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Mike’s Method for Building Wind Generators

Hi, this is Mike. We will be posting free instructions here showing you how to build your own wind generators and solar panels. We also teach hands on instructional workshops in our shop in Show Low Arizona. Before I teach you how to build them I would like to tell you why I build wind generators the way that I do.

pic-21-sized-at-300There are many great ways to build wind generators and there are also other good, reliable companies. I have studied and experimented with many ways of creating wind power and the methods that I have designed for use in our Mallard wind generators are what I have found that I personally prefer for simplicity and reliability. This doesn’t mean that the other ways are not good. I am not going to tell you why you should not purchase from anyone else. This is just what I have found that I prefer and what I feel is the most reliable and simple way to produce your own wind power. Since we began Mike’s Windmill Shop in early 2003 I have built over 4000 wind generators. I have had this as a hobby for over 25 years. This is something that I love to do.

I have always believed in keeping things simple because this makes it more reliable and much easier to diagnosis. I am now offering FREE plans that will help teach you and your friends how to become more self-reliant and to enjoy wind power like I do. We also offer parts to make it easy for you to find what you will need in building your wind generators and solar panels. If you would like to have me teach you in person you can sign up for one of our wind and solar power workshops. I teach these workshops two or three times a year in our shop in the mountains of Eastern Arizona. For more information on our workshops, including pricing and dates click here.

pic-36-sized-at-300The first type of wind generator that I will teach you about is the axial flux wind generator. I start the Mallard SP large wind generator by using strong, reliable four bolt flange bearings. These larger wind generators are very strong and very heavy. These bearings allow the wind turbine to turn to face the wind in even the lightest breeze. These bearings are very reliable and will not wear through like the pipe on pipe system that is commonly used in the larger wind generators. I have found that these bearings are very easy to use.

pic-28-sized-at-300I like to use these special counter bored magnets, which I have designed, on our steel disc rotors because I can use special stainless steel bolts to bolt the very powerful neodymium magnet to the plate, insuring that the magnets will not fly off of the plates. These magnets are specially made so that the stainless steel bolts can be countersunk in to the magnet. This lets the magnet plate rotate smoothly while holding the magnets securely in place. When I was first learning how to build an axial flux wind generator I learned to glue the magnets in to place and then would use fiber glass resin over the plate, using a mold. This was a very time consuming process and would be quite discouraging when after a period of time the magnets would fly off of the plate. Sometimes I would find the stray magnet but many times I would never find it again. The specially designed counter bored magnets that I have created eliminate this problem. The bolts hold them securing in place for many years. Use my unique magnets to safely build your wind generator.

I have designed a stator plate that makes winding an axial flux stator easy.

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With this plate there is less chance of making a mistake in the windings. You can wind each coil within a phase with the same piece of magnet wire, reducing the number of connections between coils. With the traditional method of winding coils for an axial flux stator you wind each coil separately. This means that there are 18 wire ends to a 9 coil stator. These ends have to be connected and these connections can fail. Also when winding separate coils you can accidentally put one in backwards. This will cause a loss of voltage. There is also the need to place all of the coils in a thick resin coating to keep them from falling off.  You have to build a mold and cast all of the coils in fiberglass resin. This is very difficult, messy, time consuming and mistakes are easy. If there is a mistake and the coils are already cast in resin you cannot change the number or wrappings or reverse a coil to correct the mistake. You have to start all over again.

pic-134-sized-at-300By winding the stator using a plate I have designed there are only 6 wire ends, less connections and a more reliable winding. If you find that you need more volts you can easily add more windings to the end of the wrappings. If you need less volts then remove a few wrappings from the last coil on that phase. This way you can fine tune the performance of your wind generator.

pic-113-sized-at-300I will show you how to use this winding plate to make an easy to build, powerful wind generator. After you have tested the windings to be sure that you have them at the performance that you desire you then will brush on two coats of resin to protect the windings from the elements. This is very easy to do because all that you are doing is using a brush to apply the resin.

pic-95-sized-at-300There are several types of windmill blades. You can carve wooden blades, purchase plastic carbon fiber composite blades or use aluminum blades. I have my personal preferences in windmill blades. Each type of blade, aluminum, wood and carbon fiber, have their advantages and conditions in which they will perform best. For general use I prefer to use aluminum blades on all wind generators that are under 10 feet in diameter. Aluminum blades are quiet. They catch low winds. Carbon fiber blades are good for moderate wind but they can get quite noisy. They can sound like a freight train or like an airplane trying to take off. The other drawback to the carbon fiber blades is that they require very specialized and expensive equipment to build. If you want to use the carbon fiber blades you will need to purchase them ready made. They are only available in a couple of sizes. The carbon fiber blades do work great for the smaller permanent magnet motor wind generators such as those that use the Ametek motors. You can build aluminum blades in any size or shape that you want to build them. Aluminum blades will hold up to weather conditions better than wooden blades. I have had wood blades break on me too many times. Wooden blades can take you a full day or even longer to carve. However, if you are building a wind generator that is over 10 feet in diameter you will need to carve a set of wooden blades and fiberglass it for added strength. The very large diameter is too much for the aluminum blades unless you are using a very thick aluminum that would be difficult to cut and bend. So, for wind generators 10 feet or less in diameter I prefer aluminum blades and for wind generators larger than 10 feet in diameter I prefer wood blades that been reinforced with fiberglass.

To help protect your wind generator in extreme high wind conditions you can use the high wind tilt out mechanism that I have designed.

This high wind tilt out does not rely on any electronics. It is strictly mechanical. The force of the wind pushes the wind generator head back at an angle to reduce the force of the wind. This allows the wind generator to still produce high amounts of power while protecting it from the damaging effects of the extreme winds. I use weights as a counter balance in this system. If you want the wind generator to tilt up at lower speeds, reduce the amount of weight. If you want it to stay facing the wind at full force until the wind speeds are higher then simply increase the amount of weight on the counter balance. We do not use springs in our tilt out mechanism so that you do not have to worry about the springs weakening and breaking over time.

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