Wind turbines are alternative energy solutions that use the kinetic energy from wind and convert it into another form of energy, such as electricity. You can make small, non-operative replicas of wind turbines from empty soda cans that will spin in the breeze, much like larger turbines do for capturing energy.
- Soda can
- Measuring tape
- Permanent marker
- Needle-nose pliers
- Wooden rod
Use safety goggles and gloves for this project. You have the option to spray paint your soda can after you sand down the edges.
Clean, rinse and dry a soda can.
Measure the circumference of your can and divide by six or eight, so you know how wide to make the blades of your wind turbine. Each blade should be about an inch wide. Draw lines down the length of the can using a measuring tape as a guide. You will cut down each of these lines to make the blades.
Cut off the top of your soda can by using scissors.
Cut along the lines you drew for each blade, stopping about 1/2 to 1 inch above the bottom of the can.
Cut small notches on either side of each blade near the bottom of the can. These trims will make the blades more pliable.
Bend down each blade so they are flat and even with the bottom of the can. You can use a hammer to make the bottom and blades completely flat.
Sand the edges of the blades to make them less sharp. Clear the dust after sanding.
Twist each blade to one side so they all face the same direction, using needle-nose pliers.
Hammer a nail through the center of the bottom of the can into a large wooden rod, about an inch from the top. Do not hammer all the way down, but rather leave some wiggle room to allow the turbine to rotate. Lightly push down on one blade to ensure that your "wind turbine" spins.
Hammer the bottom end of the rod into the ground and wait for the wind to blow.
Things You'll Need
- Use safety goggles and gloves for this project.
- You have the option to spray paint your soda can after you sand down the edges.
About the Author
Cara Batema is a musician, teacher and writer who specializes in early childhood, special needs and psychology. Since 2010, Batema has been an active writer in the fields of education, parenting, science and health. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and creative writing.
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