What began as afternoon discussion Thanksgiving Day five years ago turned into a challenge between two brothers-in-law: create a simple, cost-effective homebuilt wind turbine fully capable of completely offsetting the average electric bill. It had to be simple, reliable, low cost, and easy to build and maintain.
Alan, who had several years experience with his own large 25kw wind turbines, challenged that he could build the turbine and structure if I could build an electronic control to manage it. Well, it sounded simple enough.
Drawing on experience with his other turbines Alan knew that the cost of rotor blades and other essentials would leave him no option. He would have to build his own rotor blades, mounting structure, and find competitively priced off-the-shelf components if the cost were to remain within reach of a do-it-yourselfer.
With nearly thirty years of experience in consumer and industrial electronics repair I accepted the challenge with a little bit of “I’ll believe when I see it” in the back of my mind. I felt confident that I could hold up my end of the deal.
A few months later Alan calls, “I just purchased a new 7.5 hp induction gear motor,” the heart of the wind turbine. The challenge just grew teeth.
Breezy 5.5 is our creation. Connected in parallel with the electric utility it produces 5.5 KW with wind speeds of 21-23 mph. With Alan’s unique rotor design we’ve had no problems handling winds 70 mph.
The details inside will be invaluable to anyone wishing to build their own wind turbine.
Through failure and triumph we present: Breezy 5.5