E-Futures brings together knowledge from across the academic disciplines to tackle energy related issues facing society today. The issue I have chosen to investigate is under what circumstances can locally manufactured small wind turbines provide a sustainable solution for rural electrification in developing countries. To answer this question, I am investigating the following key areas:
- Power curve testing of locally manufactured machines to measure not only the performance of each model of wind turbine, but as the machines are manufactured locally, also the variation between the performance of each individual turbine.
- Case studies of wind-based rural electrification initiatives from around the world, looking to draw out the social, technical and economic factors that have lead to their success or failure in that particular local context.
Engineers Without Borders (EWB)
EWB-Sheffield Wind Project
Over the past three years we have been building our very own Hugh Piggott wind turbine as an extra-curricular project. We’ve learned a huge amount from the experience, myself especially, as it inspired me to choose this current line of research. Our wind turbine will be installed at Whirlow Hall Farm, an educational trust on the outskirts of Sheffield, where it will generate renewable energy and help the school children that study there learn about energy sustainability.
We have designed and run a workshop on building model wind turbines from a small electric motor, a kitchen roll tube, a cork, newspaper, sellotape and drawing pins. Download the instructions for running the workshop here.
Engineering in Development
Engineering in Development is EWB-UK‘s first textbook. It will bring together the vast amount of knowledge that EWB-UK has gained over the past 10 years using case studies from its placement, bursary and research programmes. The book will be based around EWB-UK‘s communities of practice: energy, water & sanitation, industry, habitat, healthcare & mobility technologies and transport. Together with Samina Islam, I am co-ordinating the ‘Energy’ chapter.
WindEmpowerment is an association for the development of locally built small wind turbines for sustainable rural electrification. I co-ordinate the socio-economic workgroups within WindEmpowerment with the aim of better understanding how people interact with the technology.