Wind stories: ERNI collective – 2019 Projects

A lot of projects and inspiration from our members in Germany, Erni e.V. – small wind turbine collective (ERNI). Read more about their activities in 2019!

1. SWT-Workshop at Reutlingen University

As a biannual event, ERNI e.V – small wind turbine collective (ERNI) gives a workshop at Reutlingen University for up to 30 students. The students build a 2F-400W-Hugh-Piggott small wind turbine (SWT) including the tower and the electrical cabinet. In addition to the standard workshop stations (wood, metal, electrics), ERNI offers a fourth development station where new things like vacuum infusion molding, an Arduino based weather station, anemometer wind tunnel tests or an economic calculation tool for SWT are developed and tested.

2. Windrad Thf

Members of ERNI e.V. – small wind turbine collective are in charge of the operating control of a hybrid offgrid system in the city park Tempelhofer Feld (Thf) in Berlin. The system supplies electricity for a self-help bicycle repair shop led by Taschengeldfirma e.V., a free internet antenna and different events like cinema or talks in summer. It was first installed in 2016 by students of TU Berlin and KitRad e.V. who later merged with ERNI e.V. The system consists of one 2.4m-700W-neodymium-Hugh-Piggott small wind turbine (SWT) and 1.5 kW PV-system (6 x Solon Blue 230/07 modules). It runs at a voltage of 24V with 8 times 400 Ah valve-regulated-lead-acid-gel-battery (VRLA gel battery). To visualize the power generation there are two data-logging systems installed. One from OpenEnergyMonitor at the DC-side using Emoncms and one self-developed Enerlyzer that measures on the AC-side of the SWT using Grafana to visualize the data.

3. Climate Camp Leipzig

ERNI e.V. – small wind turbine collective (ERNI) supported Climate Camp Leipzig 2019 in Pödelwitz. Climate Camps take place to draw attention to, and act as a base for direct action against major carbon emitters, as well as to develop ways to create a zero-carbon society. The camp’s main focus in 2019 was anti-racism and anti-fascism.

The camp’s infrastructure was partly powered by PV and our 2F-400W-Hugh Piggott small wind turbine (SWT) on a 10 m tower. Besides the support of electrical power production, ERNI held wind-energy-introduction-workshops where the basic principles of how to generate electricity from wind where explained twice a day. People could get a hands on experience of a DIY-Hugh-Piggott SWT mounted on a 1,5 m stand and try to generate cut in voltage on a SWT-generator with their own crank power.

4. Powersupply for Altonale in Hamburg

ERNI e.V. – small wind turbine collective (ERNI) helped to power a small part of the Altonale in Hamburg, which is the biggest cultural festival in Northern Germany. A 2F-400W-Hugh Piggott small wind turbine (SWT) on an 8 m tower together with 2.6 kW of PV with a storage of 306 Ah at 24 V with a 3 kW inverter was installed. Due to the bad wind conditions in the streets of Hamburg, the SWT had a rather educational character. Besides the power generation, ERNI supported by holding public educational workshops on renewable energy systems and offered people the possibility to check their knowledge on energy in the ERNI energy-quiz.

5. Small Wind Turbine Building Workshop in Sierra Leone

A member of ERNI e.V. – small wind turbine collective (ERNI) conducted a five day small wind turbine (SWT) workshop building a 2F-400W-Hugh-Piggott-SWT for Giz7Endev in cooperation with Bintumani-D and two local NGO’s YDP and Light Salone Innovation in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Most of the materials where locally sourced. A small report and photos of the workshop can be found here or under the following link:

Contact ERNI:



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