Building a windmill generator does not have to be difficult. All you really need are some windmill plans, a shop, basic power and hand tools… and of course dedication to actually get the job done.
A machine in the eight to eleven foot range can be built pretty easily, and you could have it up and running in a week or two.
If you want plans to build a windmill, be sure to be safe and legal. Find out about the zoning laws in your area. Any restrictions that might be enforced, and what you have to do in order to have a windmill for home where you are located. It would be a shame to get the machine up and running just to have to remove it because you did not familiarize yourself with the restrictions. So do this first, before you even make your plans for the model. Go over your plans long before you build a windmill generator.
Before beginning, give yourself a plan. Have an idea of what you want to accomplish. Starting with drawings or a small model of your windmill is a good idea. They do not have to be complex. As an example, think about what and how you would need to build the tower. It should be high enough for good wind strength, but heavy or grounded securely so it will not fall over. Think about looking at some manufactured designs and see how they are put together.
Of course, the materials you use depend on what you want the windmill to do, the normal weather conditions in your area, and your budget. Find out what works in windy situations, and what does not. Some people have even used scrapped car parts. Special skills might help too, such as welding, if you are working with steel or other metal material, or carving, if you are working with wood. Whatever material you choose should fit the function you want the windmill generator to perform. Some companies sell windmill kits you can build yourself. The key is that no matter what material you use you need to create a sturdy machine that can withstand the wind.
The blades for the windmill can be made with wood as long as the wood is light weight. You can also use aluminum or even steel, but the steel blades might be too heavy to be practical. The length of the blades depend on the size you want your windmill to be and the height of the tower. Angle the blades like you would see on a typical household fan to collect the most wind, and taper the blades so they are thinner at the end. Three blades work the most efficiently, but you can always experiment with more. Once the windmill is completed, you will need an anchor or shaft to connect the windmill to the tower while allowing the blades to turn to face into the wind. Picture an old time weather vane on a barn to get an idea of how to attach it to the tower.
Once the windmill is completed you can connect the windmill to an alternator or generator. A windmill extracts energy from moving air by slowing the wind down and transferring the energy into a shaft, which turns your alternator or generator to create electricity. Car alternators work great for this function.
Usually power companies or wind turbine dealers have pamphlets or other literature to assist you with designing your windmill for home. Your windmill generator can be primitive and simple, yet still be an effective windmill. It is best to have a good understanding of windmill or wind turbine design and function before you build one. It might even be a good idea to experiment first and decide if you actually want to attack the concept of building a full scale windmill. Otherwise you can always take a short cut and just buy some windmill plans to use. So if you are going to build a windmill, remember to use your creativity, ingenuity, common sense safety measures, and most importantly, have fun.