I get frequent visitors that enter this site looking for "how to build a paper wind turbine." I am not completely sure what they are looking for, but I am dedicating this page for that purpose. So I set out to build different types of paper wind turbines and describe how I built them. I will be using only paper, tape, stapler, and something to allow it to spin.
All the paper comes from the good folks at corporate America, my recyclable/burning paper stack.
The three things I am going to build are:
-Pin Wheel (Success)
-Horizontal axis wind turbine (Failure)
-Savonius wind turbine (Partial Success)
I found a good sturdy piece of paper from my city newsletter, gave it some color just to help you see, not necessary but nice. Start with a square piece of paper and mark it off in 4 quadrants. Cut a straight line from each corner to ¾ to the center on each corner.
Then bend (not fold) the corners into the center. Find a good stick and a thumb tack or push pin with a big head. Pin the center of all the folds down thru the paper entirely and firmly in the stick.
Your pin wheel is now done and ready to spin.
Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine
I started with three pieces of paper from a catalog, Northern Tool, I don’t know how to explain the folds so just look at the pictures. I tried to keep them a little fluffy, the main goal was to make them an air foil to keep them ‘more’ on one side than the other.
I taped them together and then mounted them to my stick using a piece of wire thru the center with curly bend on the outside, I would have just used a paper clip but I couldn’t find one.
The blades were just flimsy with that light paper, it folded right up and wouldn’t spin, I think even construction paper isn’t good enough for this paper wind turbine design.
Savonius wind turbines are my favorite so I thought this would be interesting. The first ones I built was made out of water bottle plastic and cardboard to test different aspects of various designs.
Well I went back to that heavier paper in my city book, I also found a folder, and a good slick section of grocery ads. I used the heavier piece for the top and bottom and used the ad to fold into the 'S' shape and stapled all the corners to the top and bottom, and then added on some tape.
I used a rod as the live shaft stuck thru top and bottom and bonded with tape. Popped a bearing on the rod and it gave me a couple decent spins in front of a fan, the problem was mostly with trying to hold it that way.