How to make PVC wind turbine blades
A quick guide to making your own wind turbine blades out of a PVC pipe.
For homemade and domestic wind turbines, PVC Wind Turbine Blades are becoming more and more in use. How to make turbine blades out of a PVC pipe? The raw material PVC pipe is easy to find. They are relatively cheap, for basic and small wind turbine generators, performance is exceeding expectations and first and formost, easy to work with, One can easily bolt PVC blades onto a Magnet Alternator or Stepper Motor and you are done, you have a basic wind turbine.
Producing the right type of blades is the most difficult part of making your own wind turbine. Wind Rotor Blades are exposed to high stress and to avoid destructive vibrations (reducing performance), the blades must be made to very tight tolerances.
Carving wood blades is difficult, very time consuming and requires you to have a large selection of tools at your disposal (work bench, drills, saws, sanders etc.)
A PVC (or ABS) pipe cut to size is the best alternative. The biggest advantage PVC pipes have is that if your blades are getting damaged in a storm, they are very cheap to replace and put back together again.
The flexibility of PVC blades in strong winds is most useful. PVC blades take a small amount of energy out of strong winds which prevents the turbine from over-spinning or being damaged. Obviously, the PVC strength (thickness) must be big enough to avoid that the blades do not bend back too far so that they hit the turbine mast.
Using a jigsaw or hacksaw blade is all you need to cut a one piece pair out of a PVC pipe.
Above is an example of a one piece (two blade) PVC wind turbine propeller. It might not be an optimal configuration and it is suggested that the trailing edge needs to be aligned away from the centreline of the pipe to improve the amount of lift (and consequently the rotation) generated by the aerofoil.
For three or more individual blades, a centre hub needs to be created onto which the wind turbine blades can be attached. You can either screw or bolt the rotor blades to a hub made from plywood. You could also use a metal radiator fan from a car for a larger blades design by screwing your blades onto the fan blades. These are most easily made by quartering the PVC pipe along its length, and making one turbine blade from each quarter.
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