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.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

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

Step 2: Let's get started

Picture of Let's get started
First thing you will do is measure your PVC pipe and cut it in 4 equal pieces. ( mine was 2 meters long so that was 50 cm a piece )
When you have done that you will cut it over the hole length.
Now you should have 8 pieces ( they should be exactly the same size! )

Step 3: Making the 2 disks of the turbine

Picture of Making the 2 disks of the turbine
Take 2 pieces of waterproof plywood ( 12 mm )
Measure in 2 directions to get the middle of the plate and mark that point.
Take your compass and make a circle of 40 cm diameter.
Grab your jigsaw and cut them out.

Step 4: Divide your circle in 8 pieces

Picture of Divide your circle in 8 pieces
Here is a link i have found to do this job quickly and precise.
You only have to do this on one plank.
In the next step i will explain why.
1-40 of 129Next »
apicella1 year 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

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)  apicella1 year 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
OskarS14 months ago

is this still active?

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

Friiman1 year 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)  Friiman1 year 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
apicella1 year ago
Do you think that by increasing the length of the blades it will produce more torque.
rikkiesix (author)  apicella1 year 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
apicella1 year 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.
apicella1 year 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)  apicella1 year 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?
apicella1 year 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)  apicella1 year 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
apicella1 year 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)  apicella1 year 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
sixpackwill4 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.
rikkiesix (author)  SB20104 years ago
We use a rectifier for that to turn the ac current into dc current.
rikkiesix (author)  sixpackwill4 years ago
Thx, thats a good idea. I made a horizontal turbine with that kind of generator before and that worked pretty good. I will try that out. Good luck with everything you do. Greetings from Belgium Erik
one question, how wide is the pvc pipe
rikkiesix (author)  sixpackwill4 years ago
Just went down to my garage to meassure the pipe The pcv pipe i used is 3,1 inches in diameter. ( 8 cm ) I hope that will help you. I tested my turbine by spinning it by hand.( gently) I think it was atleast spinning for 30 or 40 seconds. Try to find the same bearing that i used. Your turbine is very light so it might not have that momentum like mine has but it should start more easely then mine. Good luck. Greetings Erik
vanner404 years ago
Hi guy, man I'm confused, I just built a wind turbine close to yours, and it won't spin, even during a storm. I've been researching these and finally built it, and it just won't spin. Any comments on why ?
rikkiesix (author)  vanner404 years ago
Hi On what does it spin? Did you see what i used for bearing? Can you get me some more close up pictures of your turbine? I'l look at them and hopefully i can help you in any way. Mine used to spin on the slightest breeze without a load ofcourse. Normaly if you connect a stepper motor from a scanner or printer you can charge a cellphone with it. It should have enough power for that. Hope to hear from you soon. Greetings Erik
Hi Erik, heres some pictures and videos, hope this link works, any thoughts ? think i'll go back to blades, just don't like the thought of going 25 feet in the air to fix if something breaks.
At this time, no bearings, just a shaft to free spin. I can touch spin it with my finger, bearly touching it and it spins, but seems no amount of air will spin it. I'm thinking I might have to set the blades on a 30 degree or 45 degree angle to catch the air, but most instructions and videos I've seen, the blades are set straight. This is just a prototype mock up, top n bottom alum and sheet metal ductwork blades, so very light, less than an ounce in weight. I'm also thinking that I found the only spot in the yard that don't get the wind due to where the trees are setting, going to move it around the yard several times to try finding the wind flow. I'll post some more pics when I tear it down and also a movie clip or two if you want me to. Thanks for your help and thoughts so far. By the way, I'm trying to build this to run a 36 volt motor to store power to a battery bank, I know it'll have to be bigger than what it is now, just learning the jist of how it'll work and spin. Tony
rikkiesix (author)  vanner404 years ago
Hey I used to build my turbines at my mom cause i had a workplace there. Now i work in my garage underneat the appartment building where i live. I used to park my car there but i move that outside and turned it into my workplace. I had the same problem with trees all around the yard before too. What i did was i loaded my turbine in my car and drove to open space where i could test it well. Maybe you should try that too. Yes, i would love it if you would sent me some more pics and maybe a video or so. That would be great. Keep me updated. Im' not sure if you saw my video's on youtube. Type rikkiesix in youtube and you can some video's of other turbines. Enjoy building Hear from you soon and good luck Greetings from Belgium Erik
1-40 of 129Next »