That's right I said it. It's not as difficult as you think to build a wind generator. 16 years ago when we decided to make to change to off grid living it was one of the things that was on the top of our to do list. We had seen the $2500 price tag associated with the 1000 watt commercial models and we simply didn't have that much money to invest at the time.
I wasn't the handiest guy around, but after examining a commercial model I was certain that I could figure out a way to duplicate the results with a fraction of the cost. I was right... it really isn't that hard to build a wind generator and it doesn't cost that much!
The hardest part was making the blades and that wasn't even really that hard. It only took about an hour to make four blades (three to use and a spare). The blades are made out of six or eight inch blue or green sewer pipe. I tried other types of pipe like ABS and PVC, but the green or blue sewer pipe is the strongest. The blades are cut according to a template and are about 80% efficient when compared to the commercial models. Make sure to paint two coats of UV protective paint on the blades to protect them from the sun. If you don't paint them they become brittle and can break.
The tower we actually got paid $50 for! While we were over at a friends house I noticed that they were no longer using their television antenna as they had installed a satellite receiver. I asked him if I could have it for my wind generator project. I was told "I'll give you $50 if you tote that thing away for me".
After testing a bunch of motors we found that a company called Ametek makes pretty good ones. We found it on eBay and paid about $64 for it. You will want to find a motor that is rated for 12 - 48 volts at 400 - 600 RPM's. You will always need a motor that is bigger then what you need as motors produce less electricity than they are rated for.
The body was made from a piece of double insulated stove pipe. We attached the tail (which is a piece of steel rod and a triangular piece of plastic) to the body. On the underside of the body we mounted a flange so that the wind generator can spin on top of the tower.
To this day our wind generator still sits atop that old TV tower spinning away. I've had to replace a couple blades over the years, but for $150 I'd say we did pretty good!