I have been doing some brainstorming for my final project and I think I really want to make some sort of wind turbine or other clean energy machines like a water wheel as I have had a bit of an interest in this field but have never really explored it at all. This idea came to me when I recalled a video I watched a while ago about wind turbines and I thought that it would be interesting to look into how they are made and try and complete a more amateur version. This seems like a great project to do as I have been wanting to learn more about the different ways that renewable energy is generated but never really had the motivation to look into it. However, I am not sure of the scale that I would want to aim for nor the complexity of the project as I am relatively new to this topic and have no idea what I am doing. For now, I think I will focus on the wind turbine but I may end up switching to another device that is focused on clean/renewable energy depending on my interests and the available resources.

BNATB2 Wind farm, overlooking Columbia River.

To gain some better knowledge, I watched some videos about basic wind turbines. What I learned is that there are actually two different types of wind turbines which was quite surprising to me. These two types of wind turbines include the stereotypical horizontal wind turbine and the vertical wind turbine. The pro of vertical blades is that they can pick up on winds from any direction but at a massively reduced efficiency in comparison to horizontal blades that can face toward the direction of the wind to maximize the power. There is also a theoretical limit to the efficiency of wind turbines which is around 59.3%. It was also interesting to learn about the complex mechanisms and designs that go into the wind turbine as it seems really simple from the outside but is very complex on the inside.

The inside of a wind turbine

For my chosen aesthetic, I had some trouble deciding what aesthetic to model my final project after as I did not know what would go well with this type of project. The only one that I can really think of right now is the minimalistic aesthetic as many turbines have a sleek look that seems very simple which conforms to that minimalistic aesthetic. This will most likely be my chosen aesthetic unless I can find some better choices later on while I am doing the project.



  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf875eOVrVI&ab_channel=TheEngineeringMindset
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy9nj94xvKA&ab_channel=TED-Ed

Picture Sources:

  1. https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/wind-energy/
  2. https://xenogyre.com/2020/12/16/electricity-from-wind-turbines-part-1/



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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Ari Matrajt Frid
    March 1, 2024 4:40 pm

    Hi David, I think this is a great idea and you can really dive into how these wind turbines work. I would suggest looking into the Wind Club in CU Boulder because they really know a lot about wind energy in general and could help you build one too. Have you thought about which type of turbine will you make?

    • Hey Ari,

      Thanks for the advice on contacting the wind club. I did not know about them so that’s a great resource to look into. For the wind turbine, I was thinking of doing some time of vertical turbine just because it seems very iconic but I am not 100% sure yet.

  • Hi David,
    I think the wind turbine idea would be really cool if you could get it to charge up a battery pack type thing. That way you can scale the whole thing down. A question that I had was had you considered different forms for the blades? Maybe something like those windmills that you can hold or stick in the ground and blow to turn?

    • Hey Sophie,

      Thanks for the reply! Yeah I was thinking of trying to get the wind turbine to be able to charge up a battery pack even somewhat, but I have not yet thought through the entire process yet. For the blades, I was thinking of just trying out to 3D print some blades, but I probably will not be able to achieve the elegant airfoil shape that is commonly used.


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