HOW TO BUILD A CHISPITO WIND GENERATOR
BUY A PRE-ASSEMBLED OR BARE-BONES CHISPITO WIND
GENERATOR KIT >>
MAKE MAGAZINE ARTICLE SHOWS THE BLADES BEING CUT FOR A
CW ROTATION. IF YOU ARE USING THE TREADMILL MOTOR
MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE PLEASE CUT THE BLADES PER THE
Wind power is abundant, clean, inexpensive and easy to
do. It is our belief that anyone can be in control of
where his or her electricity comes from. There is
nothing more rewarding and empowering than making a wind
powered generator from scrap materials. Most of the
tools and materials in this manual can be found in your
local hardware shop or junk pile. We highly recommend
you search your local dump and/or junkyards for the
materials required. If you live in a city, do a search
on freecycle.org for salvaged parts.
Safety should be our highest priority. Human life is
more important than electricity, so please follow any
safety guideline you come across. Wind generators
can be very dangerous, with fast moving parts,
electrical sparks, and violent weather conditions.
The Chispito Wind Generator was designed to be simple
and efficient with fast and easy construction. There
are no limits to what you can do with wind power. For
more information and inspiration on wind generator
construction, please visit otherpower.com
This manual is based on using a 260 VDC, 5 A
continuous duty Treadmill Motor with a 6 inch threaded
hub. These motors are available for under from most
motor surplus stores. We are getting about 7 amps in
a 30 mph wind. In other words, it is a simple, cheap
little machine to get you started.
You may use any other simple permanent magnet DC
motor that returns at least 1 V for every 25 rpm and can
handle upwards of 10 amps. If you do, there will be
certain changes to this supply list (for example, you
will have to find a hub - a circular saw blade with a
5/8" shaft adaptor will work).
BUY THE HARD TO FIND PARTS HERE
- Drill Bits (7/32", ¼", 5/16")
- Jigsaw with a metal blade
- Pipe Wrench
- Flat Head Screwdriver
- Crescent Wrench
- Vise and/or Clamp
- Wire Strippers
- Tape Measure
- Marker Pen
- Compass + protractor
- ¼" #20 Thread Tapping Set
- An extra person helps a lot!
THE HARD TO FIND PARTS HERE
NOTE: if you have access to a welder, you can
weld a 4” section of 2” pipe onto your square tubing
instead of using the flange, nipple and sheet metal
24" length of 8" PVC Pipe (if it is UV
resistant, you will not need to paint it)
6 X ¼" X 20 Bolts
9 x ¼" washers
3 sheets A4 paper and tape
Blades - makes 9 blades (or 3 blade sets) and a
thin waste strip.
Place the 24" Length of PVC pipe and square
tubing (or other straight edge) side by side on
a flat surface. Push the pipe tight against the
tubing and mark the line where they touch. This
is Line A.
Make a mark near each end of Line A, 23" apart.
Tape 3 sheets of A4 paper together, so that they
form a long, completely straight piece of paper.
Wrap this around the section of pipe at each of
the two the marks you just made, one then the
other. Make sure the short side of the paper is
straight along Line A and the paper is straight
against itself where it overlaps. Mark a line
along the edge of the paper at each end. Call
one Line B and the other Line C.
Start where Line A intersects Line B. Going left
around Line B, make a mark at every 145 mm. The
last section should be about 115 mm.
Start where Line A intersects Line C. Going
right around Line C, make a mark at every 145
mm. The last section should be about 115 mm.
Mark each line using a straight edge.
Cut along these lines, using the jigsaw, so that
you have 4 strips of 145 mm and one strip about
each strip and place them with the inside of the
pipe facing down.
Make a mark at one end of each strip 115 mm from
the left edge.
Make a mark at the other end of each strip 30 mm
from the left edge.
Mark and cut these lines, using the jigsaw.
Place each blade with the inside of the pipe
Make a mark along the angled line of the blade,
3" from the wide end.
Make another mark on the wide end of the blade,
1" from the straight edge.
Connect these two marks and cut along the line.
This prevents the blades interfering with the
You should sand the blades to achieve the
desired airfoil. This will increase the efficiency of
the blades, as well as making them quieter.
The angled (leading) edge wants to be rounded, while
the straight (tailing) edge wants to be pointed.
Any sharp corners should be slightly rounded to cut
down on noise.
The exact dimensions of the tail are not
important. You want about one square foot of
lightweight material, preferably metal. You can make
the tail any shape you want, so long as the end result
is stiff rather than floppy.
Holes in Square Tubing - using the 5/16” drill
Place the motor on the front end of the square
tubing, so that the hub part hangs over the edge
and the bolt holes of the motor face down.
Roll the motor back so you can see the bolt
holes, and mark their position on the square
Drill a 5/16” hole at each mark all the way
through the square tubing.
Floor Flange Holes
This will be dealt with in the assembly section of
this manual, as these holes are what determine the
Drilling Holes in Blades
- using the ¼" drill bit
Mark two holes at the wide end and along the
straight edge of each of the three blades. The
first hole should be 3/8 " from the straight
edge and ½ " from the bottom. The second hole
should be 3/8 " from the straight edge and 1 ¼"
from the bottom.
Drill these 6 holes.
Drilling and Tapping Holes in Hub -
using the 7/32" drill bit and ¼" tap
Treadmill motor comes with the hub attached. To take
it off, hold the end of the shaft (which comes
through the hub) firmly with pliers, and turn the
hub clockwise. This hub unscrews clockwise, which is
why the blades turn counter-clockwise.
- Make a template of the hub on a piece of paper,
using a compass and protractor.
- Mark 3 holes, each of which is 2 3/8" from the
center of the circle and equidistant from each
- Place this template over the hub and punch a
starter hole through the paper and onto the hub at
- Drill these holes with the 7/32" drill bit.
the holes with the ¼" x 20 tap.
- Bolt the blades onto the hub using the ¼" bolts.
At this point, the outer holes have not been
- Measure the distance between the straight edge
of the tips of each blade. Adjust them so that they
are all equidistant. Mark and punch each hole on
the hub through the empty hole in each blade.
- Label the blades and hub so that you can match
which blade goes where at a later stage.
- Remove the blades and then drill and tap these
outer three holes.
Making a Protective Sleeve for the Motor
two straight lines, about ¾” apart, along the length
of the 3” x 11” PVC Pipe. Cut along these lines.
- Make a 45º cut at the end of the pipe.
- Place needle nose pliers inside the strip that
has been cut out, and pry the pipe apart.
- Making sure the bolt holes of the motor are
centered in the middle of the missing strip of PVC
pipe, push the motor into the pipe. An extra person
will make this a lot easier.
Place the motor on top of the square tubing and
bolt it in, using the two 5/16” x ¾” bolts.
the diode on the square tubing, about 2” behind
the motor, and screw it into position using the
self-tapping metal screw.
Connect the black wire coming out of the motor
to the positive incoming terminal of the diode
(Labeled AC on the positive side).
Connect the red wire coming out of the motor to
the negative incoming terminal of the diode
(Labeled AC on the negative side).
the tail over the square tubing, at the back
end. Clamp your tail onto the side of the square
Using 2 self-tapping screws, screw the tail in
Place each blade on the hub so that all the
holes line up. Using the ¼" bolts and washers,
bolt the blades to the hub. For the inner three
holes, use two washers per bolt, one on each
side of the blade. For the outer three holes,
just use one washer next to the head of the
Hold the end of the shaft of the motor (which
comes through the hub) firmly with pliers, and
turn the hub counterclockwise until it tightens
Screw the nipple tightly into the floor flange
using a pipe wrench.
Clamp the nipple in a vice so that the floor
flange is facing up and level.
the square tubing (and everything that is on it)
on top of the floor flange and move it so that
it is perfectly balanced.
Through the holes of the floor flange, mark the
square tubing at the point of balance.
Drill these two holes using a 5/32" drill bit.
You will probably have to take off the hub and
tail to do this).
Attach the square tubing to the floor flange
with two sheet metal screws.
For a longer life span of your wind
generator, you should paint the blades, motor sleeve,
mount and tail.
Use of Chispito Wind Generator
You will need a
charge controller/regulator, and a
battery bank for your Chispito Wind Generator.
The tower is one of the most important
components in your wind generator system. It must be
strong, stable, easily raised and lowered, and well
anchored. The higher your tower is, the more wind your
generator will be exposed to. Guy wires must be placed
at least every 18 feet of tower height. Guy wires must
be anchored to the ground at least 50% of the height
away from the base. For full tower instructions, please
refer to our
CHISPITO WIND GENERATOR BARE BONES KIT