Knowing a teacher or two and with Momma Cat's bean counting problem, we thought we better come up with an extremely inexpensive turbine. This way the bean counter and teacher in all of us can be happy :-)

Why build one of these mini turbines? Well they are inexpensive ;-) There is the wow factor. There is the educational benefits. The greatest benefit though is getting someone interested in green energy. Just look how easy it is to generate power. Yeah it is a very small amount of power but to most people electricity is not something easily understood. Get people interested in this easy to build, inexpensive turbine and perhaps they will be inspired to learn more. Have to light a match to get a fire.

These are so easy to make we had Cool Cat (8 year old) build it. That's his hand in the video. Couldn't get him to keep his hands off it lol. We hope that you enjoy this instructable and please check out our other instructables at - http://www.instructables.com/member/Cats+Science+Club/ and don't forget to follow us!

Cat's Science Club


Step 1: Materials

What you will need are easily found at a hardware store.

Okay, we know what some of you are thinking, why a solar path light? Well we had bought around 20 at a dollar store. There are some cool instructables on here that show what can be done with the solar panels. We just need the tube off it. So take the tube off and save the rest of the solar light for your next instructable.


Electrical Tape

Motor- Pull out of old VCR or DVD player or buy off e-bay

Solar Path Light - Just need the pole off it.


Wood or Plastic - To make the tail. We used a shim but you could use just about anything.

3/4" PVC Pipe Fitting Tee

3/4 to 1/2 Bushings (2)

Hot Glue

Super Glue


Drill - Not Shown

Blades - Not Shown - Your own design or use ours


Your cost maybe different depending on what materials you have available. We had things like the glue, wire, shim (many other things will work), wire, and electrical tape ($2). The red LED is under $.10 (Amazon or eBay). The motor can be free if you find an old VCR or DVD. The bushings cost $.37 each and so did the 3/4" PVC Tee (PVC parts less than $1.20). Solar path light from dollar store, only a $1, but you could try some thinner PVC or strong tube that will fit through the PVC Tee. We spent under $5 for all the parts we didn't have. The cheapest turbine we could find on Amazon was just over $11 but the mini turbines go up in price to $60 plus.

About This Instructable


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Bio: Science Geek! Been to Space Camp 3 times and want to go again!!
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