicycle. It was about 2" in diameter and maybe 4" long. A small wheel rubbed against a tire to provide rotational force. Your windmill could provide sufficient force to operate this device in a moderate wind.

    I doubt any plans will be found, but it is a simple matter to make the necessary frictional connection. When looking for this device. Remember, it is a GENERATOR.
  7. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    "At one time a small generator was made to light a front and back light for a bicycle. It was about 2" in diameter and maybe 4" long. A small wheel rubbed against a tire to provide rotational force"

    i have one of these 'bottle generators' on an old bike- whats the history on them and how do i restore it?
  8. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Most of those small solar powered lights run one or more colored LEDs, since they are low cost, very efficient light sources.

  9. LaDonna

    LaDonna Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2004
  10. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    central idaho republic
    A wind generator produces only when wind is blowing, therefore with the generator you also need storeage [batteries] and either a 12 volt light [ok dc light source of 6, 12,24,48, 96] or an invertor to be able to power an ac light for when its not blowing. a wind power set up also does not produce at peak output until sufficient wind speed in achieved and when over maximum wind speed is there your windmill should have a brake on it to avoid damage to your setup.

    If you go with batteries you need to make sure you dont let them freeze, or get over charged cause damage occurs at both extremes and is spendy in replacement costs any way you look at it.

    It isnt hard to set up, just takes time and ability to maintain it once you get it going. Solar panels are the same, except the panels do not require as much maintainance as does a windmill, but the storage is the same.

  11. Explorer maybe on to something. I once seen a setup in a magazine or a book where they had mounted a bicycle tire onto the small windmill and used one of those generator lights for bicycles. The faster the wind blowed the brighter the light. Might confuse the chickens somewhat, they wouldn't know to get ready for bed or time to get up!