DIY windmill, need help with generator/motor among other things

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
Alright, well i've been thinking of building a windmill to power a friends cottage. i want to do this at minimal cost, recycling anything i can. I've been spending alot of time reading up and think i understand most things. Now from what i've read many people are building there own generator them self's, i'd rather not do this due to reliability issues and maybe having to re-do it a few time to get it right, not to mention the cost for supply's. I've decided to use a variable speed DC blower motor from a high efficiency furnace. i want to use this motor cause it cost me nothing and since i work in the heating and cooling industry i have access to many used motor from old furnaces and such for free. i'm unsure if this motor will be suited for the job. i'm not sure of the best way to test it, anyone have any idea's?

Here's is what i know about the motor so far. i will copy what it has on the rating plate.

GE Motors
ECM programmable motor
GE modle no: 5SME39HL0003
Serial no:0009S6
Date code:19SHX
HP: 1/2 RPM: 0-1300 Volts: 120/240 Amps: 6.40/4.30
Cust Modle no:HD44AE116
Rot: CCW

Now what i've done is i've removed the back housing and have removed all the ECM electronics, what i'm left with is a small 3 phase AC generator. i've hooked up my digital multimeter (Sperry DM-350)to 2 of the 3 leads, set it to 600VAC, spinning the shaft by hand i can get 15V easy. i hooked up a power drill to the shaft and at full speed i has able to get a bit over 270V. not sure if you need to know the specs of the drill but here they are, it's a 120V 4.5A variable speed drill, RPM: 0-2700.

now i'm thinking this motor will work find but i haven't been able to figure out how much Watt's i can get out of it so i can size a rectifier. my multimeter has a setting for Amp's but i haven't been able to get a reading off it. i though maybe it was due to the fact that there was no load on the generator so i hooked it up to a 120V, 150W coffee grinder and spun the generator with the drill, the grinder worked, i ran over 250V, 2 phase to it and it's didn't burn out but i still wasn't able to get a amp's reading, maybe i'm not using it right, i don't know.

So does anyone have any suggestions?

Also i think i may want to got with a VAWT, it looks to be easier to build and set up, also it would not use as much space, what are your opinions on this


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,656 admin
    Re: DIY windmill, need help with generator/motor among other things

    We are not really a DYI wind power place (although, some people here have done such projects)... A couple of forums for you to check out might include:

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DIY windmill, need help with generator/motor among other things

    you will have to find out what is going on with your reading of the current as it is obvious you have some current or the coffee grinder would not have worked.
    for general testing purposes a small portable electric burner (stove) may be better to use as you are less likely to cause any damages by going a little too far out of spec.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: DIY windmill, need help with generator/motor among other things

    A good source for wind projects like yours is

    Low key and like here a bunch of pleasant people willing to help out.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: DIY windmill, need help with generator/motor among other things

    Be careful as a lot of the people doing the DIY threads are folks that are trying to sell an e book infomercial style....they take an ounce of truth a mix it with 10 parts fiction.......the best generator i have found for building windmills the the CAT has to rotors and stators and can be wired for higher voltage or amperage hurricane wind power

    [breaking link--no advertising allowed. One warning: -Bill B.]
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