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icon Make or Buy

Of course, the best thing to do is to buy a ready-made wind generator. There are a number of manufacturers that there are links to on the Troubled Times site that make them. Unfortunately, they are all very expensive. You are going to need at least a 1 or 5 kilowatt unit to power some lights and pumps and stuff. 10 kW is what I am shooting for. But most 10kW generators are pretty big and cost 20 grand and up. Lots of cash I don’t want to spend.

The main reason why I have considered this more than a homemade one is for one main reason. The good manufactured windmills allow you to adjust the pitch of the blades. Some do this automatically. You gotta be able to do this or else when a storm comes the damn thing will tear itself apart. If the blades can be turned on their axis, you can adjust how much wind catches the blade. You can even turn the blades so that the wind passes right by without moving it. You see, unless you have an electronic regulator, the speed of the generator will affect the electricity coming out of it. Commercial units have this built in too. Of coarse, you could take the thing down every time the winds get too fast, but there's gotta be a better way than that.

Being a student who is near broke to begin with, I intend to try a homemade job anyway. I plan to try and get my hands on an old airplane propeller that has the ability to adjust the blade pitch. I don’t know if a airplane prop will work, but at least I can get the idea as to how to mechanically turn those blades. Then maybe I’ll make some lighter blades out of sheet metal or something.

Offered by Rob.

Check out helicopter blades as a possibility. Another possibly is to buy only the blades from one of the cheaper windmill vendors.

Offered by Mike.