At first, building a windmill at home may seem like something more likely out of Don Quixote than based in reality. Sure, we would all like to make a difference in the world, however small, but building windmills must require expert skills and materials. On the contrary, never before has it been easier, cheaper, or more necessary for average citizens to take an active role in energy production and conservation. A simple windmill can be constructed a day’s time with a few trips to a local hardware home improvement store.
While this article will give some of the broad outlines of how to build a windmill at home, the details of a manual are crucial to ensure that the windmill functions properly and safely. A helpful and low cost manual that will walk you through each step of the process can be found, among other places, at www.earth4energy.com.
Most of the materials you will need for a windmill are basic, interchangeable, and available cheaply. Once you decide what size windmill you wish to build, you will need to buy wood, PVC piping, or another similar product to construct the base and tower. Remember that it needs to be sturdy and stable in high winds or else the entire structure will topple. It is often recommended that a 1-2 foot square piece of wood is used for a base, with some sort of weight put on top of it to provide extra stability. For the tower remember that a windmill must send the collected energy to the devices that you wish to run from its power in order to be useful. Therefore, the tower needs room in its center (either the hollow tubing of PVC piping, a hollow center to a wood construction, etc.) for electrical wiring to pass through.
The most technical aspects of a windmill are best purchased whole and not constructed, such as the blades, the gearbox, and the wiring. Fortunately, these items can be picked up at any of the major home improvement stores that are ubiquitous in nearly every community nowadays.
After following the manual and constructing your windmill, you must find a suitable spot to place it where it will receive regular winds. Every home is different, so a homeowner should carry out a tour of their property to assess where the strongest and most unobstructed winds will occur. Make sure that no trees are immediately around the windmill that might block or significantly alter the wind flow. Be sure that it faces a direction where the regular wind pattern will best turn the windmill’s blades. And lastly, keep in mind that the windmill must be connected to whichever devices you plan to power with it, so do not place it at the far edge of your property without a game plan.
Enjoy your new exploration of the renewable energy. Most people who try to build their own windmill end up feeling empowered by the experience, and go on to build bigger and better versions later on. So take the first step. Your energy bill and the planet will thank you for it!