Picture of How to build a wind turbine.
Today I am going to show you how to build a functioning wind turbine. For our second year project we were given the task of producing a wind turbine that could power a small motor. Whichever team produced the most power would win the competition and prize. 


You need:  MDF board
                    Plastic board
                    Metal rod
                    Assortment of gear sizes
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Support Disks.

Picture of Support Disks.
Here we are going to make the two disks that the turbine blades fit on.

First of all, mark a centre point on your MDF board. Use a compass to draw a circle with a radius of 160mm. Using a band saw, cut the circle out and use a sander to smooth the edges. Trace around the circle and use it to produce another disk of the same size. 
Find the centre point of these circles and use it to draw a 5 pointed star on each one. These lines will be used to align the turbine blades further on in the project. Halfway down each line, mark a point and then measure a point 5mm to the right of the line and mark a cross. This is  Glue or pin a square onto the centre of each disk to add support to where the axle will be sitting. Finally drill a 9mm hole through both parts.

At the end of this step you should have 2x MDF circles split into 5 segments. 

Step 2: Turbine stand.

Picture of Turbine stand.
In this step we are going to make 2 triangles to be used as stands.

Using whats left of your MDF board, draw a right angled triangle big enough so that when your turbine is assembled, there is enough clearance for the turbine to spin. Use this to draw another triangle of the same size. Cut both triangles out with the bandsaw. To make your turbine more aesthetically pleasing, use the sander to curve one corner of the triangle into a circle. Drill a hole big enough for your support bracket through the curved corner.
Varenberg3 years ago
does it produce 12V, 220V or 110V, and how much does it produce???
bobwojo3 years ago
So, how much power did this design produce?
I once took apart an office photo copy machine. It contained several long stainless steel shafts with ball bearings on each end. For a free copy machine, it had about 75 pounds of good "stuff." If you are building a relatively small wind turbine, that might be a good place to look for parts. One or two of them had right angle gears on the end, too.
flyingpuppy3 years ago
Can you show the motor and how it's aligned with the turbine? Thanks
flyingpuppy3 years ago
Was this the design that won? As Bob asks, how much power did it produce? Because I may just have to make one.