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Bringing Wind Power to Off-Grid Guatemalan Villages

Posted By Ali Kriscenski On May 7, 2008 @ 1:50 pm In Architecture,Environment,global development,Renewable Energy,San Francisco,Wind Power | 3 Comments

Engineers Without Borders, San Francisco, small wind, renewable energy, Malcolm Knapp, Heather Fleming, Guatemala, vertical axis wind turbine, Appropriate Technology Design Team, D2M, Wired, ewbwind1.jpg [1]

Wind power holds much promise but often meets obstacles in small-scale application. Enter Engineers Without Borders [2]. Volunteers from this humanitarian group, including Malcolm Knapp and Heather Fleming pictured above, have developed a small wind turbine [3] design that has the capacity to bring much needed electrical power to remote villages in Guatemala and provide an alternative to hazardous kerosene lighting.

A collective effort of donated time and donated lab space (from Knapp and Fleming’s daytime employer D2M [4]) has resulted in a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) that is just two-feet-wide and three-foot-tall. With the capability to work well in a variety of multi-directional wind conditions, the turbine will produce 10-15 watts of electricity, creating enough power for small devices including LED lights.

Driven by a focus on real-world application, the turbine can be assembled from inexpensive and readily available materials. The team, Appropriate Technology Design Team [5] of EWB’s San Francisco chapter, is hoping to bring the cost for each turbine in under $100, a reasonable goal according to team leader Matt McLean.

The project is in final design stages and poised to take flight this summer, bringing a sustainable opportunity for light and power to the remote villages. Realization of the project will happen with funding from the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group [6] who have provided startup money to the Guatemalan manufacturing facility XelaTeco [7], the company who will produce the EWB team’s turbine design.

+ Engineers Without Borders Bring Tech to Villages Without Power at Wired [8]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/engineers-without-borders-bringing-off-grid-energy-to-remote-villages/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/07/engineers-without-borders-bringing-off-grid-energy-to-remote-villages/

[2] Engineers Without Borders: http://www.ewb-usa.org/

[3] small wind turbine: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/11/08/helix-wind-turbine-small-wind-gets-smart/

[4] D2M: http://www.d2m-inc.com/

[5] Appropriate Technology Design Team: http://www.ewb-sfp.org/projects/ATDT/index.html

[6] Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group: http://www.aidg.org/mission.htm

[7] XelaTeco: http://www.xelateco.com/

[8] + Engineers Without Borders Bring Tech to Villages Without Power at Wired: http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2008/03/wind_turbine

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