Introduction: Plastic Soda Bottle Wind Turbine

Picture of Plastic Soda Bottle Wind Turbine

Here is a fun project  that recycles plastic soda bottles and turns them into cool decorative wind turbines! 

Step 1: Get a Plastic 2-3 Liter Soda Bottle

Picture of Get a Plastic 2-3 Liter Soda Bottle

Start with a 2 or 3 Liter plastic soda bottle. Wash out the sticky stuff. Then let dry.

Step 2: Mark Out the Design

Picture of Mark Out the Design

Take a fine point black felt permanent marker and lay out your fin design. I did this without measuring anything. The size of each fin is up to you. The bigger the fin is the less work . So you choose. You can cut the fins long or short. I chose two rows separated by a center band of plastic. You also can make one row facing left and one row facing right. Or both facing the same way. Experiment and see which turns faster.

Step 3: Get a Very Sharp Exacto Knife and Cut the Fins.

Picture of Get a Very Sharp Exacto Knife and Cut the Fins.

I chose a curved blade after experimenting with different blades. It worked best on the flexible side of the plastic bottle. Cut only the sides of the turbine fins and the long side of the topless pyramid shape. See pics. This very tedious work. Do not cut or push the blade, gently pierce the plastic and draw the blade easily along the lines. BEWARE- these blades can slip and cut deeply. You can wear thick leather gloves if you like. Very pointy sharp scizzors might work but I have not tried any yet. This is not for children to do!  Please do not try this unless you have the skills and hand dexterity to use these razor blade type craft knives. The bottles bend, move, and crackle. Very tricky to cut. So BEWARE of this!!!

Step 4: Fins From the End View

Picture of Fins From the End View

Step 5: Bend the Fins Out to Catch the Wind

Picture of Bend the Fins Out to Catch the Wind

After cutting out the fins, bend each one so it stands out from the bottle. This will catch more wind and spin the bottle very fast.

Step 6: Fins From Top View

Picture of Fins From Top View

Step 7: Drill a Hole in the Cap

Picture of Drill a Hole in the Cap

Get a real small drill bit and drill a tiny hole in the cap center. Then take some fishing string and pass it through the cap. Invert the cap and tie a knot or two on the inside of the cap. Test  to see if the cap spins freely. I use 25 lb. test fishing string but any size is OK. Cut about 12-18 inches off the spool of string.

Step 8: Dremel Tool & Tiny Bit

Picture of Dremel Tool & Tiny Bit

Step 9: Paint or Decorate It

Picture of Paint or Decorate It

You can paint your wind turbine or glue on sparkles or leave it plain. Your choice. I chose bright  florescent orange and green so it would stand out.

Step 10: Hang Your Wind Turbine Outside

Picture of Hang Your Wind Turbine Outside

Screw on the cap and hang your wind turbine where the wind will catch it. Also where you can see it outside a window and enjoy the spinning action. Have fun, be safe. Enjoy. Triumphman

Step 11: Latest Turbine Additions 8-2-13

Picture of Latest Turbine Additions 8-2-13

Comments

triumphman (author)2013-08-02

Just made more wind turbines. With much more larger fins. Better cap spinner ends too.See pictures. The result, much faster and friction less spinning! Cool!

macrumpton (author)2012-01-21

I suspect you could use 1/4 that many vanes and it would work just fine.

triumphman (author)macrumpton2012-01-22

Right on, you could do three long fins. Or three big fins. Or more, , its up to you. They all will work fine!

rimar2000 (author)2012-01-21

What a tidy work!

Some years ago I did one of these, but only three fins, and put it over the roof of my car (here in Argentina it means "for sale"). The turbine last only a few minutes, somebody stole it!

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Bio: Son of a son of a sailor.
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