How to build a vertical axis wind turbine using recycled parts

How to build a vertical axis wind turbine using recycled parts

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. Made from recycled materials


Posted 03 September 2011, by Sneha Upadhyaya, EcoFriend (Instamedia),

1980’s copy of Mother Earth News had pushed the designers and developers towards making a Savonius turbine through assembling the 55 gallon PVC containers from closest flange and sheet metal screws. This was probably to flourish a design from recycled stuffs. The essence of this design is that such Vertical-axis wind turbine can resist over 70 MPH winds and that too without destruction.


Complexity level: Moderate

Time required: It depends on the expertise and experience so differs from person to person.

Materials required:

1. Plastic (50 to 60 gallon)

2. Compass or sharpie

3. String or straight edge

4. Poly vinyl chloride pipes

5. Closest flat surface

6. Screws of sheet metal and nuts

7. Hand tools or electric tools

8. Washers

9. Lazy Susan supporter

10. Plank

11. Generator

12. Wire or chain

Procedure to build vertical axis wind turbine using recycled parts:

Step 1: Bisecting outline on container: Deal cautiously and do not slash diagonally or across the thick tube-shaped opening. Use sharpie and straight edge or compass and string and draw bisecting outline on container.

Step 2: Slash the containers and unite the halves: Do not let the container move while slashing the long sides of the container. Bring a piece of wood or any device to firm the position of the container or fix the container next to the wall by a solid article that is heavy in weight. Use the hand tool to slash the container. Arrange the containers and fasten them from closest flange.

Step 3: Use poly vinyl chloride pipes: Hit the pipes through all of the containers to situate them at ninety degrees away from each other. Drill into the pipe through the closest flat surface and place the container by using the rivets of sheet metal to the surface.

Step 4: Exploit Lazy Susan support: Drill countersinking holes in the wood, if required. Combine two support assemblies and for this, use Lazy Susan bearings, and wood. Utilize closest flat surface and accumulate it to drill a hole. Fasten it from the screws of sheet metal that will get combined to poly vinyl chloride pipe.

Step 5: Turbine accumulation: Accumulate the turbine and generator to arrange the gears of small size.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the right process of connecting the halves?

Unite the halves: Arrange the container in a manner that the two halves of the container overlap each other with nine inch. Fix the halves together by a flat surface which is stuck to an object that will fasten it and will make it stronger. Through the container, drill four quarter inch holes by using flange spacer. Now put in four quarter inch bolts and nuts to fasten the container and finish the process of connecting all the containers.

Quick Tips:

  • Instead of electric tools, prefer hand tools.
  • To prevent from accident, use chain or chicken wire to make an enclosed structure around the spinning turbine.

Things to watch out:

  • Cautiously surmount the hand tool while cutting the container.
  • Be accountable while using gears.


4 responses to this post.

  1. This is a really interesting looking contraption. Did the original Mother Earth News article have more assembly progress photos?


    • Good question! I was thinking the same thing myself. I know mother Earth News has all of their issues archived on CD (or perhaps DVD also) available for purchase. That is a great resource for just about everything DIY. I did do a quick search of the Mother Earth News website, and although I found a few articles on vertical axis wind turbines, I did not find the specific article mentioned by the author of this article. Perhaps an email to Sneha Upadhyaya at EcoFriend is the way to go.


      • I may just order the Mother Earth News archive and check it out for myself. It looks like an interesting project. I know very little about the power generation capabilities of wind, but it looks like this might be a good way to learn a bit about it.


  2. Posted by Julianna on October 27, 2011 at 7:44 am

    this is really cool. Any other helpful hints???


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