The Descent Into Madness!
Things went along quite well with the turbine. It produced lots of power. There were a few minor problems that we had to deal with, but for the most part, everything went well.
There is a huge learning curve with building a turbine and making your own power. Turbines produce huge amounts of power sometimes and other times they produce nothing at all. We have since added a few solar panels to our system which produce a more consistent amount of power.
The next thing we had to learn to live with was having people stopping in at our house continually to ask us about the turbine. Almost every day, someone would stop in to ask us where we got the turbine, how much it cost to build it and could we build one for them.
One of the people who stopped in to ask us about the turbine, was a reporter from the local newspaper. He said that he had been watching our progress since we began to put the tower up in the summer of 2003. He was very interested in what we were doing and asked us if it would be alright if he took some pictures and asked us some questions for an article about what we were doing. We thought that might be kind of neat to have a little write up in the paper, so we agreed. We had no idea how much interest that “little write up” would generate!
That “little article” turned out to a three page major story on the front page of a special edition of the paper! The special edition was all about power and how to save energy. There was everything from wind generation to solar to making your home more energy efficient. We later learned that the paper won an award for that special edition of which we were a major part!
About a week after the newspaper article came out, we got a phone call from a television reporter who wanted to come and do a spot about us for the news that night. He had saw the newspaper article and thought that it would be a really good story to put on the television news.
After those two stories appeared, we were inundated with phone calls from all over Ontario about our turbine. There was a huge amount of interest in what we had done!
This interest sparked an idea about developing a sort of wind turbine co-op where interested people could get together to build turbines and exchange ideas and skills. Everyone we talked to about this thought that this was an excellent idea! We had no interest in building turbines for people, but we were very interested in helping people to build their own.
In the meantime, while all of this was going on, we were getting seriously interested in the new Hugh Piggott Axial Flux turbine design. We ordered a set of plans and studied them. This new design was great! It looked so much easier to build than the brakedrum design.
We set about the task of finding the parts for the new design and found that they were much easier to come by than the old design. Within a couple of months, we had all of the parts together and were ready to start!
The Madness Continues!
That brings us to where we are at this point. We have several turbines here in various stages from barely started, to almost finished. We get together almost every Saturday afternoon and everyone helps everyone else. Everyone who comes has something to offer whether it’s a mechanical skill or parts for the turbine that they have found at a better price or just an extra hand to hold something. We have lots of people who stop by just to see what we are doing and how everything is going. There are lots of laughs and everyone is very enthusiastic! It’s a great atmosphere!