Wind Chasers

February 2 / 2017

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Chris

Chris contacted us just before Christmas, 2006. He told us a wonderful story about having been at Hugh Piggott's place working on a wind turbine and asked if it would be o.k. to come by our place for a visit, now that he was home from Scotland.

This past January, Chris and his mom came for a visit and we had a great time talking about renewable energy, Scotland and Hugh Piggott ! We hope that they can come back some time so we can visit again.

Here is Chris' story.

 

Hi guys

  Was a pleasure to speak with you on the phone tonight, I look forward to
sharing experiences on saturday the 13th.  Before then I'll try to get out
and see Charlie in Kintore.  Here's some more pics of the turbine I built,
it would be an honour to see them up on your web page.  I've also included
some more pics of Scoraig; the orange house with the turbine on the lattice
tower is Hugh's; the stone house is Lawrence's;  the brown house with the
solar panels is Morag's.  The big turbines shown are Hugh and Alan Bush's
new 6 kw machines, thats Hugh climbing up the pole to fix one! Here's a
little story of how I got out to Scoraig.

My trip to Scoraig began on a construction site in the village of Findhorn
(which is powered by several big turbines) where we were building an
"eco-home."  A fellow named Lawrence appeared one day who was friends with
my lead hands.  He was recruiting builders to come out to the west coast to
help finish his house.  My friends had been out there a few times putting
the roof on a new-build old-school stone house which was 15 years in the
making.  There was no mention of wind turbines at this point, just the boat
ride in, wild weather and outhouses.  My kind of place!

About halfway across Little Loch Broom on a blustery December day I just
started making out spinning wheels shining in the distance.  Before I knew
it there was at least a dozen wind turbines in view scattered along the
shore line, with what looked like more off in the distance.  I turned to
Lawrence and stammered "what is this place?"  I'd been fascinated by wind
machines for a long time and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!

Lawrence's house was quite cozy inside with the fire and candles going and I
hardly missed electricity.  He was one of the few people on Scoraig without
a turbine as there is no mains.  I stayed for a while and did some joinery
work and really loved the place and the people, I knew I'd be back!

Over the next while Lawrence and I became good mates as he spent a fair bit
of time hanging round Findhorn way.  I also took the windpower course down
at CAT (Centre of Alternative Technology) in Wales, a course Hugh Piggott
usually teaches but not the time I was there.  Lawrence saw my interest in
wind turbines and saw himself an opportunity; give the kid a chance to go
wild in Hugh's shop (he and Hugh have known each other for ages) and he'd
get electricity out of the deal!  A win-win situation.

So in July we headed out to Scoraig for a week and I met Hugh.  He is a very
kind and intelligent man who said he was happy to have me work in his shop
and provide advice when he could.  We designed the electrical system, chose
the site for the turbine, and I even started the job of plumbing in a solar
hot water system for a lovely woman named Morag who lived just down the
hill.  I had my work cut out for me.  We also had a huge party with live
bands and a BBQ feast where I got to meet alot of the Scoraig locals.

My final trip was in October, which I though would be for a couple of weeks
but went right to December.  I built the turbine and tower, wired in the
house, and plumbed in the solar hot water system.  For such a relaxed
environment I was sure running the last week to finish everything up!  In
the end I didnt raise the turbine due to very poor weather and a lack of
time.  This has made me want to build one here in Canada more than anything,
to get the satisfaction of standing it up and seeing it fly!  Oh well, it is
up and running now and I'll send pics of it as soon as I get them.

The experience has given me so much passion for renewable energy.  Seeing
something make energy from the wind or sun gives me such a great feeling.  I
especially have to thank Hugh for his patience and his enthusiasm, both are
contagious!

Hope this isn't too much info!  I'd say I've got the wind bug!  See ya soon

Chris
Craig and Chris on the day Chris and his mom came to visit us.
Here's Chris, proudly showing off his Canadian heritage in Hugh's shop.

Hugh in his shop.

Hugh climbing the tower to check some things on his recently built 6 kw turbine!

Two 6 kw machines. Wow! Great shot Chris!

Cutting pipe with a hacksaw.

Chris' coils almost ready to be poured.

The hub mounted into the hub assembly.

The stator awaiting final assembly.

Homemade diversion load, left and inverter, charge controller etc. right.

Looks good!

Mounting the turbine to the top of the tower.

The turbine finished, ready to be mounted .

Solar hot water heating system at Morag's house.
Lawrence's house.

A view across the peninsula from Hugh's house.

Beautiful shots Chris!