Following on from the successful courses in 2015 and 2014 we spent a week at the Falmouth campus with students on the Renewable Energy Engineering course. This year we built a 1.2m diameter machine and a mounting for securing it in their wind tunnel (which is only 1.5m diameter). Lots of head-scratching and double-checking was required to make sure the furling mechanism would also work correctly in such a tight space!
The university are in the process of building a dedicated lab for the course – once it’s finished they plan to continue to run the wind turbine construction courses annually – which will no doubt result in a steady stream of small wind turbines looking for adoption in Cornwall! Let us know if you’re in the area and would be interested in hosting a turbine.
On the way home we also made a couple of visits to potential future installation sites:
Greenham Reach smallholdings – The ecological land cooperatives first project. Currently three families share a 4.2kVA solar system which charges batteries via an SMA Sunny Island. We hope to add a 3.6m turbine directly charging the 48V batteries via a shunt.
Rockaway Park – An exciting project which is busy converting an old quarry into a wonderland of workshops, studios and more. They bumped into us at Glastonbury last year and asked if we could help them install a turbine they had acquired from Bath University – it’s a 6 bladed, roughly 1.2m diameter machine with a ferrite magnet, air core axial flux alternator. It looks like it’s been made as a “scrapheap challenge” or similar as the mounting is made from a mishmash of thin box section and bits of bicycle so we will probably overhaul it and just save the rotors and stator. More on this later in the year!