Projects & Information»General Information
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»The F&P Smartdrive
Kits & Parts»Basicly Natural Pty Ltd
»PVC & Aluminium blades
»Scale model farm windmills
Projects and Information
There are two forums here at TheBackShed. The original forum was something I put together back in 2004 as a way for web site visitors to share information. In 2005 I started up a new forum using the proven Web Wiz forum software. We now have over 1500 members.
Some basic maths on calculating solar panel, battery and inverter sizes .
Living Off Grid
Speed and windmills explained.
By Don Brown. Originally a letter sent to Silicon Chip magazine as a comment on my original windmill article, Don explains the complex relationship behind windmill power and windspeed.
The difference between Watts and Watt hours. The two terms are often miss used.
|Standby power, and how to reduce its cost.
Standby power, the power used by appliances when they're not actually in use, could be costing you over $100 per year. Here's a few tricks to reduce your standby power costs.
|Windmill projects and information
Mill Battery Charger
Based on a stepper motor from an old floppy disk drive, and takes about 30 minutes to make. The Mini Mill will generate about 1-2 watts and charge a couple of Nicad batteries in a couple of hours.
|Making a set
of turbine blades
Some information on windmill blades, materials and options.
Forum member Oztules shows us how he made his windmill blades with a chainsaw.
A very accurate way of balancing your windmill turbine.
|Understanding Swept Area
A look at how the swept area, and therefore the power, of a turbine changes with diameter.
There's a limit.
A personal favourite, some info and
links for Southern Cross and Comet windmills.
The cheap import Chinese windmills are popping up everywhere, and you can buy the blades separately. But they are very noisy. There are two parts to this article, firstly how I modified the blades to give more power and make less noise, and secondly, how a forum member, Kevin, modified the windmills to improve tracking and reliability.
Furling is used to protect the windmill in high winds, but how does the furling system on small windmills work, and some calculations to work out the furling speed, tail lengths, etc.
Homemade sliprings using
hardware store items.
Some best practice tips.
Check out the Kits & Parts page.
|The F&P Smartdrive
F&P is that?
How to identify the different F&P types.
|How to pull apart
F&P washing machine.
Instructions on removal of the F&P motor from a dead washing machine
Cogging can affect the low wind performance of a iron core alternator based windmill, like the F&P. So what is cogging and how can we fix it.
How to reconfigure the F&P stator for charging 12v batteries.
|The 7 phase cogless
Using a magnet hub from a late model F&P washing machine, and a old stator, its now possible to make a cogless 7 phase alternator.
Modifing the F&P stator for a better power curve.
| Fisher & Paykel Windmill
Using a F&P Smart Drive motor, this windmill is capable of producing up to 300 watts. This new design replaces the windmill kit I sold.
|Electronic projects and information
What are they and how do you get started.
A little PICAXE project. Reliably controls my water pump for the header tank.
Based on a PICAXE 28X chip. Features menu driven setup, serial logging output, staggered dump load and LCD display of volts, amps, watts and watt peak.
Yet another PicAxe project. This unit logs windmill data ( volts, amps, windspeed, RPM ) to your PC via the serial port, and works as a simple shunt regulator. The PC software displays the results on a graph.
Derek has put together a nice windmill data logger and performance testing software package that works with a LM3S6965 microcontroller.
12V sensor light
A crash course in converting AC to DC.
|LCD Panel Meter
How to make a volt and amp meter for your battery bank.Click Here
|Expanded Scale Voltmeter
Adding a expanded scale voltmeter to my old battery charger
|Simple Windmill/Solar controller
Based on a TL084 op amp, this is a easy to build controller suitable for wind and solar applications.
A dump load is used to drain off excess power. This design uses a few 50watt light bulbs and with some parts from the junk pile, shouldn't cost more than $20 to build
|Floor fan converted to 12v
Converting a burned out 240vac fan to 12v operation.
Building encapsulated resistors
Gordons Cap Mod
|Linear and Switching Voltage
Great article, thanks to Bryan for finding this one. PDF format.
Handy for measuring magnet strength and polarity.
Looking for Maximite
Alegro Current Sensors. A few tips to using the Alegro chips for your electronics project.
|Miscellaneous Projects and Articles
Building your own pedal powered generator.
|Car Alternator Rectifiers
How to use a rectifier out of a car alternator.
Ron ( wind-pirate ) has written a proceedure on rebuilding wet cell batteries to give a few more years service.
IRC ( Internet Relay Chat ) is a way for RE enthusiasts to keep in contact, or "Chat" with eachother. This page explains how to get going with IRC.
See how the professionals do it.
Building a solar pump on the cheap. Flows about 80 litres per hour.
Build a simple composting bin
|Some of my own projects
|Induction Motor Conversion
This was a little project to convert a small induction motor to a permanent magnet windmill.
|Oatley DC Motor Windmill
Based on a 300watt 24v DC scoota motor, this little windmill would work well if I could boost the output voltage.
|AC Servo Motor Windmill
A windmill built around a 3 phase servo motor from an old welding robot.
Now this was an interesting project.
I've been in the electronics business for almost 30 years now and I dont like the way its heading.
|My own RE installation
A bit outdated, but here for interrests sake.
If you have a interesting home made renewable energy setup that you would like to share, please contact me using the About Us page.
|Projects by our forum members
|Matt Lyons double stator
|Rob's roof top mounted windmill
|Phills RE Grid tied system
A wind powered car built by Oztules
Members blogs about their own back shed projects.