Posted by: vickim57 | 25 October 2009

Talk the talk, walk the walk, build your own wind turbine

Build Your Own Wind Turbine Course, 23-27 November 2009

V3 Power will be running a “How to Build Your Own Wind turbine” course in Lincolnshire in November. Over the course of the week the group will be building a 2.4m turbine, 7m tower and installing the off-grid battery system. Participants will gain an in-depth knowledge of the Hugh Piggott turbine and how it’s built, and get loads of hands-on practical experience. It will equip participants with everything they need to be able build and install their own wind turbine.


To build a wind turbine and teach people the theory and practice of turbine build and installation.

Course Structure

Days will start with a lecture about theory relating to the days practical work. Details of subjects covered in the lectures are listed below. After each lecture, the group will be split into 3 teams, each rotating around different workshops. This way everybody gets a full experience of parts of the build. The workshops are listed below.

Blades Workshop

Participants will be carving the blades using hand-tools such as drawknives, spokeshaves, planes and files. The blades start as blocks of straight grained wood and are carved into the 3D shape consisting of a twisted front face and aerofoil back face.

Alternator Workshop

To make the alternator this base will cover tasks that include: Winding copper coils and soldering them together to make the stator, mounting magnets on steel disks preparing moulds for casting with resin, working on the electrical system – connecting batteries, brake switch and charge control system

Mounting and Tower Workshop

This is a metal working base, where attendees will be taught welding, and manufacture the mounting that holds everything together and the tower which holds the turbine in the air. Course participants will get experience in a wide range of metal working skills, such as welding, grinding, drilling filing.

Electrical System Workshop

One of the workshops will be connecting up an off-grid system and using the batteries. We will cover 12V systems as well as connecting and using an inverter, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.

In the evening there will be time for activities depending on demand: more theory if requested, more work on the turbine, discussions about renewable energy or a walk in the beautiful surrounding scenery.

The course will culminate at the end of the week with the turbine being assembled, erected and the electrical system installed.

Teaching Lectures

The following subjects will be covered in morning lectures. If you have anything specific you’d like us to cover, please get in touch before the course and we’ll ensure it’s covered in the lectures.
• Introduction to Wind Power
• The Hugh Piggott Turbine
• Blade Theory
• Alternator Theory
• Mounting and Tower Theory
• Installation: Siting and Tower
• Electrical Systems of Wind Turbines
• Example of past installations


The course will be taking place at ‘the Barn’ which is a group of old stables and farm buildings outside of Stamford in Lincolnshire, that were converted about twenty years ago. There is a big garden with plenty of space to wander about in, as well as woods with some rare trees and a footpath to the local pub about two miles away. There’s a warm kitchen in the main house where we’ll have all the meals, sitting room and open fire just next door for chilling out in the evenings, barbecue and pizza oven if we’ve got the weather with us. For sleeping there’s some different options but basically there is a bed or mattress for everyone indoors, or if you want some more personal space then bring a tent or borrow one of ours and you can pick a spot in the garden.

There will be three work spaces: One in the main house in what we call ‘the barn room’ which is just that, a big, open plan room with a huge window running down the end wall. This is where the stator winding and soldering will take place, and we’ll also have a screen set up for presentations and film screenings. The second space, ‘the studio’ is in one of the old stable blocks, and is where all the metalwork and welding will take place. The third space is actually 2 minutes walk through an orchard to a neighbours woodworking workshop, for blade carving and mould making.

Cost: £450 Waged, £400 mid–wage, £350 low-wage

What your money goes towards

The price of the course goes primarily towards materials for the wind turbine you will be building on the course. The turbine will be used after construction, meaning you have invested in sustainable technology that will last for several decades. A portion of your money will go towards wages for the V3 course instructors, as we make a living from teaching people how to build wind turbines. What is left over goes directly back into V3. We work as a non-for-profit workers co-operative, so any surplus is invested back into tools, materials, or teaching aids to better the quality and accessibility of the courses we run in the future.

If you are interested in attending, we require a deposit of £100 before November 9th to secure your place.

Contact either: or

We’re also running another weekend course at Earthworm on 30th October if you know anyone in that area who might be interested. Details are on the website


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