After the disaster that befell my first attempt at DIY wind-power I joined a weekend course run by the excellent people at
to learn how to build a horizontal-axis machine from scratch following the design by
Hugh Piggott of Scoraig Wind
'Stella' as she was christened, is a 3 metre blade-diameter 3-phase 24volt machine that has a theoretical output of 1KW/h in moderate wind, and was
build by 9 of us over 2 days using basic tools and methods. Everyone got a chance to weld metal, carve blades, wind coils, and get dirty hands
regardless of background or prior experience...a true 'social-engineering' experience!
Workshop 1: Fabrication of the turbine chassis from scrap steel and rear wheel hub from a Vauxhall Astra
Workshop 2: Building the pair of rotors using high-power Neodymium magnets...scary things to handle near anything metallic
Workshop 3: Winding the 9 stator coils (connected in 3 groups of 3 coils to create a 3-phase stator), soldering, and casting in resin
Workshop 4: Carving the propellor blades into aerodynamic profiles from blocks of Ash using hand-tools
Final assembly: The most dangerous part of the operation was the attachment of the second magnet rotor. The two disks each holding a dozen N40-grade
Neodymium magnets exert a massive force once the rotors come into close proximity, requiring the use of temporary 'jacking bolts' to very carefully
lower the second rotor into place..
At last, after much hard work by everyone, the final bolting-on of the prop to the alternator assembly...she's a big 'un is Stella!
Unfortunately, Murphy's Law prevailed and rather than a windy afternoon on the Sunday to see her truely fly, it rained instead...nevermind, it was a
real joy and fantastic team-experience to build her
to the guys at V3 power for a geat weekend!
[edit on 2-9-2008 by citizen smith]