DIY Wind Turbine

Alicia's picture

In this class participants will build a working wind turbine from scratch - based roughly on DIY plans from MAKE Magazine and the following websites:
Students will be introduced to basic wind power concepts and safety guidelines in the first class. In subsequent classes, the group will be working together to build a wind turbine that will charge a 12V deep-cycle battery. Once the turbine is built, it will be donated to Sibley Bike Depot for use at their discretion. If you are interested in building one for yourself, please contact us before the class to talk about space and time constraints and material requirements.
This turbine will be nearly identical to the one built by the instructors for the I.D.E.A. Shanty - part of the 2010 Art Shanty Projects.

This turbine is designed to produce 100 watts in a 30mph wind. However, wind in St. Paul will RARELY reach this speed. The turbine will start producing enough power to trickle charge a battery in an 8-10 mph wind. Unlike those from the DIY plans mentioned above, our turbine will also feature a "furling" mechanism to protect itself (and others) during extreme winds and prevent an overspeed condition. This makes the turbine safer during high winds.
This class will appeal to anyone interested in renewable energy, appropriate technology, physics, engineering and design processes, circuits, power tools, sustainability, and the DIY ethic.




Class 1:


Basics of wind

Class 2:

Make blades

 - Cut from 8" Schedule 80 PVC

 - Sand and shape into airfoil


Class 3:

Motor assembly

Make tower, attach motor


Class 4:

Motor assembly

Make tower, attach motor

Class 5:

Work Day

- This day could be cut out if we finish building early, making the class 6 weeks.


Class 6:



Class 7:

Finish up

Do something fun with electricity generated?

Facilitator email(s): 
[email protected]
[email protected]


Hack Factory
3119 26th St E
Minneapolis, MN 55406
United States
Facilitator's experience: 
Joe and Alicia (and friends) built a wind turbine for the IDEA Shanty for the Art Shanty Projects. They learned a lot along the way and did a lot of problem solving. Joe has worked at KidWind for 3 years teaching about wind power. Alicia works as a bike mechanic and has a lot of experience building and constructing things.
Class minimum size: 
Class maximum size: 
Class times: 
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:00 - 20:00
Mon, 03/08/2010 - 18:00 - 20:00
Mon, 03/15/2010 - 18:00 - 20:00
Mon, 03/22/2010 - 18:00 - 20:00
Mon, 03/29/2010 - 18:00 - 20:00
Mon, 04/05/2010 - 18:00 - 20:00
Hack Factory
3119 26th St E
Minneapolis, MN 55406
United States
44° 57' 19.71" N, 93° 13' 33.7152" W
Additional class location information: 
Go through the gate and in the side door.
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