Make: Projects

Wind Generator

With a motor and some piping, it’s easy to enjoy free energy forever.

  • By
  • Time Required: A couple weekends
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Wind Generator

There are no limits to what you can do with wind power. It’s abundant, clean, cheap, and easy to harness. We designed this Chispito Wind Generator (that’s Spanish for “little spark”) for fast and easy construction. Most of the tools and materials you need to build it can be found in your local hardware shop or junk pile. We recommend that you search your local dump or junkyards for the pieces required. Or, if you live in a city, search for salvaged parts, and see if you can install one on your roof.

We believe that anyone can be in control of where his or her electricity comes from, and there is nothing more rewarding and empowering than making a wind-powered generator from scrap materials. Remember: puro yonke (pure junk) is best!

Abe Connally

Abe Connally

Abe Connally and Josie Moores live with their two sons off the grid in the mountains of the Chihuahuan Desert. They develop innovative and practical solutions to homesteading on a budget. is the online documentation of their experiments and adventures.


  • Dan M

    The motor is by its nature AC, if you have a dc motor, the motor incorporates diodes inside the motor. a bridge rectifier is 4 diodes, arranged in a way to maximize the ac to dc. a diode is a one way gate, preventing electricity going in the wrong direction.

    placing dc on a diode backwards will block dc from traveling though it.

  • Abe Connally

    any bridge rectifier with the specs should work. You basically want one that can handle 30 amps.

    Charge controllers are a must, but for a wind system, it is better to have a diversion load controller, that dumps the extra power into a dump load, like a water heater.

    For more info on this, check out our website:

  • Inba

    which wepsite all details available for windmill generator coil

  • Saleem Banatwala

    If it is a DC motor then the commutator and brushes will cause the coils to spit out DC. I’m not sure why you would need a bridge rectifier if it is a true DC motor. Perhaps this is actually a brushless DC motor which would put out 3 phase AC when it spins. That would need to be rectified. Given that there are only two wires coming out of the motor in the picture, I would suggest that it is not a brushless DC motor. Basically the rectifier is just unnecessarily dropping the voltage that is coming from the motor by about 1.4 volts. I would suggest that you don’t need it. Easy test, hook the motor leads up to a voltmeter set to test for DC voltages and spin the rotor. If it shows a voltage then it is DC. If not or if the needle wiggles back and forth then you have AC.

  • Saleem Banatwala

    Thinking a bit more about this now, you would want a single diode on one of the lines coming off of the motor to avoid the battery discharging through the motor when the wind stops. This wouldn’t be a bridge rectifier though. It would be a single diode.

  • Discharged Marine

    I have a question. Could you not hook several car alternators to a exercise bike. The recumbent style. And I do mean several, and several bikes. And run it into a dc/ac converter from the parts store. Throw in a battery charger and some batteries for storage?

  • brumere

    Okay, I’m giving up on Make. They cannot respond to reality — too busy spinning new yarns I guess. Mathematics is precise and this project if it ever existed, was in another universe

  • Trevor

    The 60 degree section is discarded in step 3 (unless you’re going for a ninth blade as a spare or something). The pieces in use (and referred to by step 4) are the 75 degree pieces. 75 degrees of an 8 inch diameter circle is 5.23 inches. Not quite 5.75 inches, right? Remember that PVC pipe is nominally sized on the basis of inner diameter, and actual size depends on the schedule, composition, etc. All these factors could easily account for the .5 inch difference between the 5.23 that pure math based on nominal values arrives at and the measurement W that is given. Yes, mathematics is precise, but only if applied in a precise way. You didn’t apply it correctly to the project instructions or with anything close to full knowledge of what “8 inch PVC” means.

  • brian

    Hi ..where can i get the plans for the turbine?… thank you

  • musgoso

    Dude, “puro jonke” means nothing in spanish, and litle spark is female, so it will be chispitA, althougth as it is a noum, you can say Chispito if you want, it sounds actualy cool

    Apart from that, this is cool, it’s going to be my summer project, looks good on the pic

  • Great story and good to see the younger generation into the hobby. Home made parts are nice to get started but in many situation end up bad or can be dangerous for instance in the case or making blades with PCV pipe…just one mans opinion. For those who want to take it to the next level we have an excellent election of permanent-magnet-alternators blades, rectifiers and are generally a good resource for information related to the hobby…Again nice work

  • Please could somebody indicate where the plans are to make this? I thought the whole idea was to teach us how to do these things but without some guidance I am stumped. I am a very handy eco-conscious lawyer, not an engineer.

  • Dario

    Nice work. My question is, how to make it rotatable, so it can adjust to the wind? Any ideas?

  • A wind turbine installation consists of the necessary systems needed to capture the wind’s energy, point the turbine into the wind, convert mechanical rotation into electrical power, and other systems to start, stop, and control the turbine. I do agree with you that one can use wind energy for many purpose.

  • Take a look to my site if you want to see free wind generator charge controller. I have all parts listed and circuit diagram.

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  • paw

    This means inches (“) and this means feet (‘)..You learn these things in school…

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  • Belia Krouse

    I think you need to take some time and go to inplix website to learn how to make it.

    • richardilaner09


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