About Jonathan

Hello, my name is JonathanJonathan, 2016 on the way to Luxembourg

I started PureSelfMade because I like to be independent and do my own stuff, do something that actually has an impact.

After years of do-it-yourself working and a lot of time spent on interesting projects, I became some kind of an expert for small wind-power and off-grid systems. Now I teach do-it-yourself courses about small wind turbines and renewable energy concepts in general. I also like developing other things like E-mobility solutions, RC-planes and so on – as long as it is fun and innovative. I enjoy empowering people and making them see their own talents in my workshops & presentations. I have my own Blog and I also work  for the Wind Empowerment Association.

I get contacted by groups of students, universities, or just interested people from many countries to build a wind turbine with them in a course or do some other DIY project.  I enjoy this work very much! For me, my job doesn’t feel like working at all, because it’s the thing I love.

My activities are not really bound to a certain place, they follow me around wherever I go. I like travelling to my projects in other countries though, everything is different every time and there are new people to meet and new things to discover.

So how did I come to do this?

I think I never was someone  who would do it the “common” way, I always wanted to find new solutions and develop things. My interest in and understanding of technical stuff was always there, so I built a lot of stuff since I was a young boy. I was building RC model planes for example, or my first wind turbine by the age of 13.

My first home built wind turbine by the age of 13

My first home built wind turbine by the age of 13

Of course, this interest also had an impact on my education. I went to an alternative (free) school, where I could basically follow my interests without restriction, and looking back now, that allowed me to become who I am now.

My first turbine with modified Piggott axial flux alternator. Built by the age of 17.

I first came in touch with self made wind turbines by the age of 13. But building this turbine in the backyard was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because it set me free. Free, to follow my intentions 100%.

Well, I made my priorities pretty clear! And I made the decision to take care of my education and my life myself, since the institutionalised eucational system had already been proven some kind of unsuitable for me. During this first wind turbine project I came in touch with Hugh Piggott and his wind turbine design for the first time.

I went to Scoraig, Scotland, where Hugh Piggott lives, attended one of his courses after I had already built his turbine design on my own. That was also one of the best decisions I ever made and it changed everything. These three weeks in the Scoraig off-grid community made me look at life from a completely different perspective. I came back to Austria with loads of motivation to really “kick ass”! Soon I had enough self confidence to give my first workshop course where I built a Piggott wind turbine with a small group of 3 guys, just to see whether teaching the stuff I liked could be a “job” that I would like. That was in 2013.

The Crew at my first wind turbine workshop course in 2013

The Crew at my first wind turbine workshop course in 2013

It turned out that this really seemed to be the way to go, people liked the way I handled the course. Also, hosting workshops would certainly not be a classic 9-5 job, which was something I tried to avoid at all cost. So from that moment onwards, my plan was more or less set. I created this website and put a lot of effort into my self-education in order to improve my skills in small wind power and off-grid system related stuff.

Scoraig experiences

Scoraig is a small, remote peninsula in the northwest of Scotland with about 80 inhabitants. The people there all live “off-grid”, that means there is no mains electricity around. All the electricity they use comes from locally built small wind turbines, which are mostly built according to Hugh Piggott’s wind turbine design. He developed this very reliable and easy-to-build design himself on Scoraig over the last 30 years, motivated by the necessity of producing his own electricity. It is an open source design and is now used  by many people all over the world. See Hugh’s website for his own books.

View from Hugh Piggott's terrace in Scoraig, Scotland

View from Hugh Piggott’s terrace in Scoraig, Scotland

The Scoraig Pier

The Scoraig Pier

I travelled to Scoraig many times and spent a lot of time with Hugh Piggott, working on some quite ambitious DIY projects. We built one of the biggest Piggott design turbines ever (about 6 m diameter) which now powers Hugh’s house. We also did a lot of maintenance all over Scoraig and worked on many different kinds of small wind turbines.

Later on I helped Hugh Piggott at one of his own turbine workshops. I consider these visits to Scoraig to be the most effective educational experiences I’ve ever made. I learned more than every engineering school could have taught me, I learned it all by simply doing it, with Hugh’s help, who is an internationally known expert in the stuff he does, an expert because he loves what he does. I still go there to visit from time to time, and still there is always new stuff to discover.

 

Wind Empowerment

When I decided to get serious with my business, I wanted to meet other people working in the field of small wind power. So I went to the Wind Empowerment Conference in Athens 2014. The Wind Empowerment Association is a worldwide network of organizations, which work with Hugh Piggott’s small wind turbine design to provide electricity in remote areas, educate people and further improve the design.
Since Hugh Piggott himself already was a good friend of mine, it was easy to find my way into the association. Now I am on the executive board of Wind Empowerment. I look after the WE website and write blog articles.
There are surprisingly few people in Wind Empowerment who have actually met Hugh Piggott in real life, so when I showed up at the conference, everyone was asking me questions about him.

Athina 1

In Athens at the Global Wind Empowerment Conference 2014

Future

Looking back at the last few years, I’m pretty sure that my life will not get boring in the future! I’am motivated to try new things and face new challenges. I have plans for developing products, maybe starting some other kind of  business, and so on… Just keeping life interesting!
For now, I’m mostly working on PureSelfMade, giving more workshops and developing new interesting projects. I will write more articles about current activities here.

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If you have read all this – Wow! I hope you enjoyed it and have fun on my website!