Building Small Wind Turbines in the Midwest

Thu, 2012-05-10 08:39

What a great experience thus far! I have learned so much about Small Wind Turbine design and construction in the past week through both lectures and hands-on experience. The textbook we’re using, Homebrew Wind Power, is being taught by the authors, Dan Bartman and Dan Fink, both of whom are wonderful teachers (and some fine musicians as well!). I highly recommend their book! In terms of hands-on experience, I started out by building the turbine with just neodymium magnets, wire, wood, and tape. While I enjoyed all these building elements, my favorite component consisted of woodworking; specifically, forming a blade from cedar wood with hand tools, which was very relaxing and therapeutic. “My” turbine consists of 12 foot blades, that will go up sometime this week, at an elevation of 120 feet on a tilt-up-tube tower.

If this was not enough excitement and challenge for one week, I am also privileged to be working alongside 4 highly professional wind instructors and installers. To my surprise, they came to let us watch them dismantle a 12 foot wind turbine off of a wired lattice tower. One of the installers in particular, is a certified NABCEP Wind Installer (1 out of only 8 in the country!). These “turbine cowboys” have spent the week instructing us and participating in our classes, while simultaneously assisting in the installation of a “homebrew” turbine that we are currently making this week. I greatly look forward to assisting in installation and helping to provide wind energy to King Canyon Ranch!

…to be continued!

-Julie Garner

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