The final day - the day of reckoning… The electronics circuit was finished off, involving more cutting and crimping, and shrink wrap (heat-proof covers) applied to the many wire-ends using the heat gun. The smaller wires were then replaced with higher specified wires, better matching that of the fuse. To finish off the electronics the wind speed and power monitoring equipment were tested and incorporated into the circuit.
Finally the woodwork was finished - the carving and angling of the blade aerofoils was completed and the blades were assembled. The wooden structure was then fitted to the rotor, taking extreme care not to damage the vulnerable blade tips. The blade centre of mass was aligned to the centre of rotation by attaching lead weights across each blade until a balance was achieved.
The tail was cut, drilled and base painted, before the Bath Wind Turbine logo was stencilled out and sprayed onto the tail… an extremely time consuming task!
In the metal workshop a slot was cut in the gin pole (a pole used to aid the installation and raise the tower to its upright position), allowing the guide rope to be smoothly pulled through. A v-shaped bracket was then welded to the top of the gin pole and two holes drilled at the bottom, where the base is to be attached. Following this, four steel pegs to secure the tower base plate to the ground were cut and a small plate welded to the top of each peg to permit their hammering into the ground.
After venturing across to the install site we discovered that the ground was too rocky to erect the turbine over the weekend. Every attempt to penetrate the ground resulted in nothing but blood and sweet. However this came as a blessing in disguise, leaving us the afternoon to carry out the finishing touches to the electronics, oiling of the blades and applying a red oxide base layer to the tower to prevent any corrosion during storage.
Come the end of the day, and the end of a fantastic build, the team gathered round for the final walk through and finished off by christening our work: ‘Windston’ the wind turbine (Windy T) followed by a celebratory local ale!
Windston has now been packed safely away in storage until we manage to obtain full permission from the University’s Vice Chancellor Group and the local authority for the installation.
We plant to carry out the final paint work and finishing touches over Global Future week (http://setpoint.bath.ac.uk/estates/energy/globalfuture.shtml), commencing the 4th of April, on the Parade for all too see…
More updates on the progress of the installation to follow…