The Zoetrope – An Open Source Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine

Applied Sciences recently decided to make their Zoetrope vertical axis wind turbine design open source freely available for anyone to build and improve on. Each part of the building process is completely detailed for those who are daring (and knowledgeable) enough to take on the project. Included is also a list of required materials and tools you’ll need to build the wind turbine.

The Zoetrope itself is a wind turbine, commissioned by Mike Marohn, on a vertical axis that can be build from widely available materials such as metal brackets, plastic sheets, stove pipe and even a trailer hub. So you’re sure to easily find these materials at your local hardware shop or similar do-it-yourself type stores. What isn’t found at the store can be built by you and/or found online for purchase.

Expectedly, The Zoetrope will require customization of sorts with adjustments specifically made for your area. Especially concerning the wind speeds you get in your area. The original plans for the Zoetrope are made for an area with regular wind gusts that can reach 60 miles per hour. So you can experience lower efficiency in light wind due to parts of the turbine being less sensitive to withstand higher winds in Washington state which, as written above, can reach up to 60 miles per hour and beyond. During the testing of the turbine it output around 150-200 watts during a gusting wind reaching up to 20 miles per hour.

So if you’re so inclined to get involved and build your own customized version of The Zoetrope vertical-axis wind turbine you’ll be able to find the plans on Applied Sciences’ website. Not only is it an interesting and challenging product you’ll end up saving money off your electric bill by generating some of your own energy for usage in your home. So head to Applied Sciences’ section on their website for The Zoetrope and get building!