Attic Vent AC Wind Turbine Generator

Three-Phase AC Wind Turbine ~Nuts & Volts

A few months ago, I was looking through a copy of the magazine “Nuts & Volts” and saw a great little project article by John Gavlik.  Their article was about building a generator out of an attic wind ventilator.   I admit I have thought about this several times for many years, but their article really let my brain juices flow.


Their attic wind ventilator generator article in in their January 2010 issue,is part 6 and 7 of a series of articles titled “Experiments with Alternative Energy.”  Their AC wind turbine project outlined int the articles is really more of a science fair type of project.  But, they had a working generator capable of generating real electricity at a fairly low amperage. They even sell all the parts except the actual ventilator in their store.  With the knowledge gleaned from their articles, one can pretty easily come up with “modifications” to create a useful working power generator.

Nuts & Volts Wind TurbineIn the first article they give a great deal of theory on ac generators, how they work, why they work and so on.   They talk about wire size, magnet-coil separation, rotational speed and  a good illustration between single phase versus three-phase generation and the rectification needed to convert the AC into DC so that it can be stored.

One of the things I found the most intriguing was their explanation of the two different ways to wire the alternator, Star or Delta,  to get the maximum output based upon the RPM and why you would want a way to switch  between them, sort of like changing gears in a transmission.  Speaking of which, most all of the big commercial wind generators incorporate some type of transmission or gearbox into their design.

nuts&volts-windturbine2_TIn the second article dated February 2010, they talk quite a bit more on theory.  Although they do mention some techniques on optimizing your wind turbine, it is apparent that they expect you to actually purchase the kit and build the turbine from those instructions.  However, if you are handy and can visualize from simple plans, then it wouldn’t be very hard to actually build a working unit from just what they have laid out in the articles.  Either way, actually buying the kit would help in identifying potential problems that could creep up on a higher power turbine.

Here are some links to the articles:

Click here to preview the first article on the Nuts & Volts site

Click here to view the first part of the AC wind turbine project PDF

Click here to view the second part of the AC wind turbine project PDF

Here is a link to the actual AC wind turbine kit in the Nuts & Volts store

5 Responses to “Attic Vent AC Wind Turbine Generator”

  1. “I’d put my money on the Sun and Solar Energy, what a source of Power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out, before we tackle that.”

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  3. assisted water heaters?. I used this type of system in a home I owned in the 80’s. I can fabricate the solar loop myself. I plan to use copper for the loop. Does anyone know if schedule 80 pvc is an efficient alternative to copper? I’ve been out of the “loop” for quite awhile. Thanks

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