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Community Power at the Rossport Solidarity Camp

category mayo | education | feature author Monday February 08, 2010 18:03author by Shelver - Rossport Solidarity Camp Report this post to the editors

DIY wind power course review

featured image
Participants view the finished wind turbine in action

From Wednesday the 27th to Sunday the 31st of January, the Rossport Solidarity Camp hosted a wind power workshop. Local people and campers united to learn metal work, wood work and electronics to produce a fully functional 2.4 meter diameter wind turbine, now supplying power to the off-grid Rossport Solidarity House. The use of farmer's shed for the week was kindly by donated which was the perfect base for the workshop. The course was led by V3 Power, a workers co-operative based in Nottingham specialising in teaching courses in how to build DIY wind turbines.

At the start of the course the group participants split into 3 groups, so that each group would alternate between the 3 work areas of woodwork, metalwork and electronics over the first 3 days. Over the last two days participants concentrated on areas they were particularly interested in, or just did what was needed to finish the project.

The course was very hands on, albeit sprinkled with helpful wind power theory presentations.

In the wood work area, the blades were carved from lengths of 2”x6” white deal, as straight grained as possible. The design – as for the rest of the windmill – came from Hugh Pigott, a DIY wind power pioneer based in Scotland. Saw, hammer & chisel followed by drawknifes honed the blades down an aerodynamic shape. They were linseed oiled, sandwiched in plywood discs at the centre and screwed together.

In the metalwork area steel was cut and welded for the mounting, tower and tail vane. Many people learned to weld for the first time, with the local blacksmith and mechanics on the course to pass on their expertise.

In the electronics area participants soldered the control board, wound the copper coils, built the rotors, and set the coils in fibreglass to make the stator.

Up at the house, the site was surveyed for a suitable spot. Measurements on the ground followed by some trigonometry found the correct lengths of steel wire needed to support the turbine.

After a dry run in assembling and erecting the turbine, everything was taken apart and weather proofed by painting.

After lots of effort from the participants and V3, the turbine was set up on Sunday in a typical Mayo weather mix of sun, sleet and hailstone. There was great interest locally news having spread only by word of mouth.

For the camp house the new turbine gives us a greater electricity supply, and has consistently kept our battery bank well over 12volts since hooked up. It also means we can take our old small wind turbine to the camp when we set up again in the summer.

Most of all, the course brought people together and brought practical new skills to many of us. We now have more confidence in reclaiming control over our energy supply and how it is generated.

Big thanks to all involved: environmental NGO Gluaiseacht for funding, the participants for coming together to help power the Camp, V3 power for coming all the ways over, a good teaching ethic and for the finished product, local people for donating materials, Betty for showers, the Camp for catering & organising and Pat for the venue, help and resources at every stage of the course.

You can find out more about V3 HERE

Or you can look up more about the Hugh Pigotts design at his WEBSITE or see a video about his work HERE

More photos to follow!

author by C - RSCpublication date Sun Feb 07, 2010 21:02author email rossportsolidaritycamp at gmail dot comauthor phone 0851141170Report this post to the editors

Overall it was a class few days. Thanks again to V3 and also for the use of the shed for the workshop. I especially like the fact that alot of people from the area called in just to have a look and seem very interested. Also that a few people who were on the course are already talking about making their own turbine, is great.

V3's website is actually here: http://v3power.co.uk
or the blurb on the course we did is here: http://v3power.co.uk/Jan10.php

Carving the 3 wooden blades
Carving the 3 wooden blades

Terence checks the front face of the blade
Terence checks the front face of the blade

Draw knifes were used for most of the later work
Draw knifes were used for most of the later work

Like the A-team, only with multi-coloured hats
Like the A-team, only with multi-coloured hats

Bearing hub was from an old Opel Vectra
Bearing hub was from an old Opel Vectra

Related Link: http://v3power.co.uk
author by C - RSCpublication date Sun Feb 07, 2010 21:18Report this post to the editors

‘Well, we know what you’re against, but what are you for?’
http://livinginrossport.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/well-w...-for/

Winding the coils
Winding the coils

Making the Control board used to protect the batteries
Making the Control board used to protect the batteries

Soldering the 9 coils that make up the stator
Soldering the 9 coils that make up the stator

The 2 plates of 12 magnets are set in resin to make the rotors
The 2 plates of 12 magnets are set in resin to make the rotors

The coils are also set in resin
The coils are also set in resin

Related Link: http://livinginrossport.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/well-w...-for/
author by C - RSCpublication date Sun Feb 07, 2010 21:25Report this post to the editors

.

This circuit dumps excess power when batteries are full and also provides a wind turbine brake
This circuit dumps excess power when batteries are full and also provides a wind turbine brake

Getting the turbine site ready
Getting the turbine site ready

Main mounting - Stator in red & 1 plate of magnets on top
Main mounting - Stator in red & 1 plate of magnets on top

Watching it go
Watching it go

indy17.jpg

author by C - RSCpublication date Sun Feb 07, 2010 21:29Report this post to the editors

.

A community built wind turbine
A community built wind turbine

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by FSB!publication date Sun Feb 07, 2010 23:00Report this post to the editors

Looks like I missed a really 'powerful' learning opportunity up in Erris - may those blades keep spinning and powering the resistance to $h€ll for many years to come!

author by Timpublication date Mon Feb 08, 2010 13:25Report this post to the editors

Exactly what people in this country need to start thinking about learn to do it yourself, and stop being screwed by multinationals and corrupt governments

author by Chrissiepublication date Mon Feb 08, 2010 17:37Report this post to the editors

Trific job, all! See yez soon.

author by Happy!publication date Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:23Report this post to the editors

Great job! But did ye not need planning permission for it? Would hate to see it pulled down! :O

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