When windmills are mentioned the visions that spring to mind most are Holland, Norfolk, or the large commercial wind farms dotted through the UK. Modern domestic wind turbine construction is of an entirely different proportion.
Immense awkward structures are replaced with state of the art technology which has the ability to generate enough electricity to provide power for homes and small cities. However advanced these developments may seem, for the average home owner the skills required in order to construct such a device for personal use are obtainable.
When contemplating a Do-It-Yourself wind turbine, points to consider include expense. Neither difficult to function, nor is the cost of wind energy high, wind turbines can be constructed with a few hundred pounds and basic workshop tools. If there is a local recycling center, then even better.
In modern turbines there are only a few moving parts and they are really light-weight, so while it is necessary for a bit of space and for government guidelines to be followed, there is no need for a high tower to support the generator and blades . If there is access on the roof then a stable and secure frame will be an ideal base for a wind turbine.
Other necessities include a kit for mounting the blade and gearing on the frame, these are readily available on the internet or from local renewable energy suppliers. One word of advice is to try to see these operating before purchase, and always buy from a well referenced supplier.
Finally advice which is frequently ignored but often invaluable; go to see a fully functioning unit, this will answer questions that most people do not even think to ask.
Do-It-Yourself wind turbines come in all makes and sizes, these impact directly on how much wind is needed and how much energy is generated. Preparation with research into local law relating building and noise, height restrictions etc. will prove exceptionally useful and time-saving. As will working out how to put the construction together, and even more importantly where the best wind comes from.
Unless you are planning on building the device from scratch, constructing a wind turbine should not take long, possibly just a few days. Blades are the main means of propulsion and those from wood or fiber mixes are cheaper and less prior to vibration and noise than metal ones. To ensure efficiency of your turbine, a tail assembly to keep the unit facing the breeze made with simple woodworking or engineering skills is a good idea.
The internet has all necessary equipment for successful construction of your turbine, both geared and the DC motors can be bought on-line and bolted together. If you are unfamiliar with electrics it may be wise to have an electrician in to wire these together and give a final safety check of the work.
Overall this is a straightforward project. However on a Do-It-Yourself basis, the risks involved in constructing and maintaining a wind turbine system must be considered. The construction is a serious, (and if not treated correctly), dangerous piece of equipment. Access must be restricted for everyone to prevent any potential accidents from the blades and electrical elements. If mounted on a tower this should never be climbed, a fence is an ideal deterrent against potential climbers, as is a powerful light to deter any intruders who may see this as an interesting and advanced play area.