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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Inexpensive Do-it-Yourself Wind Turbine for Your RV

We love wind power for RVing--used it for years. When we boondock the desert or the beach--or any other area with a good source of wind, we run up our wind turbine and let it complement our solar panels. Still, commercial wind turbine systems aren't altogether inexpensive. But hang on, if you're handy with a few tools and can scrounge a bit, you may be able to build yourself a 100-watt wind turbine inexpensively.

The heart-and-soul of this little machine is a recycled treadmill motor; the designers suggest you may be able to scrap one out of a freebie treadmill; we think you'll be likely to find a used one on a nearby Craiglist sale. In any event, the little treadmill motors put out a lot of juice for a small number of revolutions.

The next question we had was: What about blades? The basic "propeller" as some call it, is generally a three blade operation. On our commercial turbine a set of blades sets us back nearly $100. Not so here, the blades are built out of a chunk of PVC drain pipe. Gimme a break! This obviously isn't rocket science.

Check out the website of the good folks of Vela Creations. They offer a FREE detailed manual on how to build your own Chispito Wind Generator with pretty much common tools and cheap parts.

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  • Where do you find places to camp that will allow you to dig a 2' hole and fill it with cement?

    By Anonymous Jim Prairie, at 11:42 AM  

  • Jim:

    Our "2' hole" is the rear bumper of our fifth wheel. The diagram was intended for folks who are setting one of these up on the old homestead. Obviously us RV folks have to be a little more clever.

    By Blogger Russ and Tiña De Maris, at 12:10 PM  

  • Awesome, I love this article.
    In my previous (working) live I worked as an environmental consultant for (households, city administrations and small businesses).
    At that time they still called us Eco freaks, anyhow I used to lecture about building solar panels and wind generators and I am very happy to see that someone actually uses these cheap alternative energy generators.
    You go guys

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:12 PM  

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