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Below is the data I collected over the course of testing my designs. There is always experimental and human error, so the numbers are probably not 100% accurate, but they are correct to the best of my knowledge. Also, I wasn't just testing one turbine, but a collection of designs using different blade materials, number of blades, and generators. Hopefully that isn't too confusing in the data.
Blades | Generators | Cost
The following table shows the results of the data I collected on the blades. The generator is kept constant (in this case, the purchased DC generator), while the blade material and number of blades is varied. I'm still a little confused by what exactly tip-speed ratio and pitch factor is defined as, so I used the best information I could. A three-blade configuration using wood blades seemed to work the best.
This graph shows the performance comparison. As with the rest of the graphs on this page, the performance curve is a simulated curve derived from actual measured data. As anyone that has tested wind turbines before knows, there is a LOT of variation, so some intelligent smoothing was necessary.
I used two different types of generators, as detailed in the "My Designs" part of the site. The first was a DC generator that was designed specifically for wind turbines, and the second was a custom-built alternator. The purchased DC generator was significantly better.
This graph shows how much better the purchased generator was. In this case, three wooden blades were used for the configuration. So, it's putting out about 100W at 20mph wind speeds. Not great, but it could be worse.
This shows the cost breakdown of the turbines. Interesting to see that purchasing a generator cost less than building one myself. Also a bit surprising to see how much good batteries cost. (Use deep-cycle AGM batteries, not car batteries!)
It's probably also good to note that these things could cost a lot less. These costs are the sticker price if you needed to buy every component from a hardware store.
Still, the wind turbines I built cost much less per watt than the nearest alternative I could find. They aren't the most powerful or efficient, but they work!
All brand names are registered trademarks of their respective owners. Prices are the best I could find as of January 2012.
|My Designs | Data | Other Designs | Resources | About |