First Ballinamore Workshop November 2008

There has been a successful start to the Ballinamore Build Your Own Wind Turbine Workshops.We started on Thursday 13 Nov with two participants and with Jimmy, Niall and Miriam on hand for guidance. One of the participants, Sinead, is building her own 2.4m 12volt turbine and Jonathan was learning “how to” for that windy day in the future.

On Thursday the wood for Sinead’s blades was cut up and sorted through to see which pieces would be used and how to best place them. Out of budget necessity it’s plain white pine which was laminated using wood glue. We laminated two and left the third one ’til Friday because we didn’t have quite enough clamps to secure all three blades.

All the coils were wound on Thursday and are very consistent in size and weight. Three of us wound them taking turns in winding, counting and we weighed each one as it was finished.As well as lending a hand whenever needed Niall was working on an experiment of his own. We had brought down to the workshop a couple of old (dimplex) oil radiators which had been thrown out of a neighbouring house which is being done up. They had been left under a hedge for some time when we rescued them to see if they could be used. Jimmy dried them out with the notion of using one as a local heat source which we could take turns standing beside when we got too cold in the workshop. Niall took a wire brush to the other one and gave it a good clean up, the plan is to put an immersion into it and use it as a heat dump. I am sure that Niall will write about this project himself. It was a good days work.

On Friday we started to make the moulds for the stator, marking out a sheet of 12mm ply and cutting out three x 600mm squares. We drew out the circles, added the tangents and the three mounting circles.We laminating the third blade and marked the other two for cutting out the wedge. We cut one with the electric saw and decided to do the second blade using hand tools as a good beginners session for becoming comfortable with a drawknife. After a sharpening session on the draw knives and a wee chat about using hand tools both of the participants got some good warming up using the draw knives before we finished for the day.On Saturday Sinead made good progress with the drawknife and cut out most of the wedge on the first blade. She decided to continue with the drawknife on the third blade instead of cutting off the wedge with the electric saw and by the afternoon she was feeling much more comfortable and confident with the tool. Both blades were then cleaned up by Sinead using the electric planer and finished with the hand planes, all three blades being ready for marking out for the next stage by the end of the day.

On Saturday Sinead made good progress with the drawknife and cut out most of the wedge on the first blade. She decided to continue with the drawknife on the third blade instead of cutting off the wedge with the electric saw and by the afternoon she was feeling much more comfortable and confident with the tool. Both blades were then cleaned up by Sinead using the electric planer and finished with the hand planes, all three blades being ready for marking out for the next stage by the end of the day.

The island had to be adjusted, it was a little too big for the coils to fit well. The coils were soldered and placed in the mould, avoiding the mounting points. Everyone was involved in the preparation for the next stage.

The moulds were covered in vaseline in readiness for the casting. A number of plastic bottles were cut and cleaned and left at the ready, the scales brought to the bench and two teaspoons were sacrificed for stirring the resin, hardener and talcum powder. The glass cloth was cut and extra pieces cut for the mounting points. By the end of the day the mould was cast and everyone was satisfied with another day full of activity.

Another project for the workshop was converting one of the old dimplex oil heaters to a 24v dump load ,after we stripped of the mains electrics it conviently revealed a second inch/half plug at the top , a pipe adapter was used to fit the heating element ..tests look promising and it,s probabely more easy on the eye (after a bit of paint work) and a little simpler than setting up air heater elements…. disssapting the full element power should be no problem ..you do need to turn it upside down if you leave the old 220v element in there