March 6, 2009

Energy College: Charge Your Knowledge!

Wind Turbine & Solar Hot Water: Collective Experiment!

Would you like to build a wind turbine? Or make a solar hot water heater?

Join us on Tuesday 10th March at 12.00pm when we will begin designing and building a vertical axis wind turbine and a solar water heater with David Herbert. The ad hoc designs will depend on the materials we can gather…check the list below and if you find anything please bring it with you!

All Welcome!

Possible Design for a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine


Turbine Parts:

Hard Disks (magnets, wire, bearings) – as many as possible or at least 8

Microwave Oven – I’ve heard they contain magnets and wire, I can’t think of why, other people have said it so could be interesting to take one apart.

Plastic pipe, waste pipe or down pipe for rain water, 4″ stuff and possible something smaller like sink waste pipe (approx 30-50mm). Idea is to cut it along the length to make semi circular tubes for the front of the wings.

Bendable sheets of something: oil drums we could cut up, thin perspex, copper (eg. from old hot water tanks).

Thicker sheets of something: ply-wood

Diodes, possibly from the microwave, other sources would be any power electronics, like audio amplifiers, car alternators.

Stuff that could be useful if we can get it: steel plate 3-6mm thick and 30cm or more wide. Reasonably powerful permanent magnet motors eg. car radiator fan motors.

Bearings: perhaps from a bicycle (wheel, headset or bottom bracket) or small car/trailer bearing.

Stuff I imagine we’ll have to buy: fiber glass and resin, glue, screws, etc.

Hugh Piggott’s Home Built Wind Power News and Links

Solar Hot Water Heater

For a solar hot water heater (size will be between 1 and 2 sq meters although not important, 1 sq meter is plenty for a sunny day, bigger gives it a better chance of working on more overcast days), there’s two designs which I think could work, for either design we’ll need:

Wood, eg from a pallet or anything similar.

Fibre glass, polystyrene (could be sheet or those balls in packaging), etc for insulation. Bubble wrap would probably work too.

Glass, preferably double glazed, the most common source I’ve seen is old shop bear fridges being thrown out, Actually they could be a source for the insulation too.

Hot water tank (they are thrown out all the time as people move over to combie boilers).

28mm copper pipe, 3 meters or rubber pipe (the kind of stuff that you find on cars radiators) if that is easier to find.

Various copper fittings, eg 15-28mm adapters, elbows, etc. (I already have most of them)

A candle.

Then for one design we will also need:

A radiator, size and shape to approximately match the size and shape of the glass. It needs to be the modern(ish) ugly type, flat(ish) sides, single panel.

Or for the other design we need:

One or two extra hot water tanks to cut up to use as copper sheet or any other source of copper sheet. Whether we need 1 or 2 depends on the glass size

Smaller copper pipe, microbore (8-12mm) or 15mm pipe.


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