Workshop in Enniskeen Co Cork

I strongly recommend this workshop with Jimmy and Miriam who I have worked with many times in the past.
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Alternative winding for K645 stator

Adriaan writes: “I have added a new chapter 6 to report KD 645 in which a 10-pole PM-generator is described using the housing and shaft of an asynchronous motor frame size 80. This generator has a stator with no iron in the coils. The tittle of this new chapter is: “Alternative winding with 15 coils”. The original winding is a 1-layer winding with six coils which are laid in twelve outside grooves milled in the Delrin stator bush. The alternative winding has fifteen coils which are laid in thirty, 8 mm holes which are drilled in the Delrin stator bush but this requires a totally different way to lay the winding. De Delrin bush is much stiffer for holes than for grooves so it can be pressed in the aluminium motor housing. I think that more copper can be laid in 30 holes than in 12 grooves and so the winding is more effective. I picture of the original winding is given in figure 1 of KD 645. A picture of the alternative winding is given in figure 3 of KD 645.

KD 645 can be copied for free from my website: at the menu KD-reports.”

Adriaan would be delighted to hear from anyone who wishes to build prototypes. He has a lifetime of experience in the field of small wind turbine design but lacks facilities to do this practical testing at present.

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Wind turbine building in the UK in October

Jonathan Schreiber is coming to the UK in October to teach a workshop based on my 2F design.

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Bill’s perspective on domestic grid-connected hydro payback

Being off the grid I don’t need to worry so much about “payback” since I do not pay for mains electricity in the first place and the payback to me is immensely more than cutting my running costs. But I was reading the blog of Bill in Monmouthshire who has been running a PowerSpout for six years and has a lot of useful insights to share.

Bill points out that “there is a benefit unique to very small hydros operating 24/7. Putting out power at the relatively low level of 500 watts (+/- 300), the turbine’s output closely matches the base load demand of a property.  Base load is made up of that multitude of appliances which are ‘on’ all the time – from battery re-chargers to fridges, freezers, central heating pumps, computers and so on. Totted up their power requirement can typically be 400 watts. That translates over a day to an energy consumption of 10 kWh.”

Whereas solar PV generates great lumps of energy in the middle of the day when people are out at work (so the house demand is low), hydro carries the load 24/7, and meets your needs directly. Solar energy will mostly be exported to the grid (exceeding the demand) but hydro power is mostly available to use (without buying a battery).

His hydro turbine really does have impact on Bill’s electricity bill.

Actually the same logic applies to off-grid sites in fact. You probably want a battery to maximise your usage of the resource and allow you to run a normal home off a hydro that only produces half a kilowatt of power. But the battery can be much smaller than I need, with my wind and solar systems. I wish I could have a hydro but there is no suitable site near my house.

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New Facebook page

I have started a Scoraig Wind Electric Facebook page that will only be about renewable energy stuff. (My personal Facebook has some pics of wind turbines etc but also plenty of grandchildren and dogs etc so this will be a better page for people who are more interested in generating their own power from hydro, solar and wind energy.)

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Another document by Adriaan Kragten

Adriaan continues to add to the impressive list of reports that are free to download from his web site. These provide a valuable resource to students or designers working on small wind projects.

My newest report KD 672 can be copied for free from my website at the menu KD-reports. The title of this report is: “Use of the VIRYA-1 or the VIRYA-1.25AF for pumping of drinking water using a 12 V battery and a pump with a 12 V, DC motor”. Although the VIRYA-1 is a small wind turbine with a rotordiameter of only 1 m, it is big enough to pump a flow of water q of 200 litres per day against a height H = 17 m at a wind speed less than 3 m/s. I would like it if you mention the availability of this report in your log.

(email from Adriaan Kragten)
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Furling cable for shut-down

sent to me by: Dave & Mary Lahar, Northeast Kingdom, VT, USA

4.6 m (15’) axial with power furling

26 m (85’) guyed tower

The furling actuator is mounted in the base of the tower.  It is 12VDC, travels .46 m (18”) and is rated at 68 kg (150 lbs).  It has a built-in potentiometer feedback allows for position control.

The actuator pulls on a 4 mm dyneema line to furl the tail through a pivoting snatch block, like those used on many PTO tractor winches.  Dyneema is very strong, light-weight and has virtually no stretch.  A small sash weight keeps the line taught, and the tail is free to furl independently.

When the winds are predicted to be unusually high, or rough (or both), or when we have ample solar production we can easily shut things down manually.  This is by far the softest method – furl the tail, and close in the (resistive) load bank – now we’re ready for most anything that comes our way.

The furling actuator is also controlled by the charge controller whenever the input voltage gets above a user-selected pre-set.  It is a simple dry-contact relay action.

We originally had a small hand winch to operate the tail, and that worked fine.  This arrangement allows things to be controlled from the house.  When the wind gets unruly, as it regularly does, or the PV is ample for the loads, it is nice to be able to save the wear and tear on the turbine.  The actuator has been in place now for about two years and has worked very, very well for us.

Thanks again for all your inspiration and we hope this may be of use to some of your readers.

Sincerely, Dave & Mary

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Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

A friend has suggested that I flag up the consultation that is taking place in the UK about this new method of support for grid-connected renewables including wind and solar.

“I think this is an important consultation for small grid-connected wind, because the potential for time-of-day and even spot market export tariffs could make owning a turbine much more attractive for crofters, farmers, small businesses, and communities.”

Posted in UK small wind scene | 1 Comment

Handy Village workshop 2019

This year Dan Bartmann is back at The Handy Village Institute for their fourth Homebrew Wind Turbine Workshop, March 25-30, 2019, near Saxapahaw, North Carolina, USA.

Register online and learn more about this workshop at:

On Facebook at

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2005 wind turbine in Slovakia going strong

Michael writes:

Regarding my wind turbine, what to say. I’am DIY man and it is my hobby. I have weekend house in the mountains approx. 650 meters above sea level and sometimes its pretty windy here. Inspired by many years ago I told myself why not to build small wind turbine. I bought from you plans sometimes around 2005. 

My wind turbine is clone of your’s design: 2.8m diameter, coils modified to start at little bit lower rpm, pole is approx. 18 m high, system is 24V, charging batteries and using produced electricity via inverter. Later on I added PV panels to cover consumption during non windy days. During those approx. 11 years I’am running it I had once problem when during the storm tail felt out and interfere with the blades and now I’am doing some service as the hub bearing became noisy. 

Some pictures (btw I like North, moose and reindeer 🙂 )

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