Simple Wind Turbine

About: My Motto: If it ain't broke, take it apart and fix it.

In this Instructable I am going to show you how to make a wind generator or turbine out of household items.


1. First I looked for the two main parts: the propeller ( in my case it was a old fan blade ) and a permanent magnet motor. I have tried to use motors that werent permanent magnet and I got bad results.

2. Then you need a long piece of pvc pipe (I used 1/2 inch) but the diameter of the pvc pipe really depends on the diameter of the shaft you are going to use

3. the rest of the parts I found laying around like all of the metal and the plastic for the fin

4. You will also need a hot glue gun 

Step 1: The Motor

Im not sure where I got my motor it was in my parts bin but make sure it is a permanent magnet motor. I put a small gear on the shaft of the motor and a larger gear on the shaft going to the fan blades. Look at the picture and it explains itself.

A simple test to find out if your motor is good enough for a wind turbine:

1. Get your motor and if you have access to a shop vise place it in there VERY LOOSELY as not to damage it ( or you can just hold it in your hand )
2. connect your multimeter to the terminals on the motor and set the multimeter to a low DC voltage setting
3. with the multimeter still connetced, spin the motors shaft with your fingers as fast as you can and if the reading is more than or at least 3-4 have a good motor for this project

Step 2: The Fin

Just like the last picture, this one explains itself. The fin is a piece of plastic cut into a triangle

Step 3: The Fan Blade

Like I said before the blades are off of an old house fan. and I just drilled out the center to fit the shaft I am using. If you have to drill out the hole in yours, make sure you drill it perfectly straight because it will wobble if you dont and will end up destroying your turbine.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

The end result...YAY it worked! I got 25 volts out of it in a 15 mph wind which is good enough for me. When you make yours, dont be expecting what I got because it makes a big difference on what motor you use, the size of the fan blades, and lots of other things too. 
Hopefully you will get good results too.

Step 5: My Experimental Turbine

This was one of my first turbines that I made and it did work ( if you consider 2 volts good enough ) but it didnt work good enough for my
needs so I made a really good one shown in this instructable.    The pictures on this step are of one of my first ones.



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    11 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

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    6 years ago on Introduction

    I was wondering if you could make it more efficient by using lighter materials for the blades, maybe use a propeller from a hobby shop instead? Would that work?


    6 years ago on Step 5

    Sorry i do not really have experience with this but how does the motor get the electricity like did the motor have to work or does it generate electricity as it spins?

    1 reply

    Hey dayarra,

    Sorry for the late reply but you are exactly right. As the motor spins it creates electricity and is basically running backwards from how motors are usually used. And be aware that only certain types of motors are able to do this and I believe they are called permanent magnet motors ( but I'm not 100% positive). An easy way to determine if you have one of these special motors is to simply hook up your multimeter to the leads on the motor and give it a quick spin. Generally if you can produce more than 5 or 6 volts while spinning the motor shaft with your fingers, you have a good motor for a wind turbine.

    Thank you for your intrest and please feel free to contact me with any more questions!

    Electronics Man


    7 years ago on Step 5

    Well it might it just wouldn't produce enough energy to power any thin use full in less its a charger of some sort like a batteries charger btw thanks for replying


    8 years ago on Step 5

    I wonder if that would work on a pager motor if it does its going to be tiny

    2 replies
    Electronics Man1000%

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 5

    I tried this with a small pager motor I dug out of an old cell phone... And it didnt work :(


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Using a stepper motor ripped of from a floppy drive can give you almost 20Vs. This is very good! 5*

    1 reply