Wind energy

Can you turn car alternator into DIY wind turbine?

I came across this article in Instructables and youtube video, where guys try to turn car alternator into wind turbine:

Screenshot from their video.

It does not work well. So the question is, can you really use a car alternator as a wind turbine engine. The answer is yes. But there are better alternatives which you could use.

But if you were to try to use an alternator to generate useful amounts of electricity then the steps to follow:

  1. Determine the power output of the alternator by looking at the specifications, such as the maximum current and voltage it can produce. This will give you an idea of the size of turbine you can build.
  2. Magnetise the alternator e.g. use an external battery for that purpose.
  3. Build a wind turbine rotor with blades, which will capture the kinetic energy of the wind and convert it into mechanical energy. The blades can be made from materials such as wood or carbon. In DIY videos you can often see PVC pipe used but this highly not recommended as it PVC will break under the load. You can use PVC to test it out, though.
  4. Add a gearbox or belt drive between the rotor and the alternator to increase the rotational speed of the alternator. This is necessary because alternators typically need to spin much faster than the wind turbine rotor to produce useful amounts of electricity. You should aim to reach at least 650-700 RPM with most alternators to start generating any useful electricity.
  5. Add a voltage regulator to control the output of the alternator and protect the electrical components from damage.
  6. Install the turbine in a location that will receive adequate wind, such as on a hill or tall building, and connect it to a battery or other storage device to store the electricity produced.

All steps, except number 3, the gearbox, were done in this video. You need to increase the alternators rotational speed for this combination to work.

Their video: