Introduction: Wind Turbine Model

This is a great way to understand wind turbines. It is simple, easy to make, and helps one build the confidence to build their own large scale turbine.

This is a great classroom model to show transformation of energy. Wind, Mechanical, Electrical, and Light are all shown in this one easy to make model.

We have ours in the backyard and it looks so beautiful glowing.

Step 1: Materials


Marking Pen, Motor, Red LED, Wood or Plastic, 3/4 x 1/2 x 1/2 PVC Pipe Fitting Tee, 1/2” Union, Hot Glue, Drill with Bit, Blades, 1/2” Flange, PVC Pipe Cutters, Punch, O-Ring, Tape Measure, 1’ of 1/2” PVC Pipe, Wind ;-)

This seems complicated but really it is not. If you want to build your own, pull an old vcr or dvd apart and remove the motor. Easily make your own blades with spoons and a water bottle lid. You don’t need a pvc pipe cutter, any saw will do. See our other designs of wind turbines and complete instructions.

Step 2: Procedure Step 1

Measure 1”, and 5” on PVC Pipe.

Cut at the 1” and 5” markings.

Now there are three pipes, a 1”, 5”, and a 6” pipe.

Step 3: Procedure Step 2

Put the o-ring onto the front of the motor.

Hold the motor on top of the 3/4 x 1/2 x 1/2 tee.

Placing the o-ring just over the edge of the tee, mark the end of the motor.

This is where we are going to drill.

Step 4: Procedure Step 3

Make sure your mark is in the center of the tee.

Use a punch or pick to make an indentation.

This way the drill will not slip around.

Drill the hole large enough for the red LED to go through.

Step 5: Procedure Step 4

Take your red LED and your motor.

Find the long leg of the LED (the wire that sticks out of the light that is longer).

The longer LED is the positive and the short is the negative.

Take the positive leg (the longer one) and connect it to the + side of the motor.

Then connect the short leg to the - side.

Do this by placing the wires through the tiny holes.

Bend tabs or the wire to keep the wire in place.

Step 6: Stop and Check!

Put the blades on to the motor and blow really hard.

Does the light turn on?

Yes? Go on to next step.

No? Try blowing harder. Try switching the connection of the LED legs.

Step 7: Procedure Step 5

Gently slip the motor and LED into PVC at an angle.

Line LED with the hole.

Straighten up motor while pushing LED through the hole.

Step 8: Procedure Step 6

Holding the motor and PVC pipe in place, add hot glue.

Step 9: Procedure Step 7

Once the glue has started to dry, set the tee and propeller to the side to dry.

Take the union and open.

Remove the o-ring found inside.

This will allow for the turbine to rotate easier.

Step 10: Procedure Step 8

Take the union and 1” PVC pipe and place the pipe into the top of your union.

Please refer to the pictures for the “top” :-)

Press in firmly.

Step 11: Procedure Step 9

Connect the union with the 1” PVC pipe and the tee with the motor and propeller.

Press in firmly.

Step 12: Procedure Step 10

Add the 6” pipe as part of the tail.

Add the 5” pipe as part of the stand. Press in firmly.

Step 13: Procedure Step 11

Add hot glue to the end of your 6” pipe.

Place plastic onto glue.

Press firmly.

Allow to dry.

Step 14: Enjoy!

Tighten or loosen the union depending on your needs.

Glue all pieces together if desired.

Paint for a finished look.

Step 15: Still Going Strong!

The turbine has survived almost four years and a brutal winter. Blades have changed and some parts replaced but the motor still going strong.

PVC Challenge

Runner Up in the
PVC Challenge

Outside Contest

Participated in the
Outside Contest