News from MinVayu

August Workshop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jorge Ayarza   
Thursday, 08 March 2012 00:00

Our next workshop will be August 8 to the 15th where we will build a 350W, 1,8m turbine that will be installed in Saracon, Business Incubator based in Auroville, India.  The unique feature of this installation is the innovative use of a ginpole which helps the turbine lift itself off the ground plus a special anchor system that allows the installation to be done in a forested area.  The turbine is 20m high allowing it to surpass the height of the tree tops and is installed in the corner of the property.  In addition the tower will use a special blend of guy wires and building anchoring making it a "hybrid" tower design that uses the building as anchor for some guy wires, but prevents the vibrating tower to affect the building structure.  This is a great workshop for architects with interest in turbines for suburban areas.

During the workshop, the participants will learn the basics of renewable energy. Learn how to perform the calculations to size wind turbines, and determine optimum tower height etc, and get some hands on experience building parts of a wind turbine.

Visit by Mitra Ardron of Natural Innovation .org PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mitra Ardron   
Thursday, 12 January 2012 15:49

Mitra ArdronWe've had Mitra Ardron, the Executive Director of Natural Innovation .org with us again for January. He arrived on the day of the cyclone and has been continuing to help us develop our business planning, financials and our interactions with potential investors and other collaborators. Natural Innovation works with innovators (like us) that have ideas with potential for significant impact on poverty and sustainability in developing countries. "I was impressed by MinVayu when Jorge first explained his analysis of why small wind wasn't working at scale, in particular the insight of training rural mechanics, rather than city-based engineers to ensure a local capability to maintain the turbines." said Mitra. Their EDIT LINK newsletter makes interesting reading.

Two of MinVayu's wind turbines survive Cyclone Thane PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mitra Ardron   
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 15:39

cyclone weather map Cyclone Thane made a direct landing in Auroville, South India uprooting 70% of the trees of the area. Many roofs failed, most crops were destroyed. Amazingly one of our trainees decided to install their 800W turbine DURING the storm and the system actually survived the direct hit.

Ravi is a very skilled carpenter who has been learning how to build turbines and unbeknown to MinVayu he installed the turbine the night the Cyclone arrived. His father, with pride, mentioned that Ravi had to go to the roof to reinforce with sand bags the temporary arrangement. He said "it was shaking a bit". In addition a smaller system of 350W installed on a 15m lattice tower in Nadakuppam village (about 50km north of Auroville) also survived the storm and in fact helped the village recharge cell phone batteries and kept the lights on. The village remained without power for several days.

MinVayu does not recommend the installation of systems in a storm and in fact we prefer the systems are lowered or protected during a Cyclone or Hurricane, but these successes are a testament to the resilience of the system, and the importance of backup power.

French Engineering Volunteers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jorge Ayarza   
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 15:05

Estelle is a French engineering student that is spending the next two months working with MinVayu in the design of the new downwind blades for the prototype wind turbines.  She is prototyping the 100W 3-D Printed blades that will be truck tested for performance.  We are using Solidworks 2012 for the 3D design of the blades and run it through Blade Element Momentum (BEM) software to estimate blade performance.

Trainees from Nepal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mitra Ardron   
Thursday, 12 January 2012 00:00

We have two engineers from Nepal joining us. They are both experienced with solar and hydro, but want to add wind to their choices. Their part of Nepal is on the far side of the Himalayas, towards Tibet, and .... They will both stay with us for a month, after arriving just in time to help with the cyclone cleanup.

Cyclone Thane destroys workshop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mitra Ardron   
Saturday, 31 December 2011 15:37

Destroyed workshop Cyclone Thane hit Auroville with full force winds and rain and unfortunately a tree fell on the workshop area damaging roof, equipment and turbines. We are nonetheless continuing workshops and in fact the first post-cyclone installation is starting January 12th.

Help is requested to help us get back to normal since not only our project suffered damage but also Windarra Farm lost all it's crops for the year (rice, millet, bananas, papayas, fruit trees, cashew trees). For the farmers surrounding Auroville the loss of Cashew crops is devastating since 70% of trees were uprooted by the 120km/hr winds. Cashew trees need 7 years to grow to production.

MinVayu teaches mechanics and farmers how to build their own small wind turbine and we hope these new skills will help them find alternate forms of income in addition to farming.


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