Making the most of The Great Outdoors:- Cycling- Backpacking- Walking- Camping- Caravanning & Travelling.
Currently on an Open Ended Full-Time Tour of the UK & Europe in 'Eva the Eriba' my Eriba Touring Troll 540.
Taking it slow because everyday is a holiday...........
Saturday, 5 March 2011
MINI WIND TURBINE
The Postman delivered a small parcel this morning. That's it above - a mini wind turbine.
Now I am not a great supporter of wind turbines - well not the ones that they erect on the top of many decent hills in the Lake District ...Scotland...Wales..Devon....Cornwall...etc...etc...On the one hand they might produce a certain level of power harvested from the wind but on the other hand I feel that they do destroy the beautiful landscape of these areas.
I heard only last week that the Dutch developer ENECO plans to build a wind farm 8 to 10 miles off the coast here at Bournemouth. These will be 900 -1200 megawatt turbines and could power up to 820,000 homes. On the face of it this all sounds good stuff BUT there will be between 150 - 250 of these monsters and they will certainly be a 'blot on the seascape'.
HY MINI WIND TURBINE NOT AS USED BY ENECO
Now, my turbine is a lot smaller than the one's that ENECO use and it certainly will not be a blot on anyone's land or sea scape. I have been using mini solar panels to power various devices when I go backpacking or cycle touring for a couple of years and for the most part they work quite well, but you have to have sunshine and in the good old UK that can be a bit of a rarity sometimes. Now don't misunderstand me I haven't run out of power yet- but I have come close. The gizmo that uses most power when cycle touring is my Garmin bike computer/GPS. When fully charged I get about 15 hours of power which equates to about two days worth of use. Even on 100 mile fully loaded cycletouring days it will last for a couple of days. However if the weather is overcast I have found myself struggling to harvest enough solar power to recharge it fully, hence my new purchase. My plan is to now use both wind & solar power. I first saw these mini turbines last year when a guy I know cycled across Europe. Two of these supplied all the power he required. (He had no solar panels). The turbine is supplied with various connectors for different electronic units and it can also be charged from the mains or from your computer via a USB cable. You then download the power to your device ie Garmin...Phone...MP3 etc.
DO NOT EAT
Using a mini wind turbine on a bike works quite well by all accounts. The main reason for this of course is that you are creating your own 'wind' by the very act of cycling forward. Even on a day when there is no 'actual wind' no worries. You will be creating enough wind force just by the act of cycling along. I think that supplementing my solar harvesting with some wind power harvesting will keep me fully powered.....We will see and I will obviously report my findings to you all on this blog. As usual I had to read all the instructions and that included everything on the box as well. I wasn't surprised to read that the makers don't recommend that you hold the turbine in your hand as you cycle along (see above photo). The manufacturers supply a bike fitting kit with all the other bits and pieces in the box. The guy who rode across Europe last year had his fitted on the front forks of his tourer- one each side just below the brakes. I think that is probably where I will site mine in the end but not until I have played around with trying it on various parts of my touring machine. What I was surprised at was that the manufacturers suggest that you 'DON'T EAT' your wind turbine. What a disappointment - I had already prepared mine ready for lunch with some HP sauce to improve the flavour.