Windmill made from washing machine (creative responses)

May 1, 2013

Using a standard washing machine motor (Fisher and Paykel direct drive),  some blades cut from a 200mm PVC pipe, a cheap and easy-to-use charge controller (555 chip), and some other random bits of wiring and fiberglass, Timot put together a DIY windmill power generator that produces enough electricity to charge and/or operate a phone, laptop or other devices.

Considering that washing machines rarely last longer than 5 years, and assuming that most families in the developed world possess a washing machine, the conversion of old washing machines to mini windmills could add up to a lot of energy savings.

Let’s see what this might mean for the United States.

Timot’s washing machine generator provides up to 600-700 watts but in average wind conditions produces about 20 watts (12-80V). Let’s assume that 50% of American households convert their washing machines into wind turbines instead of chucking them out. Using these estimations, we would have about 60 million households times 20 watts = 1.2 gigawatts of power.

To put this in perspective, an average nuclear power plant produces about 800 – 1100 megawatts or roughly 1 gigawatt of power. So, in theory, the collective makeshift wind farm would produce roughly the equivalent of one nuclear power plant, which is quite impressive for something so easy to make.

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