"Build your own wind turbine"

Hands-on course building 2 wind turbines with Hugh Piggott and Conor Coady
10 - 14 September 2007

Located at the Gyreum Ecolodge
 county Sligo
   (353) 71 9165994
   [email protected]

with Arigna LEADER, Arigna, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Roscommon

and Miriam and Jimmy of Eirbyte who also provided many of the photos here.  Jimmy has started a forum for Irish turbine builders here. ITM
Some of the pages below are not yet finished!  Comments and suggestions are welcome before I make these pages public.

Electrical stuff page
Blade carving page
Metalwork page
My courses page

The Gyreum is a really far out building on a hilltop in the northwest of the Irish republic.  Out host was Colum Stapleton, who built it. The inside is a large circular hall with subdued lighting.  Around the edge are bedrooms, kitchen, and bright verandah spaces.  The fact that there were 3 bright spaces off the central gloom made it perfect for me because my course has 3 areas of activity:
Blade carving, electrical, and metalwork.  I have made a page for each and you can find them with the links on the left.

We finished a 3.6 metre (12 foot) turbine and got a long way toward building a 2.4 metre (8 foot) one too.  Most of the folk are in the shot below.  And so is the big windmill.

Standing - Niall, James, Stuart, Micheal, John, Conor, Tadgh, Colum our host, Bernard, (half of someone), Rob, Miriam and Jimmy
Kneeling -  Hugh, Ger, Caoimhín
Missing - Barry, Eddie, John from Norway, and Ultan

Below is Colum (on the right) looking at his new anchors - treated strainer posts buried four feet down.  The guy cables are connected via 3/8" chain.  It was interesting that most of our conversations used inches rather than millimetres but I reckon the irish like myself find inches and feet work well for rough sizes, whereas millimetres work well for precision.

The digger filled the holes back in and gave a good tug on the chain to get the anchors bedded in.

We were building two towers for the two machines but only finished one.  The idea of the smaller turbine was to make sure and keep everyone busy.  The idea of the bigger one was to get a turbine up and working, so that was always my main focus.

The towers were built using 4" pipe with smaller pipe extensions on the top.  Colum did not want more than one set of guys, so I suggested that 4" pipe would be rigid enough for this.  The pieces were only 7 metres long but Irish planners allow you to erect 10 metre towers without seeking permission so we extended the towers to 10 metres.  20 metres would have been better, since there are a few 7 metre trees around but we did what we could.  It's a hilltop site.

Here is a photo of the inside of the Gyreum on Friday at lunch.  One nice thing about the place was the high ceiling that allowed us to swing a 12 foot blade and balance it in a draught free environment.  If you look closely you can see the nice ladies who fed us all week, Adel and Diana.  We ate very well.

Even with the stud nuts loosened, it took Stuart with the big hammer to get the blades onto the alternator.

Carrying the balanced turbine out to the tower. 
The guy in the red hat, John McGeady attended my first self-build course on Scoraig back in 2001.

Stuart doing some last minute adjustments to the tail hinge stops.

The air gap is pretty big.  I underestimated the power of the magnets here.  Notice also that the alternator is mounted forward from the yaw and the stator mounts are nothing to do with the yaw bearing pipe.  The tail uses large pipe-on-pipe inclined hinge system, with stronger mounts than I used in France.

The Eirbyte Tirfor makes the hoisting easy.

Below Colum finally gets his camera out.  On the right, Hugh, Caoimhín, Ultan and Stuart share a joke.

More shots of the completed windmill...

As usual my camera bent the blades rather badly in the shot on the right.

Electrical stuff page
Blade carving page
Metalwork page
My courses page