Last week we installed a wind turbine in the Serengeti district. It was quite challenging because there is no electricity in the vilage where we put the turbine. The closest available electricity is at about two hours driving on a rough road. We are very thankfull to Redcot who was doing the installation together with us in this remote area.
We installed a Hugh Piggott 3.0 meter diameter which is rated at 1 kW. However, one should not expect to get this 1 kW continuously. On the contrary, this power rating is only valid for very high wind which is seldom experienced. Nevertheless, wind turbine manufacturers have a tradition of specifying their turbines in this way. That’s why we don’t have any other option than to confirm to this tradition and rate our Piggott turbine at 1 kW.
To manage expectations it is good to explain what this number (1 kW) actually means to the people of the village. Of course power yield is depending on the wind. Let’s assume low wind, then village people can at least run a couple of saving lamps during the evening hours. I experienced that this makes them allready very happy. Also charging a couple of mobile phones simultaneously is possible in this low wind. That’s also a big advantage for them, because they do receive the signal from one Tanzanian telecom provider (Vodacom). In medium wind, it is possible to add radio and television for a couple of hours per day. With an even higher amount of wind, one can start to think of a fan, a small refrigerator, laptop (although not seen in this village) and small power tools like drill or jigsaw. Therefore it is very exciting to monitor the amount of wind at this specific site during the next couple of months.
When the wind started to blow on the last day of installation (and after we repaired a broken diode :-), the high speed of the blades impressed a lot of neighbours. To celebrate the successfull installation, a sheep was slaughtered! I don’t think I will ever get used to witnessing that, but for the people in the village it appeared very normal and appropriate to do for the party.