A Wind Turbine Recipe Book

65 A4 pages, packed tightly with information.  How to build 6 different sizes of wind turbine. How to carve the wooden blades, weld the frame and wind the coils for 12, 24 and 48 volt battery systems.  Build your own alternator using powerful Neodymium magnets and generate useful amounts of electricity on a suitable site.  The turbines furl automatically to protect themselves against high windspeeds.

Hundreds of turbines have been built to these designs around the world.  In fact an international association of user groups has been formed.

The metric edition is the most popular, but North American readers would do well to get the American (Inches units) edition which features the magnets and wire that are obtainable in the USA and surrounding areas.  If you are buying AWG wire, then use the American edition.  Dimensions are in inches, and the magnets are 2″x1″x1/2″ size which is readily available there.

Sample pages of the metric edition are visible at SCRIBD and the American units edition at Smashwords

You can buy this book (and my others) by following this link.

Choosing what to do    4
Be safe!    4
How big?    4
Diagram of a small wind system    4
What can the wind turbine do?    4
Load controllers    5
Choosing battery voltage    5
Battery types    6
Why some popular ideas are not good ideas    6
Car alternators    6
Steel cores in the stator coils    7
Multiple rotors and stators    7
Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs)    7
Multi blade rotors    8
Rooftop mounting    8
Saving money off the electricity bill    8
Mounting a wind turbine on a car to charge the battery    8
Using a centrifugal clutch or brake to limit speed    9
Building a duct    9
What goes wrong with homebuilt wind turbines?    9
Useful web pages for more information:    9
Tools    10
Safety etc    10
All-purpose tools    10
For marking and measuring    10
Electrical    10
Resin preparation    10
Steelwork    10
Woodworking tools    10
Using the tools    11
Cordless drill    11
Screwdriver bits    11
Measurements    11
Vernier calipers    11
Levels    11
Compasses    11
Multimeters    12
Soldering technique    12
Electric Arc welding    12
Cutting steel    13
Drilling    13
Tapping a thread    13
Wood saws    13
Other wood cutting tools    14
Sandpaper    14
Power tools    14
Blades    15
Parts of the blade    15
Selecting the wood    15
The blank shapes    16
The trailing edge line    17
Mark out the shape of the blade at each of six stations along its length .    17
Carve away wood above the trailing edge line to create a new face    18
Blade thickness    18
Airfoil shape    19
Hub assembly    20
Cutting the 120 degree angles at the roots    20
The plywood pieces that sandwich the blades.    20
Marking out the holes in the plywood    20
Assembling the blades    21
Balancing    22
Balancing in situ    22
Fine balancing    22
Alternative ways to balance the blades    22
Balancing on a spike    23
Dynamic balance    23
Painting and finishing    23
Mechanics    24
The yaw bearing    24
The alternator    24
Choosing a hub    24
The magnet rotor disks    25
Alternator frame    26
Mounting the alternator to the yaw bearing    27
3600 and 4200 turbines    29
The tail    30
The inclined hinge    30
Tail boom    31
Tail stops    32
Electrics    34
Energy conversion    34
Choosing wire size and number of turns per coil    34
Stator wiring connections    35
Three-phase stators    35
Battery charging with DC    36
The coils    36
12-volt stators marked *    36
Making the coil winder    37
Winding the coils    38
Connecting the coils    38
12-volt stators    39
The moulds    39
The stator mould    39
The 1200 stator mould    41
The magnet rotor mould    41
The magnet positioning jig    42
Resin casting    43
Casting the stator    43
Casting the magnet rotor(s)    45
Alternator assembly and testing    46
Rotor mounting options    46
Rotor mounting studs    47
Assembly    47
12-volt turbine rectifiers    48
Testing the alternator    48
Installation    49
Wiring the batteries    49
The rectifier and brake    49
Meters    50
Controller    50
Inverter    50
Commissioning the turbine    50
Guyed towers    51
Wiring the tower    51
Guyed tower pipe sizes    51
Guy anchors    52
Lifting the tower    53
Taller towers    53
Adjusting the guys    53
Alternator design    54
Matching the blades    54
Tip speed ratio (lambda l)    54
Calculating the blade rotor rpm    54
Blade power    54
Calculating the output voltage vs. speed    54
Wire sizes and power losses    55
Size of wire to use    55
Coil resistance    56
Stator resistance    56
Current and power loss    57
Rectifier loss    57
Efficiency    57
Windspeed    57
Stator cooling    57
Estimating the rpm    57
Blade speed at full power    58
Exploring some design factors    59
Magnet spacing    59
The effects of speed    59
The effects of system voltage on efficiency    59
Varying the voltage with the speed    59
High voltage transmission    59
Glossary    60
 “Like it, it really is an awesome book, thumbed through it so much and scribbled notes as i was building that it is in tatters now. It has even lead to a career change for me.  … Thank you so much for all you have given. “

“I purchased your book about 18 months ago and couldn’t put it down when I received it, and have read through it almost a dozen times now.”

“Your book arrived yesterday, I am thrilled with it, lovely presentation, very well illustrated for a practical man. Thank you”

“Mr Piggott has obviously been there and done that in the world of wind turbines and I found his book very useful in sorting out the uninformed sales nonsense from what could actually be achieved, particularly in terms of the amount or power you could expect to generate). I live on the edge of a very windy valley in north east Scotland and am very interested in using the wind to generate power for my cottage. The problem that I have is that from trawling the internet and have been bewildered by the range of windturbine products available and the staggering lack of available information on them. It is very difficult to evaluate the performance of each device from the manufacturers. Mr Piggott gives you the tools to evaluate performance for yourself.

Perhaps more interestingly he gives good and hard and fast design instructions for building a range of wind turbines that are tried and tested designs. These wind turbines can be made for reasonable cost and with only skills that are relatively easily attainable (welding, winding wires, carving wood etc). But seriously if you want to get into wind power most efficiently this is the place to start.

Perhaps a more important piece of information that Mr Piggott draws out is that if the AVERAGE wind speed is less than 5m/s at your location it really isn’t worth the time and effort of getting into wind power (the power in the wind goes up with the cube of the velocity so low speed winds dont have much available power to harvest).


8 Responses to A Wind Turbine Recipe Book

  1. Pete Milligan says:

    Hi Hugh,

    I’m impressed with your book. Having read from cover to cover & given that I have experience in Vacuum pressing airfoil structures (F3B gliders a decade ago). I’m keen to develop a 2.4M diameter design, Carbon Skinned over blue foam with Shear spar. I wonder if you might share your more recent thinking over airfoils? Assuming 200mm root chord, 50mm tip. Any thoughts on profiles, angle of attack at root and tip?



    • Pete Milligan says:

      Oh, & washout. 😉

      • admin says:

        hi Pete,
        I am not an airfoil buff. You’d want something with a good lift/drag ratio (always) and also not too prone to stalling.

        The angle of the blade is not the same as the angle of attack and I am pretty happy with the blade angles as specified but I admit that I am a bit hand-to-mouth in my approach.

        I am generally more concerned with reliability than getting the absolute maximum efficiency since reliability is the most important feature in a small wind turbine. So make your composite blades strong please. The stresses at the root due to gyro forces in yaw can impose very high fatigue loads. Wood is ideal for withstanding these loads.


  2. Bill says:

    Does anyone make a legitimate all in one kit. A wind turbine that would produce 5KW from a 10 knot wind. ? Does this exist ? This internet is cool but it is full of CRAP ! Just Curious. Anyone know. How much and where. Thx Bill. USA 480-528-5056 or email abillionbills@yahoo.com

    • admin says:

      hi Bill,

      My Recipe Book provides a fully detailed specification of all the parts you need and also has some suggested suppliers. A lot depends on where you live. But if you want 5kW in a 10 knot wind you are probably dreaming. Your turbine would need to be about 35 feet in diameter.


  3. Veronica says:

    Is it possible to buy the recipe book from Sweden?
    I’ve searched the site, but didn’t find info about how to buy the book.

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