Using a homemade windmill for alternative energy is a step that makes good sense--both for the planet as well as for the personal energy savings you will have with your monthly power bill. Especially if you live in a locale that is windy, a windmill taps into the alternative energy source that already naturally exists in your area. You can build a windmill for less than $200. Find out how you can be a part of winning the war on global warming.
Order your windmill building plans as well as the DC motor. See the Resources section for a link. It can take several days to be delivered to your home and while you are waiting, get the materials ready for constructing a tower and the turbine. Locate the placement site for your windmill. It should be 15 feet above the highest point of your land as well as situated within 300 feet of your home. Your ultimate goal is to convert wind energy to mechanical energy, so be sure that your windmill is higher then your tallest trees and that no walls or building structures block its ability to have access to as much wind as possible.
Build the windmill base. Make sure that your base is heavy. Concrete and sand bags are good materials for this part. For a windmill that is 5 feet high, for instance, you will need a base that is at least 18 inches square and 20 lbs. in weight. Do the math if your particular project is bigger.
Build the tower and install the blades to the DC power motor. A basic tower for a 5 foot windmill can be a sturdy 2 x 4, a PVC pipe or other strong material. A basic 5 foot windmill will require blades that are between 1 and 3 feet in diameter. You can get away with three blades, but five blades are better. It is fine if your blades are pieces of plywood. You want blades that catch the most wind and have the least amount of resistance possible. The wrong size blades will disrupt the balance of your windmill and will also limit its overall effectiveness. The nacelle usually includes a gear box to allow the blades to turn, but for a basic windmill, a shaft is all you need.
Set up a battery storage unit. This will allow you to store the energy power that is generated by the windmill. It is not recommended that you perform this delicate step unless you are a licensed electrician. Your set of plans will tell you the size and the what that you need. Then make the call to a good electrician that can make the whole conversion from wind to viable energy source a reality.
Enjoy your alternative source of power.