How to Make a Small Model Windmill Generator

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Windmill turbines can produce environmentally friendly energy, although they do not work everywhere. It is possible to build a windmill generator that produces a small amount of electrical current when exposed to a steady breeze. Building a small working windmill generator can be a fun science project. It will also help students or a curious individual understand how wind generators work.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Large pinwheel flower garden decoration (You will only need the propeller.)
  • 2 Magnets and Spacers
  • Magnet wire
  • Small, lightweight metal rod
  • 2 Sturdy plastic sheets
  • Drill
  • Small spools of thread to use as spacers
  • Small light bulb.

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  1. 1

    Take the propeller off the flower. The flower's propeller will be used to spin the axle. A propeller from a larger pinwheel flower is best.

  2. 2

    Place the spools between the plastic sheets and glue them on. These small spools should go at the corner of the plastic. Use super glue to attach the spools, and let it dry. This will serve as the casing for the windmill generator.

  3. 3

    Measure the metal rod and drill holes in the plastic. The metal rod will go through the hole. Make sure the holes are perfectly aligned on both sides. Place the rod through the holes in the plastic.

  4. 4

    Place the magnets in the casing. They should have enough space to rotate freely around the axle that will spin the magnets. Attach the magnets together using spacers. If there is not enough space between the spacers to insert the axle, the magnets are useless to generate electric current.

  5. 5

    Put the rod in the hole. Wrap the wire around the generator. Wrap the wire around the casing 225 to 300 times.

  6. 6

    Attach the propeller to the axle. The propeller from the wind decoration should be large enough to catch the wind. Place the propeller on a metal rod, and apply superglue.

  7. 7

    Remove insulation from the wires. Attach the leads to the end of the low voltage and amperage light bulb.

  8. 8

    Place the generator in a breeze. See if the wind can provide enough power to light the bulb. (If there is not enough wind, electrical current can be generated by manually spinning the axle rapidly.

Tips and warnings

  • Because the wind is not always available, the propeller may not rotate the magnet quickly enough to light even a small electrical light bulb.

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