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.
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024-067-01i2
Instruction manual for a 200w wind generator formerly made by Wincharger.
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wind energy generation Drawing 1
The complete wiring diagram for a Wincharger model 1187, reproduced from an old Wincharger manual.
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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.
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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.
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wind energy generation Drawing 2
Design for a wind generator tower made from an old telephone pole.
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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.
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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.  
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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 Photo 5 - control box
Control box for an old wind generator.
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024 wind energy generation - wiring schematic
Schematic diagram for a control box, which really amounts to an anti-motor device and protection from lightning.
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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 8 - experimental generator
An experimental wind pump made from 55-gallon drum halves.
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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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