Otherpower is a website that we came across when we were just starting to investigate the world of alternative energy. They offer loads of free information and projects pertaining to alternative energy, especially wind turbines. Theses DIY’ers are quite adventuresome in their explorations. They bill themselves as “the cutting edge of low technology” and “the blunt edge of high technology”.
Forcefield is a small company located in Fort Collins CO. They are basically the online store for Otherpower.com
ForceField offers all the parts to actually build a wind turbine. The scale ranges from each part separately to an actual complete kit that you assemble yourself.
Along with the kit, you also have to supply the rectifiers and diversion regulator. It should be noted that this is not a low maintenance turbine because the blades, blade hub and the tail are wood and require at least annual inspection. They are careful to explain that you need to read the manual before purchasing one of these wind turbine kits to see what you are getting yourself into. That alone is an interesting concept for marketing, making sure the person knows what is going on before investing money in the product. In the manual, they actually go to lengths to explain the pitfalls and complications involved in the whole process. How refreshing in a field of slick brochures and sometimes meaningless numbers.
The design offered is the axial flux type which is most common to home built wind turbines. They are up front in giving large amounts of credit to the influence of Hugh Piggott in their designs. The machines seem to be right in line with what makes a good wind turbine. Simple, slow and sturdy. They regulate at moderate wind speeds, not attempting to harvest the high winds that can cause the most damage to the turbine.