The Aloise turbine is a small and simple vertical axis wind turbine with a control system to generate small amounts of electricity for Developing Countries. Made from scratch with recycled materials, it allows a family in Developing Countries to charge the phone, to light the house, to watch TV or to listen to radio.
The VentolONE project aims to join different knowledges from fluid dynamics, mechanics, electronics, well known and easily available over the web in a simple product with a complete manual, to allow technicians in Developing Countries (and Developed ones!) to build their own vertical wind turbine.
The turbine name comes from Aloise, a foreman in Ilembula working at Catholic Parish garage, who lives there with his family using electricity from batteries recharged in the garage, while wind blows outside day and night.
The project is realized under an open hardware license, in order to make it as much spreadable as possible, and aims to be shared wherever wind blows hard!
From my first experience with Arduino Duemilanove in late days in 2010 it was love at first sight!
I finally had the possibility to interact with a microcontroller in a simple way, maybe rough but for sure cost effective.
During 2012 I built my first wind datalogger, solar powered, as told here. It worked fine, even tough it was simple and not so much energy saving...but a simple 2W panel was enough, and I was able to analyze data and be sure there is enough wind.
The anemometer was a Vortex one, firstly: a simple reed closing each turn. Secondly I chose a Deltatronic one, cheaper and sturdy.
A Seeedstudio Solar shield, with a sketch able to send Arduino in deep sleep made it possible to collect data every 30 seconds or 60 seconds, far away more than commercial wind datalogger, and save data every 2 minutes on an SD card. It worked fine for more than one year, attached are a sample log file and the corresponding wind data analyzed, and the Arduino sketch I'm using in Zanzibar in a similar way by now.
The bad: you have to send someone you taught before to go to datalogging pole mount, extract SD card, copy on a PC and send by email. Not so diffucult, not so simple.
I tried with an Arduino Yun with a USB pendrive with a SIM: it worked, but it was not so cost effective, and power hungry.
Last year I joined a crowdfunding campaign in order to obtain a microcontroller as simple as Arduino, with an international M2M SIM card.
Cristiano and me had the possibility to visit Aloise house in Ilembula. He was happy to show us his house he built by himself.
It was nice, simple and clean. He has a stable work as foreman in the Catholic Parish, so his family and him live probably better than other neighborhoods.
According to him he has an agreement with the priest (Father Tarcisio Moreschi): beside his salary he can recharge an old truck battery in the garage, using the parish electricity, every time he needs.
Tanesco is the electricity provider all over the country, but the grid is really bad, the electricity is expensive, and the grid covers only a few areas, especially bigger towns and cities.
So having an off-grid system to produce electricity can be a great choice.
But...how much electricity does a common family need, over there?
We had the possibility to ask Aloise how much he consume, day by day:
2 led strips, 5W + 5W, 5hours per day
television, 33W, 3/4 hours per day
More or less something like 180Wh per day, or 15Ah@12V, or 7.5Ah@24V (since the battery he uses comes from an old truck). Not so much, no surprise thinking Aloise told us the battery lasts up to a month if used only with leds, or 3/4 days if using TV.
The battery, clearly, is not the one he should use for such service. But this is it.
Wind blows hard over his roofs for 6 hours a day, during the night, usually: good! It could be possible to recharge over night and use power along the day. Nice!
I will show you a simple wind turbine able to outcome 20Watt@5m/s wind would be enough, with, ok, a better battery and a specific charger.
I'm going to build this.
Following the original papers, with numbers and money needed, I took at Aloise home
First Log. Here we are with Hackaday Prize! But...there's a long story before!
The VentolONE Challenge goes on
from the experience of the VentolONE team, dissolved during early 2015
because of unpleasant disagreements subsequent a failed startup aiming to produce wind turbines.
The VentolONE Challenge aims to go
beyond that experience, remembering positive and negative aspects of
the previous one. I learned some things:
- success, even if small
and relative, calls lots of social climbers
- I'm not an entrepreneurs,
neither other members
- everywhere you can hear
about 3D printing, renewable energies, sharing economy because this
is trendy: sometimes who is speaking doesn't know what is talking
about, but he talks...in a nice way
- with simplicity and
awareness of our limits we want to build or, better, complete something useful for
someone else, just like a simple wind turbine with a generator, and we like to share this with other people.
The group is now made by two members, engineers, technicians and high school teachers, with a lot of curiosity and a good dose of resourcefulness
and imagination. Everyone of us has specific skills, too: we
collected many experiences during early years to share with all the people around us or following official blog.
Group's motto: make it
renewable, spread your knowledge, do it together!