If you live in a windy part of the country, you are sitting on a goldmine. Build a homemade wind generator and save money on electricity. This is relatively simple and can be done in a weekend or two simply using a steel bicycle frame, plastic 2-liter pop bottles, zip ties and a treadmill motor. The energy from this device will help to decrease dependence on external (out of house) power sources and changing energy bills. This device can also be used to power pumps that work in deep wells or other farm equipment that is too far out to be hooked up to conventional sources without significant expense.
Obtain a motor from a treadmill. The easiest location to find these are at apartments near colleges in the spring where students put them out by the dumpster for anyone to claim. Craigslist and Free cycle are also potential sources of old treadmill motors. These motors can be spun from an external source to generate electricity.
Weld the motor so that it is perfectly centered onto the axle of a bicycle pedal (with the pedal removed and out of the way). This may require a temporary scaffolding to be built for alignment but is an important step. For help on welding, browse other articles at this website. Mount the motor housing by welding a pipe that bridges the area from the frame to the motor housing, making sure that the motor is firmly in place and that the housing does not spin when the axle of the motor does.
Make the blades by zip-tying plastic from pop bottles at an angle among the spokes so that the wind makes the wheel spin when the wind blows. The pop bottle plastic is removed by cutting a 2-inch strip from the bottle in a spiraling path that allows a long strip to be cut. The zip ties are connected through holes in the plastic that can be made with a hole punch. If there is still a gap that must be filled on the spoke but the plastic is too short, just continue it with another piece that is zip tied in place. There should be an area of the wheel covered with these blades that is 33 percent of the entire face of the wheel that the wind will push.
Cut the blades so that they do not contact anything as they spin. Anything that touches the blades as they spin is likely to get hurt, so do not leave this device in the reach of children. The rest of the bike can be cut away to save on space or to add to the aesthetics of the generator. Mount the generator (preferably up high). If the generator makes a little noise as the blades whirl through the air, it will help to keep animals away, though it can bother some neighbors.
Mount the generator as high as possible (on a strong and stable pole is best) and run the wires from the generator to the desired location for power. Do not hook up a battery to this system without consulting an electrician since batteries can overcharge and can also run the motor instead of receiving a charge from it. One way to help keep the batteries from overcharging is to add a heat sink to burn off extra energy in the form of heat to run a water heater of other device.