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on July 30, 2009
First I must say, the "don't go there" comment was written in the forward of the book, which was not written by the author(s).

This book does a very good job of teaching the reader just about every aspect concerning Wind related RE subjects ( plus how to build a single design ). Chapter 1-6 explains the basics starting with an introduction to wind power, ending in shop safety. Chapters 7-8 cover the tools you will need to build from scratch. This basically is just the two types of molds, and a coil winder. Chapters 9-16 cover the parts you need to build( including fabricating your own parts, and buying a few ), and put together a complete 10' proven wind turbine. This is nothing you can not learn by reading their web pages. However, the book serves as a very good offline reference, and is well organized ( This is one thing Hugh could definitely learn from these two - Organization ). Chapters 17-18 cover towers, and raising respectively. Chapter 19 is experiences with failures, while chapter 20 is called scaling it up or down.

Where it falls short is in the last chapter "scaling it up and down". This chapter I felt could have been much bigger, and covered more than what it actually did. I felt that the authors were in a rush, and were tired of writing the book at this point. How , and what to use when laminating the wood together for the 17' blades is a huge omission, and sorely missed. Also when talking about MPPT design controllers ( in another earlier chapter ), they briefly bring up the topic, and then nothing else. Sorry guys " Some people <this or that> " does not convey the topic well at all, and could have been easily left out. A little research on MPPT was all that was required, and you could have informed your reader on the subject a bit more. Another subtraction from the book was all the "Doggy Haiku". Enough said on the later subject . . .

So, with all the above said, it is not a terrible book, and I did actually find it mostly enjoyable to read ( and once again, it will serve as a great reference ). However, as stated above at least once, and in the title as well, it could have been better. The amazon price keeps this book from falling into the 3 star category in my opinion.

As an aside, we have had 30 dogs here at one point, so no, I do not hate dogs.
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on June 3, 2009
I wasn't for sure if the author wanted me to build a wind turbine or if he was just bragging about how smart he was, how dumb I was and why I evan decided to read a book on building wind turbines. Just an example he starts the book off with, "My initial response whenever questioned about what's involved in building a wind generator from scratch is, "Don't go there!"." Then he launches into everything that makes him qualified to build one and you, not so much. Not surprising this is a running theme througout the book. So much so that I got depressed and just stopped reading cause I obviously knew nothing and anything that I built, if I built anything, would not be as efficient as his work of art. I was able to ignore the pyhcological abuse enough to get the gist of the parts needed to build one. Though it obviously is not as efficient.
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on July 19, 2009
The DanB "heavy duty" 48V stator from his web site says "This stator is wound with #15 gage wire. It has 9 coils and each coil has 105 turns in it. [...] The coils are wired in 3 phase star configuration [...] In our tests we believe this stator will be about 50% efficient at 1000 Watts. Sustained output above about 1000 Watts may overheat this stator".

There are easy ways to get generator and rectification efficiency up above 97%, so that almost all of the harvested wind power available from the prop ends up in the batteries. Burning more than half of it in the generator and rectification is simply poor engineering.

The down side of 50% efficient as the author notes, is that this becomes an unsafe heater that violates NEC and UL standards in high winds ... creating a high fire risk ... and a risk that your insurance will not cover the damage or loss of life since the product is not UL rated.

A good efficient UL listed design would never get warm. We need NEC/UL safe products for use in forest and wild land areas to keep from starting fires that place people at risk, or worse yet kill.

Missing completely are accurate auditable specifications, performance data, and efficiency data to be able to calculate Return-On-Investment and production estimates. They need to specify critical prop data, like efficiency (Cp) and Tip Speed Ratios as a series of curves over various wind and load. They need to do the same for the generator designs. There is a lot of bashing of VAWT and micro-turbine HAWT designs based on performance claims, yet this product completely fails to accurately present it's auditable performance numbers for comparison. With the author recongnizing 50% generator efficiency, and highly mixed Cp claims, this product is very likely to only produce 25-45% of Betz.

They published this themselves, and it lacks the editorial review and facts checking that a major publisher would invest to protect their brand.

We need "responsible" advocacy in this market, that includes looking well past what is accepted practice. Everybody in the homebrew market has been doing it this way for a long time ... and it's just flat wrong.
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on January 1, 2010
I found Homebrew Wind Power quite informative starting with the concepts of how electricty is generated from rotational force. There is an extensive section on how to shape the blades for the most efficent performance. There are graphs showing height above the ground, a section on testing a wind turbine, maintenance and so on. This is not a book, however, for those lacking talent in fabrication since a lot of machining and assembly is necessary. Such an endevoir is not without its risks, but living off the grid and going green has its own rewards. Humor is also part of the book with coffee stains intentionally left in blank areas of various pages.
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on February 20, 2009
The book is quite detailed and all the steps involved in making a wind turbine are described fully. The best part about the book is that you can modify the design as per your requirements. Thank you Dans; great work!
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on October 12, 2010
This is an excellent book for the do it yourselfer. These guys Dan and Dan give you a very detailed step by step instruction on how to build your own wind generator. I've read alot of other books on this topic and this book is by far the best, if your looking to build your own.
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on December 6, 2010
Wind power isn't just a "stick a propeller on a surplus generator for free power" technology as it is portrayed elsewhere in the public domain. To the rescue, Dan B and Dan F have put together a very well balanced book on the subject of home brewed wind power that puts the reader in touch with the reality and provides the basis for a reasonable expectation from this resource.

The mix of theory, craftsmanship and anecdotal humor is perfect. If you follow the book closely, you'll walk away with a well-built 10' diameter efficient wind generator. The design is an excellent follow-on to Hugh Piggot's work on homebrew wind power. It is my opinion that the 2 Dans (and the Colorado crew) have evolved Hugh's work to another practical level such that any North American handyman can produce his own source of reliable clean wind energy.

Congratulation to the authors!
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on March 19, 2009
This is a good book to read if you would like to have the step by step instructions on how to build a wind charger. It gives you a good understanding for the how and why questions you may have. This book also answers some misconseptions some people have about wind power. This book may even save you a lot a money from buying or building one if your locations conditions aren't right, which was my case. Overall, well worth the money verses trial any error.
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on October 19, 2011
Very good with designs for several different turbine diameters. Covers both the theory and how to build it details. I thought it was an excellent book and exactly what I was looking for. Has sources for all the materials needed to build any of the designs.
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on January 28, 2009
Dan Bartmann and Dan Fink, as well as the other '[...]' crew have put together a complete, comprehensive, hands-on manual for those interested in home-built residential wind power. I have seen first-hand their machines humming (get it...humming quietly!) along in the Colorado wind producing the very power they use in their workshop. I strongly recommend Homebrew Wind Power and will continue to use it in my classes on sustainable living. - Bryan Birch, Workshop Director, The Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association
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