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Info & Projects


General Information

Glossary of Terms

A list of common terms and abbreviations.

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Some general info on components and basic laws we use in the electrical/ mechanical side of windmills.

Electrical   Mechanical

Windmill projects and information

Mini 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.

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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.

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Fisher & Paykel Mill kit

No longer supplied, I've left the instructions here as a reference for kit owners.

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Induction Motor Conversion

This was a little project to convert a small induction motor to a permanent magnet windmill.

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Oatley DC Motor Windmill

Based on a 300watt 24v DC motor, this little windmill would work well if I could boost the output voltage.

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AC Servo Motor Windmill

A windmill built around a 3 phase servo motor from an old welding robot.

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Making a set of propeller blades

Some information on windmill blades, materials and options.

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Improving those cheap Chinese 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.

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Turbine Balancing.

A very accurate way of balancing your windmill turbine. Balancing is important to avoid tower wobble, bearing wear and blade failures in high winds. The method described here was contributed by a couple of forum members, Gill and Klaus.

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Furling explained.

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.

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Pumping Windmills .

A personal favourite, some info and links for Southern Cross and Comet windmills

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The F&P Smartdrive

What F&P is that?

How to identify the different F&P types.

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How to pull apart a
F&P washing machine.

Instructions on removal of the F&P motor from a dead washing machine

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Decogging the F&P smartdrive

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.

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Rewiring the F&P stator

How to reconfigure the F&P stator for charging 12v batteries.

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The new cogless F&P

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. This is the future of conversions and will replace the old 3 phase rewire above.

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Picaxe projects and information

PixAxe Chips

What are they and how do you get started.

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Pump Controller

A little PICAXE project. Reliably controls my water pump for the header tank.

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Windmill Controller/Charger

A work in progress. Based on a PICAXE chip and features menu driven setup and serial output.

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PicLog. Windmill logger

Yet another PicAxe project. This unit logs windmill data, and works as a simple shunt regulator.

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Gill's Anemometer logger

Gill has put together a clever anemometer ( wind speed ) logger using a PicAxe chip and EEPROM's for data storage. The logger has low power consumption and can record weeks of data ( depending on the sample rate ).

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Other Projects

Pedal Power

Building your own pedal powered generator.

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Car Alternator Rectifiers

How to use a rectifier out of a car alternator.

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12V sensor light

Converting a mains powered sensor light to 12v operation.

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LCD Panel Meter

How to make a volt and amp meter for your battery bank.

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CNC Router

Now this was an interesting project.

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