This video shows a step-by-step process for building a windmill that generates 600 watts, enough to power a laptop or phone. There are no guarantees it will be safe, so don’t try this unless you know what you are doing.
It was designed by Timothée Peter, an 18 year old from Switzerland with no real engineering background. To research the design for this wind generator, he simply typed "homemade windmill" into YouTube.
This showed him what generator to use, what type of blades to build and what type of charge controller would fit the best.
He chose the Fisher & Paykel smartdrive because it was sturdy and easy to rewire for 12 v output. He tried building the blades out of wood, but they were too small to activate the generator and they took too long to make. The next idea was PVC pipe that he cut with a jigsaw. These were easier to build, but definitely at risk of flying apart at high speeds.
If he were to do the project over again, he would make it bigger to harvest more energy. The blades would be made out of wood or fiberglass for optimum shape and performance. And finally, the charge controller would be based on an Arduino to add more options to the controlling mechanism.
Next year, Timothee plans to start studying engineering at an engineering university in Lausanne Switzerland.