November 20th to 29th, 2015
A ten day live-in course in Nea Makri, Greece
Learn how to build a small wind turbine and put yourself on the road to self-reliance
Organized by Nea Guinea
Small wind turbines
“Nea Guinea” has been organizing small wind turbine construction workshops since 2009 and has empowered many people with the knowledge of harnessing power from the wind.
The wind turbines built in the workshops are based on the designs of Hugh Piggott, a renewable energy expert living in the off-grid community of Scoraig (Scotland), as described in his “Wind Turbine Recipe Book”. These wind turbines can be constructed with the use of common materials, simple manufacturing techniques and basic tools, providing a low cost small wind turbine that anyone can built. Hundreds of homemade small wind turbines have been constructed worldwide using these designs, and have proven to be robust, efficient, easy to maintain and quick to repair. Typical applications of locally manufactured small wind turbines are development projects such as electrification of village communities in the global south, educational projects in universities and schools and sustainability projects such as renewable energy electrification of eco-villages.
During this one week course a 600W small wind turbine with 2.4m rotor diameter will be constructed from scratch, using simple raw materials like wood for the blades, steel for the mounting frame and tail, copper wire for the coils and neodymium magnets cast in resin for the generator. The wind turbine will be the product of enthusiastic team work, as we will work in groups focusing on woodworking, metalworking and generator fabrication, along with short breaks to share what we have learned with the whole team.
Woodworking will involve hand curving the blades of the rotor using drawknives and spokeshaves, planes and chisels. Metalworking will involve fabricating the steel frame to support the generator, blades and tail, with the use of welding, grinding and drilling techniques. Generator fabrication will involve winding coils, placing magnets, preparing plywood moulds and casting the stator coils and rotor magnet disks into resin. Basic woodworking and metal working skills will be taught during the course, and will enable all participants with enough hands-on experience to complete the wind turbine construction.
Although most of the course is practical, aspects of off-grid renewable energy systems will be covered in an introductory presentation emphasizing on different applications such as solar panels, solar pumps, wind and hydro turbines. An introduction to the basic theory of small wind turbine systems will cover important aspects such as the wind energy resource, aerodynamics and blades, electromagnetism and generators, the furling tail system, tower installation and connection to a battery bank. Apart from these short presentations, chances for discussions on the these topics will come up throughout the duration of the course.
Site visits to wind turbine installations of Nea Guinea in the area will provide the opportunity to see a complete system in operation, while the maintenance procedure for a homemade small wind turbine will be described and put to practice. During the end of the course, the wind turbine constructed by the group will be installed in one of the sites and a demonstration of the electrical installation will be performed.»