User:Bencoder/DIY Wind Power
So I've been looking into DIY wind power - How low cost can we build wind generators if we were to build them ourselves. This is something I would like to work towards, especially if I were to move to a basestead/seasteading outpost, such as Pastor Jason's Seastead Outpost: Belize.
Most commercial solutions for wind power are very expensive, but I don't believe this has to be the case. A wind generator is very simply a high power DC motor attached to windmill blades. To make this reliable, a set of batteries is required, this also needs a charge controller, to ensure the batteries are not overloaded.
If AC power is required(i.e., to use most household equipment without modification) a power inverter is used. This will convert a standard low voltage DC potential into high voltage AC power.
The main generator, or the motor, does not need to be sophisticated. Any high power DC Motor will work. ebay tends to stock DC motors, or they can be scavenged from old electric equipment.
Blades can be built from wood or from PVC. PVC seems to be the easier technique. A guide for building DIY wind turbine blades can be found here: 
Batteries and Charge Controller
A bank of 12v car batteries would be sufficient, and fairly cheap, for this project. A charge controller is necessary to ensure that the batteries do not get overcharged. A charge controller will watch the charge on the batteries, and when it's above some amount, it will divert the power from the wind generator directly to the source. A cheap, and very capable kit for a charge controller, is available on ebay here: 
Inverter/Requirements for AC power
As an inverter is not 100% efficient, ideally it would be good to directly use the power output from the batteries/charge controller to power our equipment. Boat and car equipment mostly runs off 12vdc so it is likely that we would be able to power many items without an inverter, if we purchase with this in mind.
An inverter would also be required if we needed to transmit power for larger distances, as wires carry dc power inefficiently. Since I am mostly thinking about single-home, off-grid power, I do not see this as too big a consideration.
Inverters can be cheap, depending on the power requirements. Cheap ones will tend to output a very noisy AC supply (i.e. essentially a square wave) whereas true AC power should be a smooth sine wave. The more expensive the inverter, the closer one can get to a sine wave. Very cheap ones will likely power basic equipment with no problem, but sensitive equipment such as electronics, might struggle under a cheap inverter.