Wind Energy Generation: The Answer Is Blowin' in the Wind

In 1973, homesteaders thinking about practical wind energy generation had three options: buy an expensive new system, find and buy a still working used system, or build one from scratch.



024-067-01i1
The wind generator, which generates electricity from moving air, is the device on the left. The wind pump, which pulls water from underground, is on the right.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
024 wind energy generation - photo 3 - disassembly
The only way to get an old generator down is to climb its tower, strap yourself down, and remove each piece separately — prop, wind vane, and finally generator.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
024-067-01i2
Instruction manual for a 200w wind generator formerly made by Wincharger.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
024 wind energy generation - photo 2 - gravity
A misguided attempt to lower a generator to the ground while still mounted on its tower. Gravity asserted itself moments after this photo was taken, destroying the unit on impact.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
wind energy generation Drawing 1
The complete wiring diagram for a Wincharger model 1187, reproduced from an old Wincharger manual.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
wind energy generation Drawing 2
Design for a wind generator tower made from an old telephone pole.
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024 wind energy generation - photo 4 - prop test
The author testing a crude propeller hacked in a few minutes from an old 2 X 4.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
wind energy generation Drawing 3
Design for a homemade brace from which to hang a block and tackle when removing a propeller, vane, and generator and lowering them to the ground.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
024 wind energy generation - wiring schematic
Schematic diagram for a control box, which really amounts to an anti-motor device and protection from lightning.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
024 wind energy generation Photo 5 - control box
Control box for an old wind generator.
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wind energy generation Fig 2
Gould Inc offered a 32v battery consisting of sixteen 2v cells connected in series. Exide, Delco and others offered similar units.
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024 wind energy generation Drawing 5,6
Drawings of a design by New Paltz College instructor Eugene Eccli that use an automobile differential to translate the propeller's horizontal rotation into vertical rotation.  
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
024 wind energy generation Photo 8 - experimental generator
An experimental wind pump made from 55-gallon drum halves.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
024 wind energy generation Photo 6 - prop and tower
Hans Meyer's design for a homemade wind generator.
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024 wind energy generation Photo 7 - pulley
The wheel, drive belt, and alternator of the Eccli generator, located at ground level.
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