I remember when we decided to build a homemade wind generator. It was after we had went looking around at the commercially available wind generators and found that they were way to expensive to buy on our tiny budget. We were looking for a model that could produce 1000 watts and our jaws dropped when we saw that the price for one was in excess of $2500!
With that plan thrown out the window, we pondered our options. I'm not that technical of a person, but I figured if I could figure out how to make the blades for our homemade wind generator we could probably muddle our way through the rest. I consulted with one of my friends whom I figured could probably figure out a solution to my problem.
What he suggested astounded me. After doing some research he found that some people were using a piece of leftover sewer pipe and cutting a blade shape out of it. Apparently it was only 20% less efficient than those expensive fiberglass blades. I immediately went to a local construction site and asked if we could have a piece of 6" sewer pipe that they weren't going to use. They gave it to me for free!
We spent about an hour cutting the blades out and painting them with UV paint (to protect against the sun). I had already been on eBay and purchased a motor that I figured would work with our homemade wind generator. It was an Ametek motor rated for 600 RPM and 24 VDC. Now all I needed to do was find a tower.
This turned out to be easier than I first expected. We were visiting with friends one day and I noticed that they still had their TV tower hooked up... even though they had satellite. I asked if we could have their tower. Richard told me he'd give me $50 if I'd tote it away for him!
Later that weekend we finished assembling the body of the wind generator and mounted the tail onto it (a piece of steel rod and a piece of plastic I had cut into the shape of a triangle). Sunday morning was the big day! We put the tower up and attached 3 guy wires just to make sure it wasn't going anywhere. After that we mounted the completed homemade wind generator on the top (TV towers are very convenient because they have a 2 inch hole in the top which makes it easy to mount the wind generator) and crossed our fingers.
It wasn't actually windy enough to start the wind generator spinning until later that afternoon, but spin it did! To this day it still sits atop that old TV tower spinning away happily.