About Jonathan

Hi, I’m Jonathan SchreiberJonathan, 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 something like an expert for small wind and off-grid systems. Now I teach do-it-yourself courses about small wind turbines and renewable energy 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 make them see their own talents in my workshops & presentations. I have my own Blog and I work a little bit for the Wind Empowerment Association.

I get contacted by groups of students, universities, or just interested people from all different 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, it doesn’t feel like working, because it’s the stuff I love. It’s something I started myself which now gets some respect and appreciation. This is nothing I should take for granted, I had to explain myself a lot and also deal with some people’s lack of understanding.

My activities are not really bound to a place, they follows me around wherever I go. It’s a bit of what you might call a “Digital Nomad” nowadays, although I don’t like that label on my work very much…
I like traveling to my projects in other countries, it is all different every time and there are new people to meet and new things to discover.

So how did I come to this?

In the end, by following my intention!

I think I never was the one who would do it the “common” way, no, I wanted to find new solutions and develop things. My interest 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 also has an impact on one’s education. I went to an alternative (free) school, where I could basically follow my interests without restriction, and looking back now that was totally worth it! Later on I tried electrical engineering school but honestly, it was not even half as good as I had expected. I got really bored by all the theory and the other school mates who where lacking of motivation to do anything other than being jerks… That was not the best experience one could make in the regular education system, so I left engineering school after one term.

I did an audio engineering diploma after that, because I’m a guitar player. But still I was not totally satisfied with my way at that point. I wanted to do something I really enjoy, and at this time, it was building a DIY wind turbine. So I did.

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

Nothing totally new, because I first came in touch with self made wind turbines by the age of 13. Building a turbine in the backyard was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because it set e free. Free, to follow my intention 100%.

People where asking me why I don’t go to highschool, I answered: “because I’m building a wind turbine, and there would not be time for school while doing that!”.

Well, I made my priorities pretty clear! I made the decision to look after my education and my life myself. The classic way has already proven wrong for me. During this turbine project I first came in touch with Hugh Piggott and his wind turbine design.

I went to Scoraig, Scotland where Hugh Piggott lives, to one of his courses after I built his turbine design on my own. That was one the best decision ever for me and changed everything. 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”! The moment came, when I realized that I will need to get some income and I had enough self confidence by that time that I decided to give my first workshop course where I built a Piggott wind turbine with a small group of 3 guys. Just to see if teaching the stuff I like would 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 seems to be the way to go, people liked the way I presented at the course. Also, that would not be a classic 9-5 job, which I tried to avoid at any cost, and I always managed so far! 😉  So from that moment on, a plan was more or less set. I created this website and put a lot of effort into my self-made education to improve my skills in small wind power and off grid system related things the most I can.

Scoraig experiences

Scoraig is a small, remote peninsula in the northwest of Scotland with about 80 inhabitants. The people there live all “Off-Grid”, that means there is no electricity mains grid around. All the electricity they use comes from locally built small wind turbines, which are mostly built from Hugh Piggott’s wind turbine design. He developed this very reliable and easy-to-build design himself on Scoraig over the last 30 years, from the need of producing his own electricity. It is open source and used now by thousands of 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 turbine ever (about 6 m diameter) that powers Hugh’s house now. We did a lot of maintenance all over Scoraig and worked on all different kinds of small wind turbines.

Later on I even helped out Hugh Piggott at one of his own courses. I would consider this 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 straight from the field, from Hugh himself who is an internationally well known expert in the stuff he does because he loves it.  Still I go there to visit from time to time, and still there is new stuff to discover.

 

Wind Empowerment

When I decided to do a serious thing with my business, I wanted to meet others working in the field of small wind. So I went to the Wind Empowerment Conference in Athens 2014. The Wind Empowerment Association is a worldwide network of organizations who 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 work in the executive board of Wind Empowerment. I look after 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

Through this, I could meet many people from all around planet earth who are into the same stuff, it has multiplied my reach out to the world. Wind Empowerment is doing a lot of nice projects and it offers a great base of knowledge for everyone interested in small wind.

Future

Looking back at changes of the last few years, I’m pretty sure that it will not get boring in the future! I’m always motivated to try new things and find new challenges. I have plans of developing products, making some other Start-Up business, and so on… Just keeping life interesting!
For now, I’m mostly working on PureSelfMade, giving more workshop and develop new interesting projects. I will write more articles about current activities here.

😀

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