Saturday, January 28, 2012

I can always tell ...

... when I'm enjoying myself when i'm working. It's when I suddenly notice that the light has gone and it's 18:15 and I'm still out there happily working away. And so it was today.

I did the customary pile of woodcutting and now the woodshed is looking quite impressive. There's probably now enough cut to last me for next winter as well and there's still a load to do out by the barn. And then there's all the wood from last winter, that's still down the fields. And then there are all the chevrons off the house roof and the barn roof. Wood isn't something that I'm going to be short of for a while.

Once I had done the wood, I made a start on the wind turbine, and that is now in position. Doesn't it look smart with its nex stylish aerodynamic blades. But I shall have to stop mounting all of these wind turbines. I'll end up being arrested.

It wasn't as easy as you might think, organising this wind turbine. But then again, nothing ever is when I'm involved, is it?

It all started to go wrong when I tried to mount the hub onto the spindle. And immediately the bolts holding the blades to the hub fouled the casing. So I turned the bolts round so that the threads were exposed - hardly aerodynamic but it all fitted. Then, tightening up the hub, the hub ground out against the casing and locked up the blades. That meant using a couple of packing washers underneath the hub. One I had, the correct size of diameter, I had to file out the hole to 19mm. The second one, I had the correct sized hole but the diameter was wrong so I had to grind the excess off with the angle grinder and the bench grinder. So instead of an interference fit, I now have three extra faces and so under a great deal of wind pressure, I can see the faces sliding instead of the blades turning. Won't that be fun?

Much to my surprise, the wiring was pretty straightforward and didn't call for any major revision. But putting it into position was something else. I didn't have a scaffolding pole long enough and so I had to join two together and that's no fun trying to do that on a ladder with that kind of weight at that height pressing down on your shoulders. It's for that reason that, after much cursing, I invented the wind turbine pole lifting handle, and I was astonished at how easy it was once I had a lifting handle in place. I had to lower the anenometer though - the wind turbine was fouling it.

Wind turbines need a load in order to work, and so I've wired it directly to an external weatherproof 12-volt socket, and to the socket I've wired a 12-volt 100-watt halogen light. The faster the wind turbine turns, the brighter the light will become. It reminds me of Doctor RV Jones and his experiments into the cathode ray tube. In his book Most Secret War, one of the best books I have ever read, he describes that they tentatively connected two lorry headlights to the tube, hoping for a faint glimmer of light. Instead, they managed to illuminate the whole building before the headlights blew out with the intensity of current. Wouldn't I like to have something like that with this wind turbine?

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