This is my first attempt on building a Savonius VAWT. My plan is to first build the rotating vanes based on images and videos I've seen on the web. I purchased two 18 inch diameter tabletops and a 6 foot section of 10 inch diameter steel stovepipe at my local building supply store. I cut the stove pipe in half and then sliced it lengthwise to get four curved "vanes" approximately 3 feet long with a 5 inch radius. I have an old ceiling fan unit which I plan to use as the base because I can mount the bottom tabletop to it and not have to have a central shaft, plus it has some kind of quiet bearings already built in and a good solid base to fix it to a platform.

With my wood cutting machine, I cut 8 half circles to act as vane mounts which will help hold the steel vanes in shape. These wood cutouts were so perfect they barely needed sanding... I love that machine.

 

ComuCarve Machine   end caps
CarveWright Machine   4 Sample Shape Formers
parts   Cap Placement
Board and Former Parts and Board   Formers Positioned on Base
2 vane test       vane position
Initial test, as I was building it with just 2 vanes, a very gentle breeze rotated it easily and silently! Then I moved it inside and put a small fan three feet away and again with just two vanes it started to rotate. Because I had already built 4 vanes I just positioned the other pair and with the same fan speed setting it started to spin faster. I have them positioned as "Test 1" in the image above. I will count the RPM with the fan at the same speed an placement. Then I will reset the vanes to "Test 2" position and see if there is any difference. As you can see in the lay out of "Test 1," air can enter one vane and exit via the center area to the opposing vane, I don't know if this design helps or hinders the rotation, so that's why I'm going to test the same conditions in configuration "Test 2."