How to make an easy model of a wind turbine

Written by andrew dewitt
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How to make an easy model of a wind turbine
(Illustrations by Andrew DeWitt)

Wind turbines could be a large source of energy in the future. Because of this, many students need to construct wind turbine models for science projects and class presentations. Creating a wind turbine model requires only a few materials. Once completed the model can be used in a diorama, set up as a 3-dimensional diagram, or simply used as a visual aid in a report about wind power. Individual students can also bring in simple model wind turbines and set up a miniature wind farming station on the playground.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 12-inch long, 2-inch diameter PVC pipe
  • Super glue
  • 12-by-12 inch sheet styrene
  • X-acto knife
  • 2-by-2 inch wooden block
  • 3-by-3 inch wooden block (1-inch thick)
  • Small wooden cone 1 1/2-inches long, and 1 1/2-inches wide
  • Drill
  • Drill bits 1/4-inch diameter and 1/16-inch diameter
  • Screw 2 1/2-inches long and 1/2-inch diameter
  • Nut for screw
  • White acrylic paint

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Drill a 1/4-inch diameter hole all the way through a 2-by-2 inch block of wood. Glue a 1-inch diameter wooden cone to the back of a 2 1/2-inch long, 1/4-inch diameter screw. Drill three evenly spaced holes into the sides of the cone. These should be 1/16-inch diameter. Drill each hole only 1/2-inch into the cone.

    How to make an easy model of a wind turbine
  2. 2

    Cut out three blades for the wind turbine from a piece of sheet styrene using an X-acto knife. These should be 6-inches long, 1-inch wide and come to a rectangular tip that is 1-inch long and 1/16-inch wide. Place a small bead of super glue on the rectangular tip of each blade and insert the blades into the holes in the cone. Insert the screw into the hole drilled into the cube. Add a nut to the end of the screw to keep the turbine blades in place.

    How to make an easy model of a wind turbine
  3. 3

    Super glue the wooden cube to the top of a PVC pipe that is 12-inches long and 2-inches in diameter. Let this dry for 1 hour. Glue the bottom of the PVC pipe to a wooden block that is 3-by-3 inches wide and 1-inch thick. This will act as the base of the model. Paint the entire structure with white acrylic paint. Let this dry for at least one hour before moving or touching it.

    How to make an easy model of a wind turbine
  4. 4

    Set the model wind turbine on a sheet of green felt to act as grass. As part of your model scenery, place miniature model train people around the base of the wind turbine to represent people enjoying clean energy .

Tips and warnings

  • You can add the finished model to a model railroad set that you want to give a "green" slant to.
  • Be sure to wear safety goggles when drilling or cutting any of the material.

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