By Esteban Van Dam -- I arrived in Bluefields in September 2009 and worked there as a Project Manager through May 2010. Although my work was not really focused in the technical side, I became really interested with the small wind turbine design used by blueEnergy.
It has now been a while since I left Bluefields, and I’m already missing the mosquitoes, the bars, the neverchanging music, the impossible soccer matches with 30°C and the panga journeys loaded with solar panels or blades.
After I came back to Buenos Aires with a clear plan in my mind to build turbines, I decided to spend my last bucks on it… I went to Ireland to a Piggott’s course, I met the great turbine pope and asked him more questions than any patient teacher could have coped with (teachers always hated me). I slept the whole week in a van, hosted by great people who live in a motor home in the middle of the hills, with a great view and completely off-grid. Then I made a stop in Spain, where I bought a bunch of Piggott’s manuals, and finally I came back and started to organize courses just like Piggott’s. I made a first turbine for trying and adapting the design to local materials, together with Lu, another argentine former volunteer in blueEnergy, who worked mostly in the capacity-building team. Then we created a partnership with the Argentine Wind Energy Association, and we finally got our first group of students last month. In 3 weekends in a row we built a nice colorful turbine!!
There’s a few videos:
And a few pics:
The plan now is to contact NGO’s to install some in rural schools, where there is enough wind and great need for electricity. The idea is to send pre-made bits to different places where they can do it locally, with our support.