We have a plan...
The Handy Village Institute Team has determined that the best time to re-start our small wind workshops will be the last week of March 2023. Yes, that's March 27 to April 1, 2023. We have postponed a handful of times during the pandemic, and instead of offering a full workshop in 2022, we have been servicing local turbines.
I always tell people to think about bicycle wheels and how they need to be greased and the spokes checked and tightened, if needed. It's a feature of a machine with moving parts: they need to be checked and cleaned and lubricated, and it's also a chance to make minor repairs. In the case of the small wind turbines we make and use, that usually means looking for and addressing any minor damage due to hail, especially on our hand-carved wooden blades.
When we postponed the March 2022 workshop, we invited all who had registered to come that week at no charge and observe the servicing of two of our small wind turbines. A few folks were able to participate, watching the process of lowering the tower, removing the blades and the hub, checking for damage, changing the grease, smoothing out blade surfaces, then putting it all back together, again, and raising the tower back up. The weather was lovely, and we enjoyed meeting in-person, sharing lunch and stories, and the ever satisfying teamwork with a sense of an important job well done.
Watching the safe lowering and raising of a tower and the regular maintenance tasks involved in making small wind power are valuable ways to become oriented to the responsibilities involved in generating one's own electricity. We were able to perform the service on two of three local turbines made in our workshops that currently generate electricity near Saxapahaw. I expect we will pick a date and perform maintenance on the third one before the March 2023 workshop, and that will be another opportunity to invite observers who are interested in this technology and how it operates.
Happy Solstice 2022, y'all! - Deborah
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Deborah Amaral enjoys working with her hands to make things, and hopes to inspire others to do so, too.