Last week we started the master class on small-scale wind turbines in Sumbawanga. Twenty participants join this training. Among them are students and teachers of VETA. Also self employed artisans and business people are attending. They are the local entrepeneurs who see the business opportunity of a new technology. Matching grants would be very welcome for these guys, but they are normally too far away from the ‘donor-network’ of Dar Es Salaam. Their motivation for attending this training is very high.
Already in the first week I noticed that this group was picking up the technology very quickly. The first turbine (3m, 1 kWp) was finished on friday. Because the two sites for installing the turbines are very remote, we decided to install them in one trip. Therefore, the participants started working on the second turbine without seeing the first one installed yet. Nevertheless they continued enthousiastic.
On wednesday in the second week we finished the second turbine. A big lorry was hired to transport the two towers, turbines, electronics, and off course all participants and tools. After double checking every item we headed into the field during sunset. It is very special to drive into pitch dark remote Africa, fully equiped to install wind turbines. After midnight we arrived at the first site, the dispensary of Usevyia. It is difficult to find accomodation for more than 20 people in such a small villages, therefore the dokter offered a lot of hospital beds. I slept that night in the maternity department.
The installation next day went very nice. During the day the wind speed increased. In the afternoon everything was installed and we could see a good amount of Watts being produced. After this succesfull installation we continued our road trip to the small village of Maji Moto where we spend the night. Early morning next day we traveled to the dispensary of Kilida for the next turbine. This installation went even smoother than the first one, because the participants are more experienced. The wind speed in afternoon was less than in Usevyia but enough to get the turbine spinning nicely balanced.
After these two succesfull installations, we had one final day with some remaining theory and a small excursion to a water pumping wind mill close by. All participants received their certificate from the guest of honour, the (acting) District Counciler. Thereafter we moved to the pubs of Sumbawanga to offer some free drinks for the hard work!