The main objective of the project is to create a local knowledge group for self-construction of small-scale wind turbines (SWT) in Chile. The project, through an international exchange of knowledge with Argentinian members of the WindEmpowerment network, seeks to build, strengthen and disseminate, the local competences that are necessary to:
-Construct, maintain and repair Small Wind Turbines (SWT)
-Install SWT for off-grid rural electrification.
-Measure SWT performances and local wind resources.
The project was carried out in Puerto Natales, in the region of Magallanes, in the southern part of Chile. Around 6 % of the population of the region (approx. 9600 persons) live in rural settlements, and have no connection to a stable electrical grid. The region has abundant wind resources: in most of the region average wind speeds are well above 6 m/s. Nevertheless, rural settlements still depend on electricity generated almost exclusively with diesel, gasoline, or natural gas engines. Approximately 1 % of the population has no access to electricity.
500rpm guided the workshop participants through the construction of a 350 W small wind turbine (1.8 m diameter), based on the widely adopted Piggott open-design. The SWT is installed in Estancia La Fernanda, a family-farm approx. 13 km from Pto Natales. The farm has difficult access in the winter, and the family depends on a diesel generator for limited electricity access. The family (Karen and Ricardo) participated in the workshop, and are responsible for the correct operation and maintenance of the system.
Since the workshop was after the WEPatagonia Conference several other WE members such as EolEcole, PureSelfMade, WindAid Institute joined the workshop too.
Here is a small week recap video from Alexis Salgado Moreno from Asher organization in Chile.