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12-01-2009

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine. Part 6

The first order of business was setting up and bracing the tower. After arriving at my property and unloading my van, I drove to the nearest Home Depot (about 60 miles one way) and bought the 10 foot long piece of 1 1/4 inch conduit I needed for the tower. Once I had it, assembly went quickly. I used nylon rope to anchor the pole to four big wooden stakes driven in the ground. Turnbuckles on the lower ends of each guy-line allowed my to plumb up the tower. By releasing the line from either stake in line with the hinge at the base, I could raise and lower the tower easily. Eventually the nylon line and wooden stakes will be replaced with steel stakes and steel cables. For testing though, this arrangement worked fine.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine. Part 6

This photo shows a closeup of how the guy-lines attach near the top of the tower. I used chain-link fence brackets as tie points for my guy-lines. The fence brackets don't quite clamp down tightly on the conduit which is smaller in diameter than the fence posts they are normally used with. So there is a steel hose clamp at either end of the stack of brackets to keep them in place.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine. Part 6

This photo shows the base of the tower, staked to the ground, and with the wire from the wind turbine exiting from the Tee below the conduit tower. I used an old orange extension cord with a broken plug to connect between the turbine and the controller. I simply cut both ends off and put on spade lugs. Threading the wire through the tower turned out to be easy. It was a cold morning and the cord was very stiff. I was able to just push it through the length of the conduit tower. on a warmer day I probably would have had to use a fish tape or string line to pull the cord through the conduit. I got lucky.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine. Part 6

This photo shows the turbine head installed on top of the tower. I greased up the pipe on the bottom of the head and slid it into the top of the conduit. It made a great bearing, just as I'd planned. Sometimes I even amaze myself.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine. Part 6

Too bad there was nobody around to get an Iwo Jima Flag Raising type picture of me raising the tower up with the head installed.
Now I'm just waiting for the wind to blow. Wouldn't you know it, it was dead calm that morning. It was the first calm day I had ever seen out there. The wind had always been blowing every other time I had been there. Well, nothing to do but wait.

Finally! The wind was up and the turbine was spinning. The winds were actually unusually light the whole time I was on my property this time. The wind turbine still made good amounts of power though, even with winds that at best made it to only a little over 20 mph at times.

How I home-built an electricity producing Wind turbine. Part 6

To be continued

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