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trying to build a vertical axis wind turbine. part 1

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Uploaded on Feb 14, 2009

My version of the 55 gallon drum Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. Savonius? I am using two bearings with a flange which holds 4 carriage bolts mounted on a frame made of 2x4s. The inside diameter of the bearings are 1". I am also going to try a 10" diameter pulley to connect a belt drive to the generator(dc motor). I just got it mocked up for the first time today. I have the motor, rectifiers, and capacitors ready to install. If it produces 12 volts in a moderate wind then I will try connecting it to my solar/wind charge controller and a battery bank for a small off grid system. The bearings also have a grease fitting. The man at San Antonio Belting and Pulley Co. was very helpful. It spins freely but it takes two small oscillating fans on high to maintain about 20 rpm. If I set the fans on medium it will spin but much slower and it eventually stops altogether if I put the fans on the lowest setting. No, it won't fit out the door. I have to remove one set of barrel halves and the temporary braces before I can remove it from my living room. The motor I am using as a generator weighs 25 pounds. I am going to mount it at the top of the frame and put a cover over the top to protect it from the elements. I ordered another motor/generator which weighs 40 pounds which I may try to see if it will produce more power. It would be easy to connect two generators to the shaft but I don't know if the turbine will be powerful enough to spin them both.

I probably should have looked for cheaper bearings but I spent $35.00 each for these two. i also purchased a pulley which was $10-$15 as well. The one inch pipe and electric motor/generator only cost a few dollars ($6.00) because I paid twenty cents per pound scrap metal prices at the steel recycler. My wooden frame which originally was supposed to be temporary is beefed up a bit with corner bracing from Lowes/Home Depot. The barrels are connected together with three 5/8 x 6 deck boards cut in 20 inch lengths and 1 1/4 inch deck screws.

In this version with one inch diameter axle I realized it is much easier to assemble the turbine if you drill the one inch holes in your barrel before splitting it in half. My turbine has 50% overlap and the axle holes happen to be exactly 12 inches apart on center.

I was suprised how quiet it is. At least when I spin it by hand. I have yet to test the turbine in the wind. Generator and electronics are not installed yet.

Turbine related photos will be posted here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dolinick...

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