A deployable solar powered pavilion that turns
trash into wind turbines using nothing but sunshine

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This project is a collection of open-source plans for a deployable solar-powered pavilion that turns trash into wind turbines using nothing but sunshine.

It uses a solar powered Raspberry Pi and Home Assistant to collect and record it's energy production and consumption data, and displays that data in a browser-based interface so that its crew can easily measure exactly how many kilograms of plastic they are able to recycle each day, and how efficiently they did it.

Have you ever wondered how many wind turbines can you make out of a pile of trash and a days worth of sunshine?

So far, my highest score is roughly 1 kilogram of wind turbine per kilowatt-hour of sunshine.

Think you can you beat the high score?

This project is intended to make it as easy as possible for you and your friends to do just that.

( some assembly required )

This seems like a great time to mention that I was an English major, and I've approached this project for years primarily as an art project, not as an engineering project. 

All of the plans offered here are just what I've been able to build given the skills and tools I had at my disposal. My goal was to create something that was both functional and beautiful, not necessarily practical or efficient.

Please take whatever you find useful from these plans and discard the rest. Design your own deployable solar canopy structure, build your own solar batteries from recycled laptop batteries! Just record your results and let us know how it goes.

A wise friend once told me, "If you want people to help you do something, sometimes you just have to start doing it badly in front of them."

So this is me, doing it badly in front of you. This is the best that I've figured out so far, and I'm sharing it so that you might help me make it better. If you know how to improve any part of this system, please do!

The Structure

A 25 foot diameter toroidal pavilion made of rolled 1" steel tubing and structural pipe connectors. It supports a folding origami shade canopy and a 2400 watt solar array, providing shelter and a daily solar energy budget to recycle plastic with. 

In most climates, for most days of the year, this structure will generate between 2 and 8 kilowatt-hours a day.

The Shredder

The shredder I'm using is a Precious Plastic V2 shredder, with a 3/4HP motor and 50:1 reduction gearbox. In the files section, I've provided all the cut files you need to build your own Precious Plastic Shredder. You can find further documentation, alternative shredder plans, and instruction videos at

The Trash Printer

The Trash Printer is a 3D printer I built for the 2022 Hackaday Prize that prints directly from recycled plastic flakes, inspired by the Precious Plastic extruder. It takes 300-400 watts peak, and 120-150 watts on average, and prints at a rate of roughly 1 watt-hour per gram. 

But you don't have to use my design. You could also try out the BLoft MK-2 large format printer, or any other plastic recycling machine you want. As long as you're turning trash and sunshine into something useful, it doesn't matter what tools you use!

The Scoreboard

The core of the project is a Raspberry Pi 4 with a 500GB SSD running Home Assistant. It uses the ESPhome add on to collect data from ESP32 based sensor nodes, databases it with InfluxDB, and visualizes it with Grafana.

This allows you to record and monitor your solar energy yield, energy consumption, and nearly any other trackable data point, view it from a central user interface, and graph it over time, so that you can set performance benchmarks and try and beat your high scores.

The Simulator

Most recently, I've been teaching myself how to use Godot game engine, in order to make a visual interface that lets you design and visualize complex systems like these, and visualize how solar energy and material flow through them over time. 

This part of the project is the part I know the least about. I've just started teaching myself how to use Godot, and this is the first video game I've ever made. If you are a person who makes video games, I'm sure that you can tell. 

At this point this is just a crude proof-of-concept, but I'm hoping that somebody can help me refine this idea and link it up with the data Home Assistant, so that the system can be monitored from a "systems view" that is intuitive and user-friendly, allowing users to visually script solar powered infrastructure, and share the designs with each other the same way we share circuit diagrams.

Ultrastructure Pavilion Reference Model.skp

This a scale reference model of the solar pavilion

SSEYO Koan Play File - 17.83 MB - 09/12/2023 at 04:15


Precious Plastic

This folder contains the laser cut files, 2D schematics, and BOM required to build the Precious Plastic Shredder. You can find video tutorials and additional 3D design assets at

x-zip-compressed - 14.38 MB - 09/10/2023 at 20:35


Trash Printer -Version 3

This zip folder contains all the part files and firmware needed to build the Trash Printer V3

x-zip-compressed - 38.18 MB - 09/10/2023 at 19:53


  • 1 × Raspberry Pi 4
  • 1 × Argon One Raspberry Pi Case
  • 1 × 500GB SSD
  • 1 × Peacefair PZEM-017 DC Energy Monitor
  • 1 × ESP32

View all 17 components

  • 1
    Build Your Team

    This a large project that is intended to be something that a community of people can crowdfund, build, and operate as a team. So the first step is to build a team of folks who might want to help you build a deployable solar plastic recycling pavilion.

  • 2
    Build Your Shredder

    The first step to recycling plastic is being able to shred it up. You can use the files in the files section to make your own shredder, or buy one for the Precious Plastic Bazaar or AliExpress. A shredder typically costs between $1000-$3000. If you figure out how to make or buy one for cheaper, please let me know!

  • 3
    Build Your Trash Printer

    There are lots of different ways to recycle plastics - you can extrude it into beams, inject it into molds, and press it into sheets. But each of those methods require special tools and molds.

    While it's not always the most efficient way to recycle plastic, 3D printing tends to be the most versatile method, because you can make such a wide variety of objects using just one machine, without machining custom molds for every part.

    So next, you'll need to build a Trash Printer, or plastic recycling machine of some kind. You can use the files and firmware provided in the files section to build your own Trash Printer V3.  It should cost between $1000-1500 for all the parts new. 

    Alternatively, you can build another open-source 3D printer, like the BLoft MK2, or use a different Precious Plastic machine like a beam extruder. It doesn't really matter how you recycle the plastic, or what you make with it, or which machine you use to do it. 

    As long as it plugs into a wall outlet, you can measure the energy consumption of any machine, and you can use it to determine how many kilograms of plastic your machines can recycle per kilowatt hour of sunshine, and compare it to the performance of other machines.

    So if you don't know where to start, start with the Trash Printer. If you've got an idea that you think might work better, by all means do that. The more machines we try, the more quickly we'll learn which are the most efficient ways to recycle our trash.

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