Introduction: How to Make a Small Wind Generator (In Celebration of Earth Day!)

Picture of How to Make a Small Wind Generator (In Celebration of Earth Day!)

In this i will show you how to make a wind generator that produces electricity! I will only walk you through making the generator but it is up to you to figure out what you want to do with the electricity it produces! i havent gotten that far yet but i am planning on making a charge circuit so follow me if you want to see the outcome of that in the near future :) ok lets get started. first off id like to say that The amount of electricty it generates depends on what kind of steper motor you use, mine outputs 8 volts tops but on a slow wind day it generates around 4 which for me is enough to work with. This is a great "green" project so vote for me if you agree :) i would greatly appreciate it!

I recently updated the wind catchers so please see the last step for the updated positions! they work a lot better and more effecient. 
for more timely updates visit

Step 1: Things Needed

In this you will need common tools normally used by a fan of electronics such as a soldering iron, wire strippers and so on. For the wind generator you are going to need 8 empty pop bottles (2liter), 8 pop bottle caps, epoxy, super glue, thin light pieces of metal (for the fan part, will describe that more later) and a stepper motor . no pictures of the things needed sorry :(

Step 2: Making the "wind Catchers"

Picture of Making the "wind Catchers"

in this part you will be making the wind catchers, its the part that catches the wind and turns the motor. 
first cut the tops off 8 pop bottles like so. I cut where the lable ended and i later painted them red (that part is optional). once you have 8 all cut off move on to the next step

Step 3: Making the Wind Catcher "couplers"

Picture of Making the Wind Catcher "couplers"

I like to call this part the coupler because to connects two pop bottle tops, alls you do is simple use epoxy to combine pop bottle caps together. combine two caps back by back like this, in the end you will have four pop bottle couplers. for added security i wrapped electrical tape around each set.

Step 4: Making the Fan Part (cant Think of a Better Name for It)

Picture of Making the Fan Part (cant Think of a Better Name for It)

This step is fairly easy all you do is make an X shape using two pieces of thin light metal (about a foot and a half long  and one inch wide) then after that part is done you secure the couplers at the end using epoxy. I havent figured out what to call this piece so for now the "fan part" will have to do. let the epoxy harden then move on. 

Step 5: Adding the Wind Catchers to the Fan Part.

Picture of Adding the Wind Catchers to the Fan Part.

this step is very easy, alls you do is screw the pop bottle tops into the couplers. 

Step 6: Adding the Stepper Motor (generator)

Picture of Adding the Stepper Motor (generator)

after the "fan part" is completed you have to attach the stepper motor to it. what i did was i combined the two using epoxy and secured the edges with hot glue. 

Step 7: The Stand.

Picture of The Stand.

after the stepper motor is attached you have to make a stand for it. the way you make your stand is based on how your motor works, i had to make mine in a weird way due to the way the motor works but the stand is fairly easy, i used a piece of wood (close to a 2x4) and a rectangle piece of wood as the base. after the stand is done you have to attach the fan part with the motor to the stand, to do that you simply use epoxy to combine the two. as i said my motor is weird so i had to add a piece of wood and drill a hole through it and let the motor rest through there and i used epoxy to secure it. after all that is done and all the epoxy has set go out on a windy day and test the output with a multimeter, I would recommend testing your motor before you start this just to get an idea of how much power it outputs. 

Step 8: All Done!

Picture of All Done!

this is as far as i will take you, it is up to you to figure out what you want to power with the electricity. I will be making a circuit for it real soon so if you would like to see that just follow me other than that the wind generator is complete! :) please vote for me if you liked this project i would really appreciate it :) also i will be adding small solar powered motors to help spin the generator but again that will happen in the near future so subscribe to see that add on aswell. please if you have any questions or comments just post them or message me :) 

Step 9: Little Demo (barely Any Wind But It Works Great!) More Wind=more Power

Step 10: Update

Picture of Update

AN UPDATE! this is an updated picture of this instructable, meaning it was taken a few days after this was posted. i have read some of the comments and some people suggested taking one cup off of each arm to reduce wind resistance and increase rotations, and it worked! so thank you for your feedback! the generator does work with two cups on each arm but i did see improvement when i took of one from each arm, that is the beauty of using the pop bottle caps, it is easy to go from two cups to one just because you can simply unscrew the bottle. as you can see in the picture i added a few things. more info on these will come soon! thank you so much :)

Step 11: New Video Update!


ChathuraG2 (author)2017-05-10


I need to make this type of wind mill.Please help me.I need to know for 300w power generation what should be the servo motor or any other type motor with specifications.My email address is

Thank you for your kind cooperation.

Roberto Nieva Malaver (author)2017-02-15

Es un proyecto brillante, simple y práctico. Me encantó. Mil Gracias‎‎

Newphysicist_com (author)2016-07-07

This is really awesome. Check this one

PoneomenusT (author)2016-06-08

How do you keep this water proofffff

Tigger84 (author)2015-09-30

you could put blades

PoneomenusT (author)Tigger842016-06-07

Can you help me design a good blades system I dont like this one lol

Tigger84 (author)Tigger842015-09-30


Deepanshu pandita (author)2015-11-09

I had a little motor with a shaft can i use it for generating electricity. If yes, then how........???


cheater_1995 (author)2016-02-07

What is the voltage range?

PoneomenusT (author)cheater_19952016-06-07

The stepper motor controls the voltage. A small PC fan will make about .5-2W depending on wind speed. The voltage is not the wattage, energy is measured by voltage x current.

AyazK9 (author)2016-02-23

hey How to connect the stepper motor?

PoneomenusT (author)AyazK92016-06-07

Just buy a dc motor, or get a pc fan. If you spin the fan/motor, rather than power the fan, it will send out power.

Vivi2002 (author)2016-04-23

Where would you buy a small wind generator?

PoneomenusT (author)Vivi20022016-06-07

any dc motor will work

1_64phiGUY (author)2015-10-23


JosephP25 (author)2015-08-24

You should try to put two of the cups facing the opposite way so it could get the wind either way it goes.

KennethD5 (author)JosephP252015-08-31

Have you ever seen a anemometer? the cups all face the same way and it catches the wind from all directions. If you place cups in opposing directions it would not work very well at all.

HrishikeshI (author)2015-03-28

updated version don't supports to wind coming from all sides

THX 1138 (author)HrishikeshI2015-07-21

Uh, yes it does...

codemachine56 (author)2015-04-17

Nice instructables! I guess adding a flywheel will be perfect! I have one jog wheel I took from vcr player. I'm sure it would make a nice flywheel. Now what I need is slightly bigger dc motor.

trejowright (author)2015-03-19

Hi, please help I am going to do this type of wind generator, and I need it to turn on a led light can anyone help me please?

Hey there! I actually made another wind generator to do that! Check it out on my page

prince.a.rehman.14 (author)2015-02-20

what is the part u join with the fan.............the motor type?

clau.cedeno (author)2014-12-15

could you explain a little bit more detailed how to do the electric part please?

Agustyne (author)2014-09-19

good interesting

homemadetools (author)2014-09-04

Just saw the part 3 update video. Nice work on this build. We've got it featured in our Homemade Generators category on .

bwtux (author)2014-06-02

Congratulations to your project, it looks great.

I would mount just one cup per arm, always open to the same clockwise direction (like an anemometer). With your setup, one clockwise, one counter clockwise, I am not sure if it would actually turn in the wind at all. At least, you should get a decent speedup with removing one of the cups per arm, so for all wind directions, the wind always faces an open cup on only one side of the thing.

out-of-the-box (author)bwtux2014-06-02

Thanks for the kind words. the cup suggestion has been taken into consideration a while back

GTJosh (author)2014-03-19

i think you should mount it to the top of your garage peak. that way you will get deflected wing, since the peak is higher (out of the fence area that act like a wind break.) you should get more rpm, resulting in a faster charge, you can leave the solar panels where you will. But If it were me i would try it atop the roof. :)

zk171690479 (author)2013-10-18

You're good , I am very interested .

TheGamingFaux (author)2013-06-13

How do you use this for recreational use. How would I myself use this? ( i do plan on making a few ;) ) but i need to know how i would hook it up to say my house for power? even if it only helps a little bit.

I dont know how to hook this up to a house. But you can use it to charge batteries and pass the charge on. For example, Im using mine to cjarge two 5 volt batteries, It takes about 3 days to charge, Im using the batteries to power back yard LEDs for night time use. It lights up the back yard pretty good at night. Hope i helped! :)

heavyconstructor666 (author)2013-06-05

Hello there Taylor.
Really nice project !!
How much costs a motor with 40 volts outpout ?

I cant say for sure but if you have an old printer lying around you can salvage atleast two from it. I got an old printer from good will for like ten bucks and got two stepper motors out of it. One generates 40 volts mak and the other 25 to 30. hope I helped :) thanks

I cant say for sure but if you have an old printer lying around you can salvage atleast two from it. I got an old printer from good will for like ten bucks and got two stepper motors out of it. One generates 40 volts mak and the other 25 to 30. hope I helped :) thanks

SKarmytech (author)2013-04-28

Nice build but the design of the "blades" is not the best, since there shouldn't be two of them facing both the opposite direction. But good project, gave me the nice idea of using bottle tops, and it's also ecological!

Thank you :) I did change it up a bit. I took one cup off each arm and it works great. it did work before but one less is better.

cricket fan devu (author)2013-05-29

from where can i get steeped motor

If you have an old printer lying around you get salvage one or two from it. I recently just took one apart and got two.

Ragnarocker (author)2013-04-29

hello, as soon as i noticed you decided to couple the wind catchers together i wanted to leave a note. I'm a current engineering student and I would like to suggest something for this exact picture. Since you have wind catchers on both sides of the coupling, when the generator is in motion, one side will act as a catcher and the other will act as a break. Think about it in terms of aerodynamics, i can blow air into one side, but the other is like a 'parachute' if you will, and slows down the rotation speed. I would recommend using only 4 x 2L bottle wind catchers as the generator will spin in the same direction every time the wind blows.

I hope this little tip may better your design :)


I updated that part. I added a step that shows the new positions! Thank you for your advice :)

majidazmiu (author)2013-05-14

can stepper motor produce electricity?

yes they can. some can produce upwards of 40 volts, but in order to use that electricity a rectifier might be needed.

out-of-the-box (author)2013-05-04

check out the latest update here!

KROKKENOSTER (author)2013-04-30

Willing to learn without taking offense helped me a lot Before I learned to listen to good advice Handy gadget provided YOU HAVE WIND!! Now how can a body get them windbags to let go of their winds and bragging!! (pun intended)

fmasi (author)2013-04-25

Nice build of a Savonius style turbine with cheap and raw materials!
It's not a matter of INCREASING rotations, but of PRODUCING any.
In the old way you did it would move just because you blew in the right cup, or because you produced turbulence in natural wind with your body/camera mass. The opposing cups did equal the forces on both sides. Hence no rotation.

A couple of suggestions: put it on a very long pole. The higher you go, the cleaner/stronger the wind.
And put some kind of gearbox to make the motor spin faster. This will require less rotor speed at the same amount of power produced.

The motor could be down in the pole, and a long axle could transfer the mechanical energy.

Cheers and good lighting!

out-of-the-box (author)fmasi2013-04-27

thank you :) i will look into your suggestions, i was planning on using an 8 foot pice of wood but i couldnt work with it so i had to downsize a bit.

arfeenmushtaq (author)2013-04-25

very nice, simple yet effective

thank you :)

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Taylor, I am an electrical repair tech by day and an engineer by night, after work or free time.
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