Sep 182017
 

We have been building and running courses on the awesome Hugh Piggott design for many many years. The design is great as a functioning wind turbine (robust, modular, easy to maintain), but we have also found it a very good tool to help teach about science. However we have found that for some groups or classes who are more interested in this science education aspect it seems unnecessary to invest the time, money and embodied energy in building a Piggott turbine if it does not have a suitable install site. So, inspired by the Piggott design we have come up with our own to use as a vehicle through which to teach about science and engineering whist at the same time making the course more accessible and affordable.

We will be piloting this new course at the Demand Energy Equality space in London on 8th October.

What Happens?
Together we will build a machine to turn the power of the wind into electricity using simple materials and a range of hand tools. All participants carve a wooden blade, turn their own copper coil, and manipulate powerful magnets. As a team we assemble all the components to finish and test the turbine.

Please note – this new design is not suitable for installation, it is an educational tool! We do talk about building and installing ‘proper’ wind turbines in the course though.

The course runs from 11am – 4pm

Tickets can be bought from here: https://www.demandenergyequality.org/bookings/diy-wind-v3

Sep 182017
 

Last weekend we taught a two day course at the Brighton Permaculture Centre where we built some elements of, and learnt about, Hugh Piggott wind turbines!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 182017
 

We have had lots of bike generator events since our last post, we won’t go into detail with them, just to say that they all went well despite some occasional heavy rain!

June
Pedal Powered Scalextric for Big Bike Revival over two weekends Preston and Chorley
Two bmx bikes powering a ‘boiler activity’ at the Cheltenham Science Festival
The Energy Bike & light display activity for DHL‘s head office environmental awareness event
The Energy Bike for the Big Bang Fair at the South of England Showground

July
Pedal Powered Scalextric for the Tisbury Green Fair

August
Pedal Powered Scalextric & Music System for Love Partington
Pedal Powered Music & Bubbles for St Annes Allotments open day

September
The Energy Bike for Thrive Renewables open day
Pedal Powered Scalextric & Bubbles for the Tour of Britain in Cheltenham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 122017
 

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

For the Easter weekend activities we provided the ‘Dynamo Disco’ with our pedal powered soundsystem and got lots of kids dancing. We also provided pedal powered slot cars as well as our energy display. Three setups all at once!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour De Yorkshire

This was a two bike energy challenge to show the different amounts of energy involved in cooking and food.

 

 

Veris Strategies

We provided our energy display for a ‘sustainability program for business’. We had the display set to 3kJ of energy and the fastest peddler made this in 12 seconds! That’s an average power of 250W!

Mar 072017
 

In February we installed a 2.4m turbine built by Nottingham Engineers without Borders on an existing tower and grid tied electrical system at High Leas Farm in Derbyshire to replace the 3.6m turbine which has been reconditioned and installed at the Ecological Land Co-op in Devon.

The students learnt how to assemble the turbine and get it ready for installation, how to tension guy ropes and use a winch and about grid tied electrical systems!

Mar 072017
 

This year we returned to teach our fourth course with final year Renewable Energy Engineering students at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus.

Having supplied the department with all the tools and materials necessary to run a course last March our brief was to train teachers to run the course themselves in the future whilst teaching students, as before, how to build and install a 1.8m turbine over 5 days.

The welding in particular proved more challenging than anticipated and we may be asked to return in future years to continue the skills transfer, the upside being we can now commute on the train and once the renewable energy building is finished the students (and teachers) will be able to carve blades, wind coils and cast stators at their leisure.. watch out Cornwall!

Mar 072017
 

Back in 2015 Mark and Marta approached us at Glastonbury to say they’d been gifted a Hugh Piggott turbine which they’d love to install at their home in Somerset, and so began a beautiful friendship..

We visited Rockaway Park on the way back from teaching in Cornwall in January 2016 and where amazed! Not only by the cavern of fantastical salvagtion hidden in an old quarry including Mark and Marta’s home which they had formed almost entirely from scrap but also from Marta’s fantastic vegan cookery!

It turned out the turbine wasn’t a Piggott but was perhaps a student project inspired by Hugh but with it’s own eccentricities.

We resolved to return and run a course there, where we would incorporate installing the turbine.. it didn’t exactly work out like this but the participants loved the venue and in December we finished installing a battery charging system with their blades on one of our truly Piggott alternators.