Picture of Building a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine ( VAWT )
When building this turbine we will be using some powertools.
If you are not used to working with powertools ask someone who knows how to use them.
After building this turbine you will still need you fingers so.

Step 1: Tools and parts

Picture of Tools and parts
- Jigsaw and or band saw
- Hand saw
- Lathe
- Drill press or hand drill
- Drill bits
- Screwdriver
- Tab tool
- Ruler
- Pencil
- Compass
- Sanding paper
- Vise ( it makes work more easy)
- Wrenches
- 2 clamps

- PVC pipe
- Waterproof wood "concrete form plywood is the best"( if you don't have that you will have to protect it with a coating )
- 2 Bearings ( bottom one needs to be able to handle a load )
- Grease nipple
- Wire rod ( 2 sizes ) ( 1 big one and 4 small ones ) ( Stainless if possible )
- Bolts and washers ( 2 sizes ) ( Stainless if possible )
- A piece of 40 mm round aluminium ( Alloy ) ( it will hold the bottom bearing )
- 2 Angle irons
- 3 eye screws
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shruti.gore.96 months ago

we have recently made a vawt and used 12 volt dynamo but its failed to produce output(0.6v) even at highest speed of rotation of pulley attached to turbine.may be high starting torqe is required to produce output

please suggest what should be the reason behind it?and what alternative we could use for it?

prakash3417 months ago
i got it but small gen like what wattage PM or ?
rikkiesix (author)  prakash3417 months ago
Like a stepper motor or a permanent magnet motor out of a printer
zigzagchris6 years ago
Verry nice and congrats on bein fetured. Is it powering anything? and how do these compare to horizontal axis?
It doesn't look like it's generating any electricity. It would be easy enough to make it though, just need to attach some magnets to the top and some coils above the spinning magnets.
rikkiesix (author)  JakeTobak6 years ago
Hi I will make that generator in a while. I just had some other things i was working on to. When i make the generator i will add it to this instructable. Thx for the comment. Greetings Erik

bro what kind of gen did u used

rikkiesix (author)  prakash3417 months ago
Nothing yet. The turbine is not up anymore cause I moved an have no garden anymore. A small generator would be possible but anything big is not possible with this turbine. Greetings
rikkiesix (author)  zigzagchris6 years ago
Thx a lot. I did not expect to be featured on my first instructable. yay Its not making any power yet so i can't really say the diff also because i don't have a horizontal windmill to compare it to. When the generator is made i will add it to my instructable. You will know about it then. Thx for your comment. Greetings Erik
apicella2 years ago
As you see I have a very small stepper motor and when I put the drive belt on the turbine does not turn due to it not having the torque.Any ideas
zoakley apicella9 months ago

It looks like the drive wheel on your turbine is touching the wheel on your stepper motor. If you put a belt on while the wheels are touching, they will not move because the belt is trying to pull the stepper motor wheel counter clockwise while the turbine wheel is trying to push the stepper motor wheel clockwise

rikkiesix (author)  apicella2 years ago
Hey, very nice turbine :-) i like it
Does it spin well without the stepper motor connected?
You have to start by changing the ratio between the 2 disks
I tried that too before and my turbine did not have enough tork
Find some way to make it run very smooth.
Drag is a killer when it comes to these turbines.
Maybe a belt that runs around the outside of the disks.
Just make sure you change the size of the disk connected to the turbine
Keep me posted
I will keep helping untill it works :-)
Greetings from Belgium
OskarS111 months ago

is this still active?

What's the bearing's diameter?
can I buy them online ?

Friiman2 years ago
Hi i really like your wind turbine.
I am trying to make one at home, Just finished it but the bearing i use is the same over and under, does a bearing that can handle weight do much for the spinning of the turbine? mine spins when i push it, but not so good by the wind =/ It was not as easy to build by myself as i thought =) have a nice day
rikkiesix (author)  Friiman2 years ago
I have not tried it before with a normal bearing so i don't really know but i guess it will help a bit.
Is the wood you used heavy?
I found the hardest was to actualy put it together :-)
Greetings and good luck
apicella2 years ago
Do you think that by increasing the length of the blades it will produce more torque.
rikkiesix (author)  apicella2 years ago
I supose that a bigger surface for the wind to blow on will give more torque.
Maybe you can connect a second one on top?
Good luck
Greetings from Belgium
apicella2 years ago
Must say there was not too much wind.
I have a 4 wire stepper with two rectifiers and all.That's why I had a large pulley to a small so that I was getting 6 to 1 ratio for the speed to get some voltage out of the motor.Maybe I will look for a smaller motor, all I want is 3 volts to light up 1 led.
The turbine looks nice in the garden any way.
apicella2 years ago
Well last night I connected the stepper motor directly to the center shaft of the turbine with some hose and with disappointment the turbine did not turn fast enough to even light up one led.
rikkiesix (author)  apicella2 years ago
Pity to hear it did not produce enough energy
How much wind was there?
How many wires come out of the stepper motor?
Maybe you can rectify more strings?
apicella2 years ago
With out the stepper it turns well as it is well balanced.
With the stepper motor there's not much joy.
Do you say I should put a bigger wheel on the turbine.
rikkiesix (author)  apicella2 years ago
No, When you have a small disk on the turbine and a bigger one on the stepper motor the turbine will have less trouble spinning it around
Maybe if you make them both the same size it might work too.
I hope this helps you
apicella2 years ago
Hi There, I made one using tour instructions and it works great, just looking at connecting a small stepper motor to it to charge 3 or 6 volts.South Africa
rikkiesix (author)  apicella2 years ago
Awesome :-)
Can you send me some pictures of it?
I'm really interested to see your wind turbine
Greetings from Belgium
bgravina3 years ago
where is the generator suited? and how much electrical power generates.. i what to build one in my garden. really nice work.
rikkiesix (author)  bgravina3 years ago
The plan was to mount the generator at the bottom
The turbine was not strong enough or i had to mount a really small one
I'm not using this turbine anymore
It was my first turbine
I'm working with my uncle on a new turbine
Greetings from Belgium
thanks for your help
leblebija4 years ago
Is there any news concerning the generation of electricity with the turbine? I like the turbines and is easy to produce, does not require much troškove.Da you dare to do PVC pipes up to 2 meters? What type of generator should I choose to maximize the wind with the turbine? Best regards from Serbia
rikkiesix (author)  leblebija4 years ago
Hey there
First of all, happy new year and the best wishes
I tried several generators on it but it never seems to be having enough tork.
I probably tried with to heavy motors connected to it.
If you keep the permanent magnet motor small enough i'm sure it will work well.
Just get the turbine high up.
I'm not sure if this design will have enough strenght to make it 2 meters high.
Ofcourse you can try it but i'm scared it might get a bit wobbly. ( unbalanced at higher rpm )
For now i'm working on a other wind turbine with my uncle.
We hope to get it up soon now, maybe this week or the week after.
We use a dynamo from a bicycle and it produces about 0,4 amps and 25 volt
If we connect it to a battery it will balance itself and go to 13 volts or so.
Greetings from Belgium
The Badger5 years ago
This is fantastic. Does anyone know what size generator you would need for a domestic system supplying 240v. Its a four bedroom house. Many thanks.
Look at your electric bill. It should have kilowatt-hours used on it.
divide that by 30 days and again by 24 hours, and by 1000 watts/Kw.

That the average wattage you draw. I'd expect that to be between
1000 and 2000 watts. Since that's your average, you probably want
between 4 and 10 times that as your peak output, depending on how
regular your wind is.
 Depends on what you have (electric heating, electric water heater, electric stove, ext.) your house is all electric so it is over a kilowatt.  You might ask your electric company, volts don't matter you get all kinds of efficient inverters, you just need enough watts to supply a whole home without over using it, to much is good.
Well if you look at this other instructable (link below) there is a video of them building it that shows the system they have. You're going to be looking at a pretty big system if you want "full" power. Even if you want something just in case of an outage, it's a pretty big system.


It's not turning, not because of lack of wind, but because the wind can't get to it. Raise it higher I suggest using a telescoping pole for easy access.
rikkiesix (author)  thepaul935 years ago
Hi I'm not a aussie. I'm belgian. hehe Greetings Erik
rikkiesix (author)  The Badger5 years ago
Hi Thx for your comment. I'm glad you like it. I think it depends on what you want to power, just lighting and some small electrical things or everything in the whole house. If its only lighting and you have some good wind all year around you might be ok with something you build yourself. Otherwise you will need a serious generator i think. You can have a system that charges 12 or 24 volt battery's and then work with a inverter to change it to 240 volts. You also have generators that give 240 right away. Exact data i don't have but its possible maybe also with some solar panels together. Greetings from Belgium Erik
sixpackwill5 years ago
id get a bike dynamo (the generator you attach to your bike to provide electricity for the light on the front) they are cheap on amazon, but you might need a gear ratio to spin the dynamo fast enough to get a reasonable amount of electricity
Someone with electronics background is needed here because the bike dynamo produces AC current. How do we charge batteries, etc.
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