Ok. I just canceled my order for a wind turbine. I just cant spend a $1000 with out spending $250 to see if I can do it myself.

I have no problem paying $250 for an education. With everything I have to pull from, I am confident I will create something....educational. ;)

Any ideas or tips for what to do or avoid would be appreciated.

I am going for the low profile 4 or 5 blade vertical design.

Ideas: Microprocessor controled pitch control.
Using an opto-tach, I can follow rotational speed then use servos for pitch adjustments. Also using the uC to log RPM, PITCH, Current, and Voltage changes to help determine a rule-set for the turbine to follow for optimization. The mechanics for the pitch control will be taken from a existing paddleboat model.

Turning the paddle boat paddle on its side and adjusting pitch for windspeed should do it.

A old 18speed bicycle transmission with push-button gear selection will allow 2 solenoids to up or down shift the transmission. (If needed) Also, using the coaster break from a bicycle should keep the turbine from running in reverse.

Construction, Im thinking of fiberglass reinforced foamboard. (ballast can be added for inertial calibration.)

Any ideas for a generator? Possibly start with a car alternator? That would allow me to use a feedback loop for "breaking" during gusts.

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