Wind Turbine Model




About: The name Cat’s Science Club comes from my daughter Aly, whom I call Aly Cat. She inspired me to take my love of science, and the fun I have with my students, to as many people as I can. Both my daughters hel...

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



    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019

    37 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. A good alternative to the store bought wind-turbine science kit (which by the way uses a cheap motor and really sucks).

    The T-connector gives it a perfect housing and the O-ring even works as dampener

    1 reply
    Cats Science ClubAwaisA34

    Answer 2 months ago

    The motor is being used as a generator. The magnets and the copper coils in the motor excite the electrons and causes them to move. In this example the electrons are turning on a small red LED light. Please take a look at a few of our videos on YouTube to see the windturbines in action. Subscribe to see when we update. We are regularly adding science hands on.

    Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 8.46.08 AM.png

    Even if i have Instructables account i never published anything on it. Oh well here are pics of my machine that i created years ago (i did lots and lots of modifications to it and always i find new ways to improve machine).

    3 replies
    mcfunworldSplinter Sensei

    Reply 3 years ago

    oh that looks so cool it looks like a instrument mast on a storm chasers vehicle p.s. and how did you bond the medal rods that hold this thing together

    I apologize for not replaying your comment Sir. I provided some pics of
    my new version of my meteorological machine. Well about your question
    on that old version i used a TV antenna (2 stick indoor TV antenna). The
    new version have few modifications. I switched the anemometer DC motor
    with a brushless DC motor (old PC fan). I had no idea that the PC fans
    operate at AC but use DC from motherboard and converted it to AC. So i
    had problems to figure out how to wind up the Rectifier Bridge onto the
    motor core. So now it produces AC that goes into Bridge Rectifier to get
    DC current. Also the construction well i used 3 sticks that have
    windings on them (it's like a screw but without it's head so to say xD)
    How to say i am really good at improvising. When i need or don't have
    necessary components for something that i want to build i just make
    components from other stuff. I also had really big problem. I had to
    find really small screws that will hold anemometer's cups but not to be
    long screws or they will damage the winding of the machine from the
    inside. So once again i improvised and it was worth it. Here are the


    3 years ago on Introduction


    1 reply



    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Since it's such a little blade you could probably correlate voltage output to wind speed but you'd need something like a arduino to calculate. But it would much easier to use a rpm sensor.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    this is great, but several questions.

    Are any Dc motors useful here?

    Also, can I use a white or bright white LED?

    Also what if you use a larger propeller blades or even try to make it using a VERITCAL BLADE ARRANGEMENT?

    Are there any minimum requirements here?

    I am eager to try these out.

    Best wishes.


    1 reply

    We understand that step-up motors work the best. We are using a red LED because it takes the least amount of energy to light up. A white LED will work. Vertical blades will work but that would look totally different then what we show here. Larger blades will spin in lower winds. We hope this helps.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I would advise strongly against holding the Tee in your hand when drilling holes, etc. Those kinda injuries suck big time.

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Second that. I got a few smaller injuries from re-purposed screw drivers and hand tools. I am now retraining myself to avoid these stupid injuries:

    In what direction will the tool go if the attempted step fails? - Make sure this direction is away from your body & body-parts.

    In step four: The punch will either go into the thumb, the index finger, or (less likely) into your palm. The last one can be avoided by limiting the movement of the right hand: putting the connector down and resting the hand on a board or book while pushing. For the drilling, the connector could be held end to end in a cheap clamp, or add a piece of pvc and hold on to that, so your hand is further away.

    These things aren't as wise as using a vise, but work for me.