Oct 242016



Last weekend we completed another great hand build wind turbine course in London. Our hosts were the ever wonderful Organiclea and as ever their site was the perfect location for a course. The woodwork and coil winding stations were surrounded by lush green plants in their huge greenhouse and the metal working in the spacious workshop. It was a good group with some of Hugh Piggott‘s friends, some people from Greenham Reach and the Ecological Land Co-Op with whom we will be installiung a turbine in November amongst many lovely others! The turbine is a 1.8m 24V machine and is currently homeless – contact us if you want to provide a home for it!


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Sep 202016

To book a place please visit the Brighton Permaculture Trust.

yes wind turbine assembly

  • Get hands-on experience and learn transferable skills in welding, wood carving, and working with magnets & resin
  • Learn how to build and install a Hugh Piggott wind turbine from scratch using basic materials
  • Experienced tutors who have been running courses building Piggott turbines since 2007
  • A practical fun course for all experience levels

When and Where?

2nd-3rd September 2017, 9am-6pm Saturday & 9am-5pm Sunday, Brighton Earthship, Stanmer Park, Brighton, BN1 9PZ.

Public transport is either the 78 bus from The Old Steine or one of a number of buses from Churchill Square to Sussex University followed by a 15-20 minute walk through the park. Alternatively you can get the train to Falmer and a 20 minute walk.

Housedean Farm is the nearest campsite and is about an hours walk or a 30 minute cycle, alternatively Brighton has lots of accommodation on offer.

What do participants learn?

  • How to carve wood with spokeshaves, draw knives, mallets and chisels to create blades with an accurate aerofoil.
  • How to use an angle grinder, arc welder, drill, and tap and die set to build a steel turbine mounting.
  • How to construct an alternator which includes soldering, coil winding, working with strong permanent magnets and casting in resin.
  • How to build and assemble a Hugh Piggott wind turbine!
  • About on-grid and off-grid electrical systems.

What happens?

Between eight and twelve participants guided by two or three instructors spend two days building a 1.8m diameter 350W Hugh Piggott wind turbine. All the participants spend time working on each of the three main parts of the build (wood, metal, and electronics) rotating through the different bases on the first day. On the second day we then come together as a group to assemble the machine. Each morning we also have a short theory session where we talk about the background behind the design.

During the course we endeavour to create an inclusive atmosphere. We do not assume any previous knowledge or experience and make sure any participants who are new to wind power theory and/or using the various tools are supported. Participants more familiar with either element are able to develop practical skills and we are always on hand to answer and discuss more in ­depth questions.

What does it cost?

The course costs between £155 and £275 depending on circumstance. We build one turbine on the course, if you would like to have the turbine at the end of the course you can pay an extra £400 in advance to cover the materials (first come first served!).

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided, participants will need to bring their own lunch. There is also a usable kitchen at the venue.

Please visit the Brighton Permaculture Trust website to book your place.

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Who are V3?

V3 Power is a workers cooperative based in Nottingham. We have been running courses building Hugh Piggott wind turbines since 2007. The turbine is a robust design that can be easily repaired, maintained and serviced and is an excellent example of appropriate technology. It is used in rural electrification and development projects across the world.

What do they say?

Thank you for an excellent course, the whole thing was impressively well organised and I had both a powerful learning experience and a really enjoyable time. It may be a few years yet before I am able to build my own turbine, but it will happen eventually thanks to the knowledge and skills you shared. I will be recommending the course to friends
Kate Jones, Bristol course 2015

Thanks for a fantastic week. The teachers were amazing, it was great being able to try out so many different things, and the turbine looks magnificent
C. Chlebna, Oxford course 2014

Aug 282016

In August we began installing Anthony, the 1.8m rotor diameter turbine, made in 2015 on the Bristol course, at a Dog Hotel in Derbyshire where it will be used to power a heater to keep the dogs warm over the winter Tony_Brindle_1 Tony_Brindle_2 Tony_Brindle_4


Aug 282016

Thanks to MTR Crossrail we also now have two identical Energy Efficiency Experience set-ups and, this June, taught staff and drivers in training for the new Elizabeth Line the difference in energy consumption of traditional incandescent light bulbs vs. energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs through feeling the difference in energy input required via a bicycle generator! A display also shows the total energy, in Watt hours, generated so far and the instantaneous power generation in Watts.



Aug 282016

Back in March we were asked to help a community arts project in Norwich make a pedal powered cinema for their bike vs. car style ‘pedal powered car chase’ where explosive set pieces from big budget action movies are projected onto the face of a building. Passers by are then invited to help power the production accompanied by live percussionists. The project aims to highlight the catastrophic global injustices of our oil economy.



Aug 282016

Back in June V3 supported Tom’s local Transition Towns event, Belper Goes Green, by providing power for the main stage via our solar panels and power trailer and for the acoustic stage via our bicycle powered sound system.

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We also followed in Hugh’s footsteps by providing power at Glastonbury, this year for the Tipi Field crew area via our solar power trailer. We also had a wind turbine stall in Green Futures just behind the Globalise Resistance and Centre for Alternative Technology stalls.



May 312016

During May tens of thousands of people worldwide took part in 12 days of peaceful direct action across 6 continents, under the banner of Break Free, targeting the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects and calling to keep fossil fuels in the ground and shift to 100% renewable energy.

On the 3rd May, in South Wales, over 300 people shut down Ffos-y-fran, the UK’s largest open cast coal mine operated by Miller Argent. The action was co-ordinated by Reclaim the Power in solidarity United Valleys Action Network and Coal Action Network to prevent a new mine being built by the same company at nearby Nant Llesg. 

Russell, who grew up nearby, comments on the historical socialist context of the fight against disastrous fossil fuel extraction projects and the injustices of capitalism in this New Internationalist article.

Meanwhile back at the camp wind power was prevailing..

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After a few days training in Derbyshire, our newest member guided camp attendees in the art of wind turbine erection. The ground and weather conditions couldn’t have been better!

Although we had a few problems switching over to a bigger inverter for the evening celebrations the bands were hugely understanding and made the temporary power cuts part of an interactive performance in energy efficiency.

Keeping the instantaneous power below 350W for the smaller inverter and the battery voltage between 24-28V felt like being a human smart meter but everyone got into the swing of mid-morning charging and evening power priorities.

The turbine was positioned in the middle of the site and seeing people walking past smiling at it even in a haling gale inspired hope for the future these people are working to protect.

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