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Renewable Energy for Everyone

Wind Turbine Design and Construction Syllabus

Course Description

(Sample; courses and descriptions are individualized for each sponoring organization's differing needs and course time frames):
In this six-day hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to make a relatively quiet and durable wind turbine from scratch. Students will develop knowledge and skills in basic electricity, wood working, metal working, resin casting, and a variety of other skills. During this workshop attendees will complete at least one 7' and one 10' diameter wind turbine and work towards the completion of a larger 12' diameter, if time permits. We will also assemble and install a short tower, if time permits, or install the turbine on an existing tower, time permitting once again. These turbines are designed for battery-charging systems. The design is similar to, and inspired by the work of, Hugh Piggott.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn a variety of skills. The turbines we will build are ideal for those who are interested in building their own wind power systems from scratch for fun, to save money, or for generating power in the developing world. Some time will be spent each day in lecture learning about electricity, homebrew wind turbines, wind energy, wind turbine design, towers, wind site assessment, and wind systems.

Attendees will fabricate the 3-phase axial flux alternators, wooden blades, and the metal frame for the turbines from scratch. This is an ambitious workshop so expect to stay busy! Students will not take home a wind turbine with them. Some of the wind turbines made during the workshop will be for sale to participants by the sponsoring organization, however.

Who Should Attend?

  • Individuals interested in building their own turbines
  • Individuals interested in working in the wind energy field
  • Engineers interested in learning about wind turbine design and construction
  • Students of environmental studies interested in learning more about wind turbines
  • Educators wishing to learn more about this exciting field, and/or design their own multi-disciplinary curriculum

Additional Course Information:

Note that this class is offered in different lengths, to suit the needs and requirements of the sponsoring organization. 16, 24, 40 and 48 hour versions are offered:

  • 16 hours, 2 days: Suitable for renewable energy fairs and other events where welding and grinding are not allowed. Metal parts are pre-fabricated by us prior to the seminar. Class size is limited to 16 students.
  • 24 hours, 3 days: Intended for high school, community collage and university instructors who wish to start a wind power curriculum at their institutions. All course elements including all wind power theory units are covered; the short time frame is possible because class size is limited to 4 students, all who are working on a single wind turbine.
  • 40 hours, 5 days: This is the complete hands-on course, with class size limited to 20 students.
  • 48 hours, 6 days: The extra day allows us to add hands-on tower fabrication and turbine installation units, and actually erect and monitor one of the turbines that the students built. Class size is limited to 20 students.

    Course Syllabus:

    • LECTURE UNITS:
    • What is electricity?
    • Power in the wind
    • Economics of small wind power
    • Wind turbine site assessment basics
    • Basics of wind turbine design
    • Wind turbine blade design
    • Wind turbine alternator design
    • Wind turbine control systems
    • Balance of system
    • Wind turbine towers
    • Wind turbine monitoring
    • SAFETY UNITS:
    • Shop safety
    • Electrical safety
    • Tool safety (for each tool)
    • Casting resins safety
    • Magnet safety
    • Tower safety
    • HANDS-ON UNITS:
    • Coil winding
    • Stator fabrication
    • Metal fabrication and welding
    • Wood carving for blades
    • Tail vane fabrication
    • Magnet rotor fabrication
    • Casting of stators and magnet rotors
    • Final assembly
    • Bench testing
    • Tower fabrication
    • Balance of system installation
    • Tower erection
    • Wind turbine testing and monitoring