DIY Wind Turbine: 9 Designs to Generate Your Own Electricity (And Save Money)

Taking more environmentally conscious steps towards a greener future is necessary now more than ever. Although we do not rely on burning fossil fuel as much as we did in the past now with the advent of nuclear energy, these types of man-made sources of electricity still impact our environment. Therefore, DIY projects to reduce the damage and make our own contribution to a cleaner air are a great option for each of us. It is enough if we start small for now.

For today’s article, we’ve selected 9 DIY wind turbine designs that will not leave a large dent in your pockets. Simply set it up on your lawn and profit from all that clean energy.

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Vertical Axis Wind Turbine v1.0

For this DIY project, you only need scrap materials and your usual tools such as a power drill, a box cutter, and a pop riveter. This design was developed by Daniel Connell and is based on the Lenz2 lift+drag design. Connell writes that you can build a three-vane version or a six-vane version. The three-vane version resists to 80km/h sustained winds. The six-vane version to 105 km/h. Connell’s in-depth tutorial should hold no secrets for you. It also features print templates to make your job even easier.


Miniature Wind Turbine

diagram of a DIY wind turbine

There’s no reason not to involve a young engineer in this project. Michael Arquin, the founder of the KidWind Project, designed this PVC turbine. It can be modified in accordance with the age and skills of the youngsters. The design can also be a starting project for an adult who wants to test their abilities and doesn’t want to invest too much in a larger scale project. Take out your drill, wire cutters and hot glue gun and prepare the PVC pipes and fittings. The tutorial has a list of all the tools and materials you need and pictures to show you where everything fits.

Related: Where Does Wind Energy Come From: The Basics

The Nozzle/Diffuser Wind Turbine

DIY wind turbine made with plastic buckets

This is a DIY wind turbine design that uses usual plastic buckets to harness as much wind power as possible. However, you will need an electric hand drill, a handsaw, and coupling for this so it is only destined for responsible adults. For a full list of tools and everything else, check out the tutorial with step by step pictures.

Homemade Alternator Wind Turbine

DIY wind turbine with car alternator

This project is a little more difficult as it demands some previous engineering skills. While the tutorial guides you along the way, it’s addressed to a reader that has a little bit of know how. In addition, instead of purchasing the propellers, you can create them yourself to save some extra money. The tutorial does not have any helping images but the end result, so start working on this project only if you are sure of your technical abilities.

Homemade Electricity-Producing Wind Turbine

This wind turbine was built by an astronomer who had no access to electricity at his remote residence in Arizona. So, by taking advantage of the windy conditions, he built his own electricity-producing wind turbine. Keep in mind that the design is meant to power the entire property so you know the effort is worth it. What is more amazing is that the entire project cost merely over $140.  The tutorial is very comprehensive, with everything spelled out and pictures to show for it. There is even a FAQ section to help you with every issue.


DIY Wind Turbine from Washing Machine Motor

DIY wind turbine with PVC vanes

This is another DIY that repurposes old machines from your home that do not work anymore. If your washing machine broke, simply remove the coil and the magnet assembly and keep the bolts that held them in place. You will need to buy some PVC pipes that will serve as vanes in the project. The step by step tutorial shows you everything you need to do, complete with pictures, measurements and washing machine parts the user used.

DIY 1000-Watt Wind Turbine

DIY 1000 Watt Wind Turbine

Another brilliant DIY project designed by an expert that is bound to power your off the grid home. While the tutorial is detailed and shows you picture by picture how to proceed, you do need some engineering skills. You will need to build coils and work them in specific series according to diagrams. If you are up for a challenging project then do not hesitate to pick this one up. The results are going to be worth it.

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Old 17-Foot Wind Turbine

DIY 17 foot wind turbine

This giant DIY wind turbine will require lots of work as you will build everything from scratch. But if this is going to be your main source of power then there is no need to hesitate. The tutorial is as detailed as it can be and the team behind the project even offers new and recent designs that they have developed over the years. In the end, you can choose a smaller design or an even bigger one, standing at 20 feet tall.

DIY Wind Turbine with Minimal Design

According to Kevin Harris, the man who designed the turbine, the total costs of the project reaches $150 or less if you are thrifty. He tried several designs that included six vanes and wide vanes but the simplest was still the most efficient. The three-vane wind generator produces regularly 50-250 watts. Harris writes that the entire project can be completed during one weekend. Some of the materials can be substituted too if you don’t have them around. Follow Harris’ tutorial and build your own wind turbine without any trouble.

Final Words

Overall, we hope this list offered as much information as possible for you to start building your own wind turbine. It’s clean and it’s worth it, given the current situation of our climate. We’ve also included smaller scale projects if you want to tinker with some materials in your spare time and see if it works. Make use of the resources around you and go green.

Image source: Pixabay

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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