Aluminium Wind Turbine

The making of an aluminium wind turbine


In the last years of my teaching,  in order to acquire a minimum skills of useful practices to my students, I joined at teaching activity of theoretical mechanics and  laboratory of technology, the realization of a practical project which consists in the conceptual study, design and  mechanical device’s assembly.  This, has helped to make classwork much more interesting for me and hopefully for my students.

In the school year 2007/2008, has been developed a solar thermal panel.
In 2009/2010, it was estabilished Progetto Pelton - Lumezzane involved in construction of mini aluminum Pelton’s turbine. In 2010/2011, was accomplished Progetto Eolico - Lumezzane.

The project was to build a mini aluminium wind turbine with a diameter of 1200 mm with a speed of 5-6 m/sec can produce a power of 400 watts. We were inspired by the famous model by Hugh Piggott. Hugh Piggott is a pioneer in creation of small self-built turbines. He teaches in costruction’s courses of mini wind turbines in Northern Europe and has written a manual (A wind turbine recipe book) translated into several languages ​​including Italian.

In recent years, the work of Hugh Piggott have been used very successfully by several non-governmental organizations to help small communities in developing countries to self produced electricity. To point out about, the very moving speech at TED Conference held in 2009 by William Kamkwamba, a poor boy from Malawi that self-building a wind turbine with makeshift, has managed to change the fate of his community. 

But back to us. Our project went beyond our expectations. The boys involved in the project in less than one year were able to complete a very complex construction with intricate details worked with tools machinery not always completely up to date.

On the territory of Lumezzane then, we were fortunate to be working with two firms set (UBS and Lametril) who have assisted in the processing of some details such as turbine blades and tail. Some students, had the opportunity to take stages at these companies and make some parties directly with professional machine tools, helped by good professionals. The results obtained so far, they make me proud of the product.

What will happen from now on? The town of Lumezzane gave us an area where we can finally install our turbine. The area chosen is San Bernardo, where the employees of the municipality will implement a plinth on which to drown a steel plate and a hinge mechanism to anchor support from 7 meters tall. Will be placed on top of the turbine and tower will be placed all around the two rows of ties that will serve to support the structure. When necessary, you can bring down the tower for service.

As soon as completion of preparatory work, the installation will be done and there will be posts about it, so follow me. Meanwhile, I wish good work to my students and colleagues.