Make Your Own Anemometer

Make Your Own Anemometer

Its easier to make than pronounce!  You can make your own anemometer to measure the wind speed.

What you will need:

  • five 3 ounce paper Dixie cups
  • two straight plastic soda straws
  • a pin
  • scissors
  • paper punch
  • small stapler
  • sharp pencil with an eraser

Take four of the Dixie cups. Using the paper punch, punch one hole in each, about a half inch below the rim.

Take the fifth cup. Punch four equally spaced holes about a quarter inch below the rim. Then punch a hole in the center of the bottom of the cup.

Take one of the four cups and push a soda straw through the hole. Fold the end of the straw, and staple it to the side of the cup across from the hole. Repeat this procedure for another one-hole cup and the second straw.

Now slide one cup and straw assembly through two opposite holes in the cup with four holes. Push another one-hole cup onto the end of the straw just pushed through the four-hole cup. Bend the straw and staple it to the one-hole cup, making certain that the cup faces in the opposite direction from the first cup. Repeat this procedure using the other cup and straw assembly and the remaining one-hole cup.

Align the four cups so that their open ends face in the same direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) around the center cup. Push the straight pin through the two straws where they intersect. Push the eraser end of the pencil through the bottom hole in the center cup. Push the pin into the end of the pencil eraser as far as it will go. Your anemometer is ready to use.

Your anemometer is useful because it rotates at the same speed as the wind. This instrument is quite helpful in accurately determining wind speeds because it gives a direct measure of the speed of the wind. To find the wind speed, determine the number of revolutions per minute. Next calculate the circumference of the circle (in feet) made by the rotating paper cups. Multiply the revolutions per minute by the circumference of the circle (in feet per revolution), and you will have the velocity of the wind in feet per minute. The anemometer is an example of a vertical-axis wind collector. It need not be pointed into the wind to spin.