Back in 2006 we wrote an article on the Chispito Wind Turbine Generator – a simple, cheap, fun and educational 100 Watt machine available in kit form in the USA for just $105 (£65 at that time) with free delivery. Unfortunately the kits were not available outside the USA, but detailed plans were available free of charge online, with the turbine generator specifically designed to use easy to source components – either cheaply available in DIY stores, or from salvage/junk yards. Similarly the tools required are few – a power drill, jigsaw, drill bits, wire strippers, a wrench, an adjustable spanner, a compass, a screwdriver, a tape measure and a protractor.
The completed wind turbine which should take two people a few hours to construct, put out 14 Volts in low (7-10mph winds) at under 300 rpm.
The key component of this design is the permanent magnet motor used as a generator when it is forced to rotate by the rotor in the wind. The recommendation is to use a 260 VDC treadmill motor, but any permanent magnet motor which turns at 25-35 rpm per Volt should be fine. Click here to view the latest availability of used treadmill motors.
The turbine blades which form the rotor are made from a two feet length of 8 inch diameter PVC plastic pipe (see here for our article on making: PVC Wind Turbine Blades).
To find out exactly how to make the Chispito 100W Wind Turbine Generator click here for the full parts list, and step by step assembly guide.