How to make a simple steam turbine

There are many ways to obtain energy from any kind of source. For example, from heat energy we can obtain mechanical energy, in this way, certain vehicles can move from a simple steam turbine, such as those used to move ships or to move old trains. Today, we will look at how to make a simple steam turbine that we can use as an engine to move a small car or a paddle boat.

Steam turbine


A can of beer or soda.

- Corrugated cardboard.

- A tin can or piece of brass in the shape of a box.

- A small silver-coloured medicine container with a lid.

- A fuse.

- A piece of thin metal tube slightly thicker than the wick.

- A fork or T-piece (as used in aquariums or fish tanks as an aerator).

- Thin plastic tubes.

- Burning alcohol.

- Water.

Creating our steam turbine

Create the steam turbine is really simple. The first thing we are going to do is to fill the can three quarters full of water and seal it at the top with some kind of sealant to prevent the steam from escaping. We must leave a space to place a small plastic tube through which the steam will come out. We then connect this plastic tube to the T-type branching device and connect two more plastic tubes to the outlets of the T-type branching device to create a kind of rotor.

Steam turbine

Once this is done, we make a basic lighter, opening a hole in the lid of the small medicine bottle and placing a piece of metal tube in the hole (to protect the wick), we introduce the wick through the tube until it reaches the bottom of the container. Now, open the bottle and fill it three quarters full of methylated spirits and you have your lighter.

Next, we place the lighter inside the square can and place the can with the rotor resting on the square can. Our turbine is ready to work, now we just have to wait a few minutes and the rotor will start to work and spin at speed.

Single steam turbine

How it works

When water reaches 100 ºC, it starts the boiling process. At this point, a vapour-liquid equilibrium is established, which will continue until all the liquid becomes vapour. The vapour generated expands and occupies all the space in the can and will seek to exit through the plastic tube with a great force, which when exiting from two different sides will generate a rotational movement that we can use to move an axle, and generate translational movement in a car or a toy paddle boat.

6 thoughts on “Cómo hacer una turbina a vapor simple”

  1. Pascual Duque

    I like the system but I want to move a Dynamo that generates 6.500 Varios is for 110 Volts and 220 Volts,it is mounted on the shaft,I just want to move it at 1.800 RPM,I did it with a 1Hp motor,but I don't have good power that's why I want to move it with steam.

  2. Antonio Guerrero

    Very simple and illustrative, this is how steam engines were invented.

  3. Nicofrance1998

    esta buenissimo pero con pitillos se tuerze.... mi pregunta es con ke tubos lo puedo hacer?

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