DIY Wind Turbine – WindBlue DC-540

Having a look at the videos I have on my YouTube channel and found that this one has just clocked up over 125,000 views. I posted it in late 2009 and the viewing has been pretty consistent since then.

The original Description Text read “This little film shows the making of a wind turbine that is based around a WindBlue DC-540 PMA. The turbine was made in two days using some great tools and with a clear plan in mind. It is currently mounted on a 4m mast with three guy wires. Output is connected to the battery bank via a diode. Charge control is handled by a Xantrex controller and dump load. Maximum unloaded voltage is 68v, not measured the current yet. This is not a WindBlue endorsed video, I am simply a customer who ordered the DC-540 from their web site and had it shipped to the UK.”

I have had numerous emails from viewers and many responses direct to the YouTube page and it made me wonder why the people who respond even bother. Looking at the responses it seems that I have got it ALL wrong, there are so many suggestions on how to make it better, faster, bigger, more efficient etc. The fact the I made the turbine with an off the shelf alternator from the US and some scrap I found lying around AND when it was on a turbine mast in my garden it ACTUALLY PRODUCED POWER seemed to have passed everyone by. While I can appreciate that some degree of optimisation is a good idea it is not worth getting to technical about it to the point where you actually don’t make anything, sure refinements are a good idea but you can only take so much power out of the wind before a stall, consider everything but MAKE SOMETHING!

There have been a number of responses from viewers who like the approach and to them I thank you for your interest, you are the people who will probably get something out of the film, perhaps they have all made under performing, inadequately sourced, poorly constructed wind turbines, but al least they may have had a go at making one and learned a lot along the way.

The real problem for me is when the experts wade in, I find this along the way with all of my projects and interests, the fetishisation of the items, the construction methods, the components used, the tools etc is all pointless, the fact that I made the item and got it working is enough for me, it does what I wanted it to do. After almost 6 years the exact same turbine is still on a mast, producing enough of an output and combined with a couple of other doubtless under performing poorly designed turbines with dodgy unoptimised blades to run an electricity meter in reverse while connected to an inefficient grid tie inverter, but it does the job and the bills are lower as a result of it.