Luxembourg wind turbine course 2016 – reviewing a great time

Doing business in Luxembourg always sounds kind of special. You would probably expect us doing some fancy banking or tax-avoiding activities… But I’m afraid, not this time!

Project Windmobile, a Wind Empowerment member organization based in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg has celebrated its 10th Birthday in 2016. They pulled off a truly great event, including a conference with guests from all over the world and a DIY wind turbine building course, which has been held by PureSelfMade, together with Luiz Lavado Villa.

Project facts
Wind turbine construction course

Wind turbine: 2F Piggott 2m diameter (PureSelfMade Edition)
Venue: Technical engineering high school (Lycée)
Participants: Around 15
Country: Luembourg
Date: March 2016

Guy Putz, the founder of project Windmobile, had put together a good program to satisfy the guests of the conference as well as the students of the Lycée Technique d’Ettelbruck, where conference and wind turbine course took place. Some of us also gave additional presentations at the University of Luxembourg city. We spoke about the general work of Wind Empowerment, Small wind turbine building courses and their impacts, open source technology in the field of (power)electronics, and a lot more…

I did a lot of filming too at all our activities, so I will definitely drop an awesome video at some point!!

The wind turbine building course

In the course, we were building a 2F Piggott turbine, which is pretty similar to Hugh Piggott’s Recipe Book design but has 2 metres in diameter and uses Ferrite magnets in its axial flux alternator. The students on the course were from the Lycée Technique d’Ettelbruck and between 13 and 16 years old. This is quite young compared to the average age at my courses, but they brought the same ambition to the show! There where 15 students on the course. We were working on the Turbine from Monday to Friday, and we finished right on time to present the machine at the Conference.

Wooden wind turbine blade making

Jonathan introducing the woodworking crew

We were giving the course in a nice, big room at the Lycée, equipped which all the tools we needed. From time to time, the classes came in visiting, so we had about 50 people in the room sometimes.

The Lycée Technique Ettelbruck is very well equipped generally. They have everything, from high quality tools to fancy lab equipment, power sources, oscilloscopes and so on… It was a pleasure for us to work in a good environment with everything you need.

Luiz spent some time in advance developing a first prototype of an open source charge controller. He managed to build a working prototype with people during the course week.

Luiz building his open source charge controller PCB

Luiz building his open source charge controller PCB

The University Presentations

As an additional event, Guy Putz had organized a session of presentations at the University of Luxembourg. Me and my international colleagues were talking about several small-wind related topics. For me, I feel always honored when talking at an university and receiving interest in my experiences by professors and students.

I made it this far. But still, I'm not done yet! ;)

I made it this far. But still, I’m not done yet! 😉

We had the impression that by the end of the week, everyone in the country would know about us. I gave 3 TV interviews during the week, we were always surrounded by cameras and we met politicians from the government of Luxembourg as well as from the European parliament. I never had that much media on a wind turbine course before, but it was quite fun. We felt a bit like famous celebrities!

The week ended with a party at the Lycée Technique with the local school band playing.

We presented the turbine to many interested people

We presented the turbine to many interested people

Students from the school made a video about the course. It’s in Luxembourgish language, that makes it fun to watch!

Side Activities

Besides our “business” activities we also had some fun exploring the city of Luxembourg at a free guided tour, as well as some of the countryside’s interesting spots. There were surprisingly many things to see for a country that small! In the evenings we were invited for dinner by the teachers of the Lycée Technique Ettelbruck who cooked for us. As the evenings went on, we had interesting and inspiring chats about all different topics that show up when a bunch of people from around the world meets up.

Celebrating with a cigar in luxembourg

Something I normally don’t like, but Luiz got me so far.

When I think back, say two years ago, I had it on my mind that I want to combine working and traveling. But now, since I have actually started to give wind turbine building courses all over the place, the Idea has reached a whole new level of professionalism, actually able to inspire others to change there common idea of learning and working. The following pictures show, that for me it is a lot more than just going there, work and go back home. It is a lifestyle of constant discovering, a journey.


Looking back…

For me, this was the second wind turbine course that I gave abroad and together with my friend and colleague Luiz, and it was quite an important one. It brought good new experience and although me and Luiz sometimes disagree on some things (he’s an academic with good theoretical knowledge and I’m the straight forward practical workshop experienced Hugh Piggott influenced guy) we still have lots of fun teaching together!

During this week I gave 200%, but I enjoyed it very much! The next courses are already booked, so let’s go again!

The international participants of the conference were:

– Jon Leary (WE Coordinator UK)
– Rafael Oliva (National University of southern Patagonia, Argentina)
– Jonathan Schreiber (PureSelfMade, Austria)
– Luiz Villa (WE Secretary and reserchen in Toulouse, France)
– Marko Bosman (I Love Winpower, Netherlands)
– Aurélie Guibert (EolEcole, France)
– Lewis White (WindAid, Peru)
– Fadel Kebe (EolSenegal)

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By Jonathan Schreiber, PureSelfMade AUT

Jonathan Schreiber
I started PureSelfMade in 2013 to develop and spread practical knowledge on homebuilt small wind turbines, independent energy systems, off-grid lifestyle and more. In my hands-on workshop courses I teach simple and effective solutions for those subjects and share my enthusiasm with like minded people. Read about my background.

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