Over the past month we have had a good time running two really great public courses, one in London and one in Bristol. Both courses were (over) subscribed and a pleasure to teach on!
London (9-10th May). 1.8m turbine build.
We were lucky enough to run this course at The Hawkwood Plant Nursery (Organic Lea) in Chingford, North London which was an awesome venue. Not only was it good to spend a weekend in an inspiring growing project but it also has two big working spaces; Theo’s (our kind and excellent host) workshop for metal and a giant greenhouse for the woodwork and coil winding. An exciting thing about the course was that there was someone from I Love Windpower (a fellow Wind Empowerment member) on it who is working with a big wind turbine company (Ramboll) to design low-cost wooden towers for Piggott turbines. They are off to build a 3m turbine and 20m wooden tower in Brazil later this year. There were lot of other interesting participants including some guys who want to build turbines in Somalia, someone who had traveled all the way from Sweden and a comrade from Grow Heathrow who wanted to learn more about how to maintain the Piggott turbine they have there. We will return to run another course in Autumm 2015!
Bristol (23-24th May). 1.8m turbine build
This was very exciting as it was the first time we had worked with Demand Energy Equality (another DIY renewable energy project who run solar panel construction workshops among other things) and who kindly let us use their workspace for the weekend. The space itself was great, but it was made all the better by having Dan and Max from DEE participating (and helping!) on the course. This course was especially good as it had a particularly healthy gender divide, the group were super friendly and we all got along swimmingly! There were a few expert woodworkers who made light work of the blades (despite a flying ant attack on the Sunday morning!), and someone who picked up welding so fast they did the whole mounting! We will be back this time next year…
This turbine (ANThony) doesn’t have a home! If anyone wants to pay the cost of the materials (£350) they can adopt it! Get in touch
The day after the course we were very proud to receive an email from one of the participants who said:
Thank you for an excellent course at the weekend. The whole thing was impressively well organised and I had both a powerful learning experience and a really enjoyable time. It was good to find out in advance of investing too much time and energy that some of my notions and plans for using wind power in my current situation were not really workable. At the same time the course helped sow seeds for lots of other possibilities for energy saving and sustainability, as well as introducing me to some power tool control and metalwork skills that I have long been in need of acquiring. 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