Electricity is yours for the taking, as long as the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. It is possible to harness wind power in order to generate the energy supply you require for electricity. And it’s relatively simple. You can Build A Wind Generator Out Of A Truck Alternator and create enough energy to light up a barn, charge your vehicle batteries, run fans, stereos, refrigeration units and even a disco ball for special occasions.
Electricity is not normally an issue if you are hooked up to a main power supply, however, for the folks who live off-the-grid (all called off-grid living or OTC), electricity can be a luxury and a challenge. Off-grid refers to not being connected to a grid, mainly in terms of not being connected to a main or national electrical grid. Off-grid electrification is usually an approach to access electricity in countries and areas with little access to electricity, but is becoming more of a ‘need’ for those who simply choose to live off-the-grid. Off-grid homes are autonomous, and don’t rely on municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas or electrical power grids. A true off-grid home is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.
While solar power is often the method for creating electricity, wind power is also an excellent alternative. However, just as solar power requires the sun, wind power requires… wind. No wind? No problem, as long as you can create a homemade wind generator. And RD Copeland on the website Mother Earth News has just the solution. All you require is the ability to turn a wrench and operate an electric drill, along with the necessary components (a GM pickup truck alternator, a GM fan-clutch assembly, a tower or pole and a bracket for mounting the generator to said tower or pole). For under $120.00 and less than two days’ worth of ‘work’ (a day to chase down required parts and another day for assembly) you can build a wind generator out of a truck alternator.
The alternator is used in modern automobiles to charge the battery and power the electrical system when the engine is running. You will want a new alternator, which only costs $40 (however, if you opt for a used part, it must come from a vehicle newer than 1960 as until then automobiles used DC dynamo generators with commutators). The first alternator was introduced in 1960 by the Chrysler Corporation on the Valiant, which was several years ahead of both ford and GM. Copeland suggests a GM alternator but states Ford or MOPAR are fine, as long as the alternator has a built-in voltage regulator.
Copeland’s full materials list is available, along with step-by-step instructions detailing how to build yourself a wind generator so you can either live off-grid or just go off-grid for a few days at your cabin. The system Copeland has cost less than $1,000 and runs all appliances, including that nifty disco ball. But if you don’t want to go that extreme, start with this wind generator and go from there. Off-grid fever might strike you, though, when you realize how cheap and easy off-grid living can be.