Author Topic: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24  (Read 4551 times)

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(unknown)

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Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« on: February 25, 2008, 07:54:37 PM »
We got to visit a place that few people ever see -- Set Net, Nicaragua, on the Caribbean coast north of Pearl Lagoon. No cars, no stores, no restaurants, no motels. A self-sufficient subsistance fishing town. Their Blue Energy wind turbine had a breakdown, so we went up to fetch it back to the Inatech shop in Bluefields. 100 miles each way in a panga!




Some houses on the Bluefields waterfront, which also shows why you don't drink the water down here.




The panga ride was smooth until we hit the open ocean....then it became very pounding and hard on the butt. Some rum on the way helped that, though.




Unloading the panga at Set Net.




Part of the town of Set Net, population 100 + pet dogs, pet monkeys, and pet turtles.




The Blue Energy Set Net turbine, by the schoolhouse and church.




No fancy tractors, winches, or 4WD trucks to raise and lower turbines here.....just a bunch of folks and a block and tackle.




Rich, Sebastian, Rolando and DanB remove the blades. It's a 12 foot machine from Hugh Piggott's design.




The folks at Blue Energy have some serious climate issues to deal with here for their wind turbines. They get more rust in 10 months (above) than we get in Colorado in 10 years!




After a snack of red beans and rice with fried turtle at a local resident's house, it was off to an island in the Pearl Cays for the night. They sent us dinner --- coco bread and lobster. mmmmm! Plus a jug of the local moonshine, "cucusa," made from sugar cane, corn, and pineapple, then distilled till it burns your throat. Great stuff! Then snorkeling on an unnamed island in the AM to get rid of the hangover.




On the way back south, we stopped at the town of Pearl Lagoon to see what was up with their turbine at the PLACE school. A rectifier enclosure full of water certainly didn't help things (they get LOTS of rain here), but the bearing was worn out for sure.




The PLACE turbine.




Private vehicles are very rare on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, because they cost so much to get here (no road be Managua and Bluefields!) and because folks are so impoverished. So it's mostly cabs and carrying things by hand. Here we hand carry the PLACE turbine through a backyard baseball game to the panga.




Back to Bluefields at last.....here in this photo Denver and Octavio disassemble a toasted turbine at the Inatech shop.


The goal of our conference down here (and the reason the awesome folks at Blue Energy brought us down here to Nica) is for a week-long brainstorming session with the Blue Energy staff and volunteers and Inatech students on how to best deal with the massive difficulties they have to overcome to keep the wind turbines built by Inatech students operating--climate, logistics, education, maintenance, availability of tools, and so on. Things get difficult and costly very fast since there's no road from here to Managua. Your only options are a 9-hour drive plus a long and costly boat ride down the river, or to fly it all in.


Cheers everyone.....more news in a few days as the conference gets rolling.


DANF

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« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 07:54:37 PM by (unknown) »

JW

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Re: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 02:09:08 PM »
Sweet write up DanF!


Very Inspiring, on the picture with the rusted all-thread, is that salt buildup? Cool stuff, keep it comming.


JW

« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 02:09:08 PM by JW »

zeusmorg

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Re: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 03:19:01 PM »
.... Notices the cell phone tower in the background, now that looks like a good candidate for a wind turbine..
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 03:19:01 PM by zeusmorg »

richhagen

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Re: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2008, 05:02:18 PM »
I noticed that the Turbine BTHumble installed in Fiji had corroded badly within one year of installation as well.  Most of the steel surfaces on the mill appear to have been lightly galvanized, but similar to your observations there, the corrosion seemed extreme for only one year of exposure.  









My current thinking is that stainless steel hardware is justified in these marine environments with salt spray from the ocean.  Your photos just strengthen that opinion.  


If the cost is out of the realm of possibility there, then painting over the galvanizing with some coating soft enough to break when unthreading for maintenance maybe?  I've heard of Ham operators using 'plasti-dip' on some mechanical and electrical connections, but maybe some inexpensive locally available paint would be effective.  Rainproof enclosures with weep holes for rectifiers and any circuit boards.  Also conformal coatings (available as spray or dip) for all electrical circuits would probably be cost effective for the added moisture resistance.  Just some ideas, Rich

« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 05:02:18 PM by richhagen »
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ibeweagle

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Re: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2008, 07:53:52 PM »
just a thought use a electronic circuit like commandas freqency switch to switch in resistance in line when there is to much wind and the fural system fails will be doing this to mine as I blew up stator in my 12 footer because it over speed but the blades will take it 70mph wind free weeling scary but great test of the blades keep up the good work cheers Mike johnson (ibeweagle)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 07:53:52 PM by ibeweagle »

Flux

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Re: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2008, 07:53:46 AM »
Corrosion in these environments is a big problem, many of you have no idea how well off you are in dry inland climates.


Unfortunately those most able to obtain and afford stainless and low corrosion alloys are the least likely to need them.


Even galvanising facilities are not likely to be available to them. Cold galvanising sprays only hold the problem off for a few months, it needs good hot dip galvanising to have much effect.


Flux

« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 07:53:46 AM by Flux »

asheets

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Re: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2008, 09:48:11 AM »
Maybe since you have to have grounding, lightning protection, and guy wires anyway, perhaps some sort of sacrificial anode is in order?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 09:48:11 AM by asheets »

bob golding

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Re: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 04:43:48 PM »
hi all, nice pics. i also have  severe corrosion problems down here 1/2 mile from the ocean. i painted my turbine chassis with something called hammerite primer. not sure if it is available outside the UK. their must be something similar. the people who maintain bridges and stuff should have something. i assume there are bridges somewhere in Nicaragua? as regards the threaded rod mine is well rusted but seems to be holding up OK so far after 2 years. i noticed how fast tools go rusty down here after living inland for years. not sure about the sacrificial anode idea, might try bolting a lump of zinc to a piece of threaded rod. probably corrode and fall off and hit me on the head ;-))


cheers

bob golding

« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 04:43:48 PM by bob golding »
if i cant fix it i can fix it so it cant be fixed.

blueEnergy group

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Re: Otherpower mas noticios de Nicaragua Feb 23-24
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2008, 07:08:38 PM »
We are planning to talk to the petroleum companies to see what kind of paint they use to paint their storage tanks on the coast.  


Cheers,

Mathias

« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 07:08:38 PM by blueEnergy group »