Te Reo Physics Resources

Multimedia Physics and Science Teaching Resources


Model Windmill Generator | Pūrere Kapohau


A model wind turbine generator powers a small light.

Principles Illustrated
Generation of electricity by using wind energy to move a magnet in a coil.



English version

Te Reo Māori Version


We suggest you have students watch the video and then, if they are interested, build their own windmill generator using a motor and propeller from a hobby shop. A vacuum cleaner with an exhaust hose is more than adequate to power a small model. We can provide additional instructions and recommendations for construction of the apparatus upon request.

Windmill Generator
Windmills in use

Other Information


Careful with fingers in the blades! We use a very small motor and lightweight propeller from a model shop.
Individual teachers are responsible for safety in their own classes. Even familiar demonstrations should be practised and safety-checked by individual teachers before they are used in a classroom.

Compare to the Model Hydroelectric Generator

Notes, Applications, and Further Reading

The use of wind to generate electricity is expanding rapidly and seems to be a viable option for renewable energy. It is not without controversy as installation of wind generating stations often brings complaints about the visual impact and noise produced by the wind turbines. The video posted here includes a recording of the sound of some windmills in the Tararuas.


This teaching resource was developed by the Te Reo Māori Physics Project with support from