In the end we found all components in Dar Es Salaam area’s Mwenge, Ubungo, Ilala, Tazara, Gerezani and Kariakoo. It is exciting to do shopping in these area’s where normally no ‘mzungos’ (‘white man’) are coming. There are really enough shops to choose from. I now have at least two suppliers of every component. This is crucial when bargaining about price. If you don’t have an alternative shop, you will end up with double price. If you don’t know that you can bargain, than it is even worse; they will just try four or five times normal price 🙂
The proto-type has been build in about three weeks. In cooperation with the Tanzanian partner organization, we took the time to develop some small modifications to the original design. In principle we build a Hugh Piggott turbine. However, with sharp discussions we implemented some modification that we think can make this turbine a real winner in the African context. Without going into technical details, with African context I mean: robustness for a lowest possible costprice.
Unfortunately our workshop in Mbagala is not so windy. Nevertheless, we put up the proto-type there because we can implement and test new ideas easily. Most of the time we experience wind below cut-in speed. Then the turbine is spinning but not producing electricity. When you are lucky and wind speed is above 3 m/s, you can see the batteries getting charged. If you like to see it spinning, you are welcome to have a look. As Tanzanians would say: “Karibu Sana!”. Mbagala lies in the southern part of Dar. The turbine is visible when driving on the main road to Mtwara. Better first call or e-mail so that we can arrange somebody directing you to the place and demonstrating the turbine to you.