Small wind turbines

Small wind turbine technology is one of the most widespread sources of electricity generation in stand-alone renewable energy systems. The basic operating principle is to convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity using the impeller and the generator. In rural areas with good wind potential, such as the islands of Aigio for example, autonomous power generation systems can rely on a small wind turbine for a large part of their production. A characteristic of all machines with rotating parts is the need for maintenance at regular intervals, and this is even more so in a wind turbine that is constantly exposed to severe weather conditions. One of the main reasons that the Energy Laboratory has chosen to use locally manufactured small wind turbines is that they enable the user to undertake their maintenance with minimal knowledge and using common tools and simple materials that can be purchased locally. In addition, this technology is freely distributed without the use of patents and can thus be developed through international technological social networks, such as Wind Empowerment, which we have been involved in since its inception. New Guinea’s small wind turbine workshops aim to provide participants with a wealth of practical skills and an understanding of the basic principles of a small wind turbine, while producing an efficient and reliable product.

The courses include the construction of handmade wind turbines of nominal power from 350W to 2kW and consist of the following practical parts: familiarization with basic tools, construction of the impeller from wood, construction of the generator stator and its coils, construction of the generator rotor and the discs with magnets, construction of the moulds for casting the generator parts with polyester resin, iron construction for supporting the generator and the tail, assembly and adjustment of the generator, balancing of the wind turbine and its indicative installation. The wind turbines built during the seminars are used in outdoor electrification applications, and usually the person or group that will eventually use the wind turbine will finance the project with the cost of the materials. Since the start of the workshop in March 2010, a total of twenty A/Cs have been built, with diameters of 1.2m (3 times), 1.8m (2 times), 2.4m (8 times), 3m (4 times), 3.6m (2 times), 4.2m (1 time). All wind turbines manufactured are based on Hugh Piggott’s ‘A Wind Turbine Recipe Book’ which can be obtained in English from or the Greek translation from our publications.