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How To Make A Wind Powered Composter


1There is nothing better for the environment than being able to turn your home waste into compost. If done properly, you not only produce your own soil fertilizer, but you also help the community by reducing the amount of garbage, sent to landfills.

We would like to show you how in 12 simple steps you will be able to not only make your own composter, but it will also be powered by wind, so that no energy is wasted.

Now before we proceed, these are the tools you might need:

  • Drum or a large bucket
  • Plywood- size depending on how much waste is going to be composted
  • A box of 3 inch deck screws
  • A junk gear motor with a high gear ratio
  • A drill press, angle grinder, hammer, screw driver and a jig saw

The estimated time you need to complete the task is around 12 hours.

s1 Step 1. Cut the layers of the turbine

It is a nice idea to first cut a template and then use it to shape up the layers of plywood, so that they are identical.

s2 Step 2. Make the turbine

Cutting the plywood is time consuming, so make sure you have company when you do that. You need to cut around 20 to make the turbine.

s3 Step 3. Make a shaft hole

Stack all plywood cuts and drill a shaft hole in the middle using a drill press. If you don’t have a very long drill, you have to pay special attention and make sure that the whole is at the exact place. The thickness of the drill could be 1/2 inch.

s4 Step 4. Shape the turbine

This step is entirely up to you, but a spiral shape looks quite nice.

s5 Step 5. Smooth the layers

This you can do using an angle grinder and sanding disc. Make sure your face and eyes are well protected.

s6 Step 6. Find the suitable gear motor

This is quite important since the low torque from the turbine has to be converted to high torque at low speed. The suitable ones are not very expensive – one with a gear ration of 1250:1 from the local surplus stores is perfectly fine for the job.

s7 Step 7. Get the gear reducer from the motor

The gear reducer is what we actually need. Use the hammer to remove the magnets and the rectangular brushings. Make sure the bearings is intact.

s8 Step 8. Locate the spot on the shaft which will need drilling out

Drill the shaft hole in the housing before you drill the shaft

s9 Step 9. Drill the shaft where marked

Make sure that the hole you drill is the size of the turbines shaft

s10 Step 10. Drill the cap

This is also needed so that the turbine can spin the internal core.

s11 Step 11. Build the frame of the composter

It depends quite a lot on the type of the motor, however the the general idea is as follows. The drum has to roll on two tires on one end and should be placed on the gear motor on the other end. The motor should be placed in a disc and it should be bolted to the drum. A suitable material for this disc is 1 inch thick lexan.

The gear motor should be attached to the barrel via a plate with a keyhole

s12 Step 12. Assemble the composter

With the help of screws, assemble the composter. It does not necessarily have to look like the one on the picture, the only requirement is that the shaft and the turbine are perfectly aligned.

And… Done!

Credits for the tutorial and the great photos go to the Instructables and user kdunner.

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  1. quiltwithdawa I’m actually thinking of doing this project here in Perú, maybe I’ll put up a post with more pictures. Oddly enough, I think this post had pictures, but I don’t know why they’re not loading.


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