Tower
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There are several commercially available towers for small wind turbines, but they are all fairly expensive. I designed this tower using only 1.25" steel pipe components that can be easily found at a hardware store. The tower stands 10 feet tall, which is pretty short by most standards. I used this tower only for testing purposes, however, and it was nice to have a tower that was transportable and cheap. In general, a taller tower (20-30 feet or higher) is going to be greatly preferred for any permanent installation. It would be possible to use this design for a taller tower, but it would definitely require heavier steel pipe (2" diameter at least) and more guy wires. Having a base set in a concrete foundation would also be perferable.

The design of the tower was very simple. The main part of the tower is a 10ft length of 1.25" pipe. The turbine will sit on top of this. The 10ft pipe screws into a approximately 1m square pipe base. Guy wires run from the top of the tower to the base to give stability. The base is then anchored using heavy objects (I used sandbags). Specifications are below.





For each joint in the foundation of the tower, it is ideal to use JB weld to ensure that the structure is secure, although it is not required. I HIGHLY reccomend putting the foundation together first, just to make sure everything fits together right.


The center of the foundation of the tower is a pipe T. Make sure that the the pipes connected to it are screwed in very tightly. The 10ft piece of pipe that makes up the most of the tower screws in here.


Add a pipe T on both pipe lengths


Add pipes and elbows off of each T


Complete the foundation with two pipe lengths


The 10ft pipe piece that makes up the main part of the tower screws in the center, and it secured by 1/8" (about 3cm) braided metal wire connected to the foundation.


Drill a hole through each of the longer lengths of pipe and use wire fasteners to secure the guy wires


Do the same to the top of the 10ft pipe. Make sure that the holes are aligned correctly!


Run the wire from both the bottom and top of the tower to approximately eye level and connect the two lengths using a turnbuckle. Use the turnbuckle to tighten the guy wires. There needs to be constant tension on the tower, so always check to make sure the wires are TIGHT.


At the top of the tower, screw on the bearing made earlier. The larger part of the bearing (the right half in the picture below) should be screwed into the tower


On the smaller top half, add a pipe joint (on the right below) and then screw the pipe flange (on the left) into that. The pipe flange can then be bolted beneath the turbine


This shows the bearing assembly. I drilled two holes in the threaded joint to run the wires from the turbine. These wires then ran all the way down the length of the tower.


At the bottom of the tower, I also drilled two holes for each of the wires to emerge


The finished tower was nice and sturdy. When testing, I would weigh the base of the tower down with several (5-10) sandbags. THIS IS ESSENTIAL! Especially in high winds, there is an enormous force on the tower to tip over. Use at least around 15 sandbags for wind gusts around 20mph.



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