United States

United States

Homespun Wind

The author, a 16 year old wind enthusiast, relates stories of his own experimentation with turbine construction, as well as his restoration of an antique Zenith Radio Wincharger.

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I am 16 years old and an avid "fan" of wind energy. When I was ten, I built a small wind turbine out of an old alternator from a car, scrap iron and wood. It made some electricity, but needed a gale force wind and a short wire run to produce any usable power. I've improved things since then. Today I have a 300 W turbine that I built. It has a six foot, three bladed rotor and uses a tilt up style governor that works well. I am charging nearly 300 amp hours of batteries for storage power.

In 1993 I found a Zenith Radio Wincharger in my uncle's scrap pile. The Zenith, sold to rural farmers for charging radio batteries, was probably one of the first wind energy units built solely for commercial use. I restored it to mint condition and used this machine for a couple of years before I realised it was an important piece of wind history and retired it to display

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