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Workshop in Africa on small scale wind energy based on local m...

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This text is printed from Riwen Thursday, October 8, 2009 Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Workshop in Africa on small scale wind energy based on local materials


For some years Senior Scientist Leon Mishnaevsky from AFM has been heading a Danida funded project that aims to develop wind energy based on naturally occurring materials in Nepal . This concept is equally relevant to other developing countries. Just a few weeks ago a new workshop was held in Kenya. In November 2008, an International Workshop on Natural and Low-Cost Materials in Wind Energy Technologies, organized in the framework of the Danish-Nepalese collaborative project "Development of wind energy technologies in Nepal on the basis of natural materials", took place in Dhulikhel, Nepal. The goal of this Workshop was to bring together experts in Nepal from all parts of the world to discuss materials and case studies of small scale wind energy for developing countries, especially, for poor and isolated rural areas. Exchange of experience between Nepal and Africa: not only knowledge transfer from developed to developing, but also exchange of experience See the invitation to the workshop in between developing countries Nepal and to the workshop in Kenya A keynote presentation was delivered by Mike Harris, Chairman and Director of Bob Harries Engineering Ltd from Kenya. Mike decided to work on the development of water lifting windmills in 1977, after he observed many blind children in Kenya on his Christian medical mission trips. The basic cause of this blindness being a result of Trachoma was that children in the arid areas of East Africa often did not have enough water to wash their faces, and this lack of hygiene contributed to the disease. The very interesting presentation by Mike, in which he reported on the development of small wind energy in Kenya, led the organizers of the workshop to the idea that it would be important to bring together more African participants into the next workshop, in order to ensure the exchange of ideas and experiences of participants from developing countries about their experiences and achievements in the area of small scale wind energy. Thus, the idea to organize the next Workshop in Kenya was born at the end of the Workshop in Dhulikhel. It was decided that the next Workshop will be organized together with the Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology (IEET) of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) (Nairobi, Kenya). Professor Joseph Keriko, Principal of the Nairobi Campus of JKUAT, agreed to support the Workshop and serve as a Co-Chairman. Lecturers and participants from all of Africa meet European, Australian and Asian specialists Lecturers from Denmark, Australia, China, Nepal, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Gambia made their presentations on different aspects of small wind energy, materials for wind turbines, experience with wind energy in developing countries. Totally, about 50 lecturers, guests and students participated in the Workshop. While the lecturers from Europe and Australia made presentations on the design of small wind turbines (Professor David Wood and Peter Freere from Australia), optimal selection of materials (Povl Brndsted, Ris DTU), perspectives of low cost and natural materials for blades (Professor Janis Varna, Sweden, and Dr. Hai Qing, Ris DTU), the African participants reported mainly about their experiences and case studies with small wind turbines, small grids and wind parks as well as perspectives of wind and other types of renewable energy in Africa. In many presentations, the necessity and importance of decentralized energy supply in developing countries was underlined. Different constructions of wind turbines, from the viewpoint of reliability, low maintenance and production costs, were discussed, as vertical axis turbines (Leopoldo Salmaso, Kenya), small horizontal axis wind turbines of power output less than about 50 kW (David Wood), low cost MG4520 wind turbine (Peter Freere). Rakesh Sinha, Senior Scientist at Kathmandu Alternative Power and Energy Group (KAPEG, a partner in the Danish-Nepalese project) made several presentations on the KAPEG experience on the development of small wind turbines in Nepal, and on the applicability of timber wind turbine blades for low cost wind turbines. Founding of the Society for Small Scale Wind Energy and further collaboration

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08-10-2009 09:02

Workshop in Africa on small scale wind energy based on local m...

http://riwen-staged/Nyhedsarkiv/Nyheder/2009/Uge_41/41_tir_w...

At the Workshop, it was decided to strengthen the collaboration and information exchange in the area of small wind turbines in developing countries. The necessity of more efficient exchange of information, experiences and technology in the area of small wind turbines was underlined by many participants. Different constructions of small wind turbines should be compared with view on their efficiency and costs, and recommendations should be developed. Another important area which attracted interest of many participants was the production of wind turbine parts from cheap, locally available natural resources (plants, like bamboo, timber, coconut and banana fibers). Further investigations in this area are sought. In order to strengthen the collaboration, a round table on the creation of the Society for Small Scale Wind Energy was organized. Many participants supported this idea. Professor David Wood was entrusted to carry out the necessary organizational steps for the successful functioning of the Society. Several participants discussed the possibility to prepare a collaborative project on the decentralized water supply in Africa. At the end of the Workshop, Rakesh Sinha (Nepal) spent after the workshop several days with Mike Harries, to learn more about the wind turbine design technologies used by Mike. Leon Mishnaevsky Marianne Ryde , 4024

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