[PROJECT] Windmill

Hi all,

I am a very happy owner of a twizy which I’ve owned for a couple of months now.

Th car is such good fun…

Recently every time I looked at my twizy I’ve been thinkng that this “green” could be even greener if charged using a renewable energy source…but the question is which one.

Solar PV is a very good option but prompts professional installation and a big investment.

Recently I have been looking and planing a project to make a windmill capable of charging my twizy.

The set up would be:

Wind turbine »» Alternator »» Battery pack »» Inverter »» AC plug,

Has anyone tried this before?

Any ideia of what sort of battery pack I would need to be able to fully charge the Twizy’s batteries on a day with “low speed” winds?

Thank You

The nearest this forum has got is @peter_szczesiak who charges his Twizy from his Boat’s battery bank. With than all you have to do is charge the battery banks.

I have a 10Kwh battery bank (5kwh useable) and charge this with Self mounted Solar panels. After all it’s only some strong bolts and some thick cable. I would love to add a wind turbine but that is harder to mount with panning permission etc.

The nice thing is your battery bank gets charged all the time by Wind or 8 hours by solar and you only charge the Twizy once a day at most so the bank gets chance to recharge.

Sounds a great project.

they arnt that good chris i had one on last boat it span for a few days a month [very noisy] the rest of time didnt do anything, and thats on the canal where we arnt built up.
i had one at the cottage in scotland mounted high near the coast that did better but again noisy. thats why most boats have solar and have thrown the rutlands away they just dont work

Thanks for the first hand experience. I had eventually worked this out which is why I have a lot of Solar panels. I think the Small wind turbine is more heart than practical use. I just like playing with this technology. I did consider a small Rutland type for the motorhome but the noise would have been an issue and again used Solar as it was easy for me to fit.

Cheers for the replies guys.

The other reason that is making me think “Wind” is cost of materials.

Had a few quotes for solaar PV (some including power bank) but all were expensive.

Peter what type of wind tubine / generator did need to power your boat/charge twizy?

Osbrook what set up have you got installed solar/batteries (how many).

HAve a good day folks


I have two solar arrays on my house. The standard 4KW install with full FIT as it was put in 3 years ago. The second array is os 1.8KW fitted by my self to the side of the house as that wall faces South. I simply bought some 230/250W solar panels from Fleabay for around £100 ea delivered! Not a bad price for unused panels. I then mounted them by hanging them from an aluminium channel and brackets at the bottom edge to tilt them slightly. easy enough apart from the ladder work in the wind! :fearful:

These then feed 8 leisure batteries in pairs to form a 24V array. This then feeds all my house lights at 12V ie. no mains lighting. :grinning: The batteries cost more than the panels.

I do not charge my Twizy from this set up. @peter_szczesiak does from his battery bank.

i do chris i have just under 1 kw of solar and 1500 ahs of full traction batteries in the summer my boat is charged by about 10 in the morning so i just plug the twizy in and it charges up. in the winter its not doable as there is not enough sunshine i then use free charging points

Looking forward to hearing how you get on. You’ll need quite a big battery pack able to hold 8 to 10kwh (if they’re SLA batteries, which are cheaper), plus an inverter able to deliver 2.2kw at mains frequency (1.9kw on the later chargers).

Off-the-shelf small wind turbines work better at sea or where there is more constant steady wind. The sort for which you don’t need planning permission could also take several days to fully charge your batteries even if you have a full day’s wind.

We’re investigating making a small wind-powered battery charger, but don’t expect it to produce more than about 1 to 2kWh, even on a good day! I’d consider adding solar panels to your set up - they are now pretty cheap as @osbrook has pointed out.

@ecofunkytravel I saw you project to convert the hover board type wheels to wind turbines. Sounds alot of fun.

SLA batteries don’t like to be discharged below 50% else they be come damaged. ( There are specialist ones that can take a deeper discharge but expensive) So to recharge the Twizy you need 16KWh of batteries. ie. you need 12 x 120ahr batteries at a nominal 12v.

A more practical design would be for a high voltage battery back (24V or 48V) so as to reduce the current. At 12v the inverter will draw nearly 200amps while charging the Twizy. or 100amps at 24V etc. Still a lot of current and big thick cables to carry that for the 3.5 hours the Twizy may need…

Not sure if the hover-board wheels will work, but if they do, there could be a ready supply currently confiscated by Trading Standards and hopefully able to be liberated! :grinning: . Actually, they only cost about £50 a pair new!

You’re right - given the available capacity of even deep discharge SLA batteries, plus the inverter losses, plus the charge losses on the Twizy charger, you would indeed need 16kWh of battery to charge a completely flat Twizy. We don’t flatten our Twizy very often, but if it’s going to take longer to replenish the turbine’s battery bank, than your Twizy battery usage cycle, that might happen more often. We manage to re-charge our Twizy from the solar PV a lot of the time in a good Summer, but going completely off-grid would be a challenge!.

Perhaps the simplest way to look at it is to see how many watt-hours a day your Twizy uses over a period of a week or a month, and then to see if you can install a wind turbine (perhaps with added solar PV) which offers the same (or in practice, about 30% more) average watt-hours per day into your batteries.