Picture of Chispito Wind Generator
The Chispito Wind Generator was designed to be simple and efficient with fast and easy construction. There are no limits to what you can do with wind power. There is nothing more rewarding and empowering than making a wind powered generator from scrap materials. Most of the tools and materials in this manual can be found in your local hardware shop or junk pile.

For more information and inspiration on wind generator construction, please visit
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Step 1: TOOLS

Picture of TOOLS
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits (7/32", 1/4", 5/16")
  • Jigsaw with a metal blade
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Vise and/or Clamp
  • Wire Strippers
  • Tape Measure
  • Marker Pen
  • Compass + protractor
  • 1/4" #20 Thread Tapping Set
  • An extra person helps a lot!


Picture of MATERIALS

  • 36" of 1" Square Tubing
  • 2" Floor Flange
  • 2" X 4" Nipple
  • 3 X 3/4" Self-tapping Screws

NOTE: if you have access to a welder, you can weld a 4" section of 2" pipe onto your square tubing instead of using the flange, nipple and sheet metal screws.

  • 260 VDC, 5 A continuous duty Treadmill Motor with a 6 inch threaded hub
  • 30 - 50 Amp Blocking Diode (one-way)
  • 2 x 5/16" x 1 3/4" Motor Bolts
  • 3" X 11" PVC Pipe

  • 1 sqft (approx) lightweight material (metal)
  • 2 X 3/4" Self-tapping Screws

  • 24" length of 8" PVC Pipe (if it is UV resistant, you will not need to paint it)
  • 6 X 1/4" X 20 Bolts
  • 9 x 1/4" washers
  • 3 sheets A4 paper and tape

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i like it soo much

dleon18 months ago

How does it continue to face the wind without twisting the wires?

tjledoux11 months ago

can you use a car generator to feed batteries and then use a converter for the ac/dc conversion?

Bob-C3 years ago
I have a permanent magnet 2.50 HP heavy duty treadmilll motor. It has a positive wire, a negative wire, and 2 blue wires that come off the positive post. What do I do with the blue wires? Do I have to use the bridge rectifier if I am using a charge controller? Any help would be appreciated.
dumpstar Bob-C1 year ago
Same. Anyone????????
yaly3 years ago
If this is a dc brushed motor then the coil is the one rotating inside the magnets so it will automatically produce dc, adding a full bridge rectifier will ensure that if the motor spins in reverse it will produce the same polarity but it will decrease the output by 0.5 to1V
Andruha11236 years ago
can ac motor be used? i got one out of my old fridge. it has three wires white blue and can i use diode bridge and acheive the same result as with a dc motor? on the side it says : merkle-korff industries model 3424rp-420 115v. 60 hz. idle: 1.20 amps rated: 1.4a-17mfd on/off: 2/20 sec p/n-10114804 any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks
velacreations (author)  Andruha11236 years ago
turn the motor by hand and see if you can read a voltage above 1 volt. If not, it probably won't work without gears or pulleys, if at all. If you want a motor that works, go to and buy one from the recommended supplier.
acttualy it does have gears and it spins very fast, but when i connect it to my multimeter i get 0 volts. even when i use diode bridge still 0 volts, i tried every combination of the three wires, but no luck. does anyone know why? also i took it apart and noticed that it doesn't have any magnets(at least i could see any) in it, is this the reason?
The fridge motor is going to be an induction motor, so it wont work. Neither will a universal motor, as neither type has permanent magnets,
Since it doesn't have magnets, It is probably an induction motor, I don't think you can use them to generate electricity, Just my 0.02
velacreations (author)  Andruha11236 years ago
yes, that is the reason. It would need to get up to speed before any output. You can take a look at the discussion board at for information on how to make a motor like this work.
How would you measure that one volt? I dont have any electricity measuring tools. Is there another way to possibly do it. If not how much would one of those cost?
i got my multymeter for less than 3 dollars, menards sells them for about 5 dollars.
goldpen3 years ago
Good project but the instructions in this page could be a lot clearer, or illustrated with some photos
rquissak3 years ago
I just loved it! I've searching for something easy and not expensive, now it is here.

bhunter7367 years ago
In some circles, this 4 diode arrangement trapped in a little cube that takes AC and makes it DC is called a Full Bridge Rectifier. You will have better luck finding one at many electronics stores by that name. Frys Electronics sells them for about 10 bucks in California. Website
davedawia4 years ago
I built one of these and it works great. I bought most of the parts on ebay.

The criticism I have with the design is the blades. I  live in New York and we can get som serious wind in excess of 35 mph. The first day the wind gust went over 35 mph, the PVC blades snapped and crumbled into pieces. What a disaster!

I wound up replacing the blades with some aluminum blades I found online at windynation:

So far so good and it has been 9 months. We have had a couple of days with 55 mph wind gusts.

I would also recommend getting a slip ring if you live in an area with swirling wind like me. It will eliminate the tangling of your wires which run down your tower. Thanks for the article. I thought it was great.
id say go to a thrift store and get fan blades
Hammerham4 years ago
One way to help minimize twist would be to install a stop pin. this would keep it from going more than 180 degrees in either dirction therfore eliminating it.
tomtortoise4 years ago
where do i buy guy wire lol anyways nice instructable but its gunna be hard to mount on a printer stepper motor with only one small gear on it. any su
ggestions for mounting. glitch posted it early
sillywilly4 years ago
Those of you who may be worried about the wires going down the tower getting excessive twists due to swirling winds can install some slip rings. A good source for the electrical contacts and slip rings can be had by removing said items from an old car alternator. Thats a good source for heavy-duty 4-way bridging diodes also. Quite often, (at least in my area of NW USA) the treadmill motor can be had for free off free section or other free-lists for your area. Most times there is nothing wrong with the treadmill except perhaps a slipping belt. Treadmill motors plus the variable-speed controls are good for other DIY machines as well like a lathe, drill, sand disk, centrifuge, fan, etc!
Fatmatt15 years ago
Can anyone please tell me how the wires keep from getting twisted beyond repair when the rotor spins in the wind? Thanks
Well this what I have read on line: Use an extension cord, have the plug in at the bottom of the tower. Oh yea = the cord is inside the tower pipe. with a hole at the bottom. then the cord can be unplugged, so it can untwist, then replugged. The cord want twist as much as you might think as it will turn with the wind both ways.. STC
Ummm.... I think you're doing it wrong. Normally, the blades catch the wind, which spins a plate of magnets near a stator coil (that's "stator" as in "static," "stationary," "not moving"). The wires come from the stator coil (which should NOT be spinning), down the tower (through a rectifier if the stator coil's output is 3-phase AC) and into a charge controller hooked up to some heavy duty batteries (boat or car batteries usually). As the magnets pass over the coils, electricity is generated. If you're using an electric motor instead of making your own magnet/stator setup (Ametek motors are popular for DIY Wind generators), then the Blades turns the shaft of the motor, the body of which should stay stationary, and the leads off the motor run to the charge controller. If your wires are spinning and getting twisted, then your stator coil isn't stationary, which is normally a bad thing.
Thanks for your answer. I'm surely not looking at this correctly so let me try to explain my question again. Using the treadmill motor and plans on this site, if the blocking diode is mounted on the rotor/tail fin assembly square tubing....and the wires that come off diode run down the pole to the ground, what keeps the wires from getting twisted as the generator assembly/tail fin rotates around and around in the wind over time? LIke I said, I'm surely not looking at this correctly because this appears to be a major fault....thank you.
static Fatmatt15 years ago
 Ready made slip rings can be found on eEbay. Evidently in practice the solution is simple. Many let the wires hang down the center of the mast/tower at the point the turbine turns to face the wind. At the bottom they have away to unplug the wires. As needed they simply unplug to allow the wires to untwist themselves.
what you might try doing to rectify this problem if it does indeed become a problem is to make and mount 2 pvc disks with  with 2 metal tracks embedded in one and wire brushes on the other one. basically 1 brush contacts each track, that would give you positive and negative without the need for a solid connection wire which would allow for any number of 360 degree rotations without any possibility of wire twist. The only concern would be how to weather proof it to prevent a short circuit in the event of rain.
g0tmk Fatmatt15 years ago
Often what you are describing isn't much of a problem, I've had several turbines up for years at a time and they very rarely spin 360 degrees. When they do, they don't spin around than once, and odds are it will spin back the other way eventually. I've never had one twist enough to be a problem.
lobo0x74 years ago
nice instructable, but why are you mixing inches with milimeters?
xetero5 years ago
Can I use AC motor like the one that is used by electricfans or ceiling fans?
Some AC motors don't have a permanent magnet in them, so they won't generate electricity if you spin the output shaft on them.

Though a few types do have a magnet in them and could work, for the most part AC motors won't act as generators.

This looks like a great project!

If your interested in topics like this feel free to check out my forum on “Sustainable Energy”



KnexFreek5 years ago
cool :)
dustyplans5 years ago
How much energy does this model produce?  Looking through all my junk, I have all the materials.  so I will build this, but I want to know how much energy to expect in a light wind.  10 - 15 mph.  Anyone know?

StuNutt5 years ago
Why 2 washers on some bolts and one washer on others?  I've always believed in using single-coil spring washers (or Nylock nuts) too.
Jenn135 years ago
I can't see where you might have posted the amount of energy this produces.  I am new to the instructables website.  Sorry if I missed it. Thanks.

langoley5 years ago
Just as a PURE GUESS,it sounds to me like Jimmyz is using a 130v motor rather than a 230v motor! This would require the motor to turn about 1500 rpm to produce over 12v.He might want to check the data plate on his motor.
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