ELQEH - Eco-Logic Queer Energy Harvesting/ eco loxicas cuir xeradoras de enerxía eólica

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                                                         Pedagogies of the Wind and Stars. The social relations that we (were never meant to)      survive, also live in our bodies painfully, and Audre Lorde is not here to remind us of this lesson herself, except  in  as  much  that  she  is  present  in  the pedagogical wind. But wind is our teacher (74).                                                                             -Alexis Pauline Gumbs from the book Mapping Queer Space(s) of Praxis and Pedagogy  

Editors: Elizabeth McNeil, James E. Wermers, Joshua O. Lunn

We have the pleasure to communicate you that from 16 to 29 of October Pin Biotranslab, Casa do Río e The Foundry establishes a collaboration to run the event Eco (i) Logic Queer Energy harvesting. The project is possible thanks to the support of GOSH, an network for develop and disseminate projects based on Open Source hardware for Science.

Eco (i) Logic Queer Energy harvesting The event aims at addressing the lack of women, queer, trans and diversity in technological fields in general and hacking more specifically. But even more so, it aims at creating a community that critically assesses the hegemonic narratives around technologies, the modernity aspects of its underlining Western assumptions and its inherent capitalist inflections, among others. The main purpose of the event is to develop kits that focus on interacting with the natural environment on the field of energy.. the main objective lies on harvesting energy of the natural environment, through wind turbines. These power kits will be scalable and can be used both as pedagogical material and to set up site-specific power plants in different sites as well. There is a counter-infrastructural component to this work: one possible consequence would be to empower people to generate their own energy instead of relying on large and often extractive companies.

Introduction and values of the process

Here starts the documentation of the long process of the prototyping the Hugh Piggott The Piggott Turbine – Wind Empowerment model of an Open source wind turbine. We were changing a bit the goals of the event from developing small kits to going to build the real 2m size wind turbine to provide energy to the rural regional areas we were working on. In that specific event we were working at The Foundry a nice project and association that we have settled on the north part of GaliZA into the Northwest of Spain.

During the event many things have been activated between the doers and the visitors; In general It was a wondering experience full of new things to study, learn, doing and understand together.

We chose this model because It was full of layers of interest on the levels of learning, understanding and making it, here some levels mixed up with layers:

first to all is one of the ones that is open source or at least has the option to access the full documentation.

really rich on the pedagogical level, we were really learning through the complete building of the generator itself, about many topics as :

  • electromagnetism
  • mathematics
  • geometry
  • electronics
  • AC-DC
  • welding
  • wood carving
  • sculpting and casting pieces

and much more that was reaching through the nice process of reading, learning and building together.


  • AC-Alternating current as produced by the alternator. All thread - USA word for 'threaded' or 'spun' rod or studding
  • Brake switch - A switch used to short-circuit the wires from the alternator so that it stops.
  • Catalyst - A chemical used to make the polyester resin set solid. Catalyst reacts with 'accelerator' already present in the resin mix.

The heat of reaction sets the polyester.

  • Cavalier - A make of car. The cavalier in the UK is not the same as the Cavalier in the USA but both have useful wheel hubs.
  • DC - direct current with a positive and a negative side, as in battery circuits.
  • Diameter - The distance from one side of a circle to another. The width of a disk right across the middle.
  • Phase - The timing of the cyclical alternation of voltage in a circuit. Different phases will peak at different times.
  • Polyester - A type of resin used in fibreglass work. Also suitable for making castings.
  • Power - the rate of delivery of energy
  • Rectifier - A semiconductor device that turns AC into DC for charging the battery.
  • Root - The widest part of the blade near to the hub at the center of the rotor.
  • Rotor - A rotating part. Magnet rotors are the steel diskscarrying the magnets past the stator. Rotor blades are the 'propeller'

driven by the wind and driving the magnet rotors.

  • Soldering - A method for making electrical connections between wires using a hot 'iron' and coating everything with molten solder.
  • Drag - A force exerted by the wind on an object. Drag is parallel to the wind direction at the object. (see Lift)
  • Stator - An assembly of coils embedded in a slab of resin to form part of the alternator. The magnets induce a voltage in the coils and we can use this to charge a battery.
  • Drop - Used here to describe a certain measurement of the shape of a windmill blade. The 'drop' affects the angle of

the blade to the wind. Styrene monomer - A nasty smelling solvent in the polyester resin mix.

  • Flux - The 'stuff' of magnetism. Similar to 'current' in electricity. It can be visualized as 'lines' coming out of one pole and

returning to the other.

  • Furling - A protective action that reduces exposure to violent winds by facing the blades away from them.
  • Jig - A device used to hold the magnets in place before setting them in resin.
  • Leading edge - The edge of a blade that would strike an object placed in its path as the rotor spins.
  • Lift - A force exerted by the wind on an object. Lift is at right angles to the wind direction at the object. (see Drag)
  • Mold - A shaped container in which resin castings are formed. The mould can be discarded after the casting has set.
  • Multimeter - A versatile electrical test instrument, used to measure voltage, current and other parameters.
  • Neodymium - The name given to a type of permanent magnet containing neodymium, iron and boron. These magnets are very strong and

getting cheaper all the time.

  • Offset - An eccentric position, off centre.
  • Talcum powder- A cheap filler powder used to thicken the resin and slow its reaction (prevent it overheating).
  • Tail - A projecting vane mounted on a boom at the back ofthe windmill used to steer it into or out of the wind automatically.
  • Tap - a tool for making thread inside holes so you can fit a screw into the hole.
  • Thrust - The force of the wind pushing the machine backwards.
  • Tower - The mast supporting the windmill.
  • Trailing edge - The blade edge furthest from the leading edge. The trailing edge is sharpened, so as to release the passing

air without turbulence.

  • Wedges - Tapered pieces of wood used to build up the blade thickness and increase its angle to the wind near the root.
  • Work-piece - The piece of wood or metal being shaped in the workshop.
  • Yaw bearing - the swivel at the top of the tower on which the windmill is mounted. The yaw bearing allows the windmill to face the wind.


List of materials required for the propeller, refer to the chapters for details 
   . Scraps of plywood
   . Plank section minimum 95mm x 35mm, length 1m80. (red cedar or douglas or larch or spruce cedro rojo, CIPRES o abeto )
   . Plywood 9mm
   . Some screws of diameter 5mm, length 30mm.
List of materials required for  the generator, refer to the chapters for details 
   . Metal disc of thickness 8mm and diameter 140mm.
   . Rear wheel hub of golf, corsa, polo or Ibiza.
   . 25cm of threaded rods with diameter 12mm.
   . Pack of nuts of 12mm.
   . 30cm threaded rods of diameter 10mm, 4 nuts of 10mm.
   . Scraps of metal tube and angle.
   . 4 nails of diameter 6mm.
   . 1.5kg of enameled copper wire, diameter 1.4mm.
   . Electrical scotch.
   . Heat-shrink tubes
   . Plywood 9mm et 16mm.
   . Glass fiber cloth (approximately 300g/m²)
   . Polyester resin, associated catalyst
   . Talc.
   . Mold release wax
   . 24 neodymium magnets.
   . Steel disc of diameter 300mm, thickness 6mm.
   . Bolts 12mm.

List of materials required for the steel structure , refer to the chapters for details

   . Angle of 206mm (50x50x6mm).
   . Tube of outer diameter 42.2mm, length 100mm.
   . Tube of outer diameter 33.4mm, length 150mm.
   . Tube of outer diameter 42.2mm, length 130mm.
   . Iron plate 50 x 50 x 6mm.
   . Tube of outer diameter 33.4mm, length 700mm.
   . Angle 30 x 30 x 5, length 250mm.
   . 60 cm of threaded rods with diameter 12mm.

The space

The Foundry

The Foundry is a non-profit organization based in a previously abandoned GaliZA village. It functions both as a residency and as a project space. It subscribes to the ideals of self-organization, and has the following three objectives:

   1. Organizing activities in the field of the arts, science and humanities outside of traditional institutions, focusing on critical discourse.
   2. Promoting the exchange of ideas and intellectual collaboration outside of the constraints imposed by state and market.
   3. Increasing self-sufficiency, sustainability, and an awareness of the environment using appropriate technology and open source as main resources.

Taking into account this context, our aim is to reinforce the capacity to generate networks flowing from rural to urban context supporting non hierarchy and democratic exchanges of knowledge and practices that can enable new and sustainable models within rural contexts. According to that we consider that the new trans-disciplinary creative sectors in which we are entangled can have a huge and positive impact in the creation of this new paradigm. https://bravosfoundry.com/ Aside from that, there is thematic focus on transdisciplinarity, transfeminism and post-humanism. While this focus is not adequately grasped by identity-political categories like race or gender, we hope it leads to the subversion of hegemonic structures inscribed in the binarisms upholding many of these categories. Our interest lies in the development of tools and technologies that subvert contemporary structures of domination, exploitation and marginalization, not in those that reproduce it. We seek to develop a more sustainable environment by opening up our practices based on a free culture framework, generating networks and interest around them, enabling a flow of exchange of innovation across creative sectors focusing on revaluation of rural contexts and its knowledge heritage.

Process documented by steps

Because of the complexity involved on the realization of the full assembly of the wind turbine we were thinking to divide the documentation in 4 different sections.

Section 0, involves all the task related with Administrative topics and Production

getting the metal parts ready

==== space setting up, getting the labs ready ==== 




Section 1, involves the construction of the devices that will help on the creation of the power generator.

  1.1 wiring coil device 
  1.2 mold to cast the rotor and the Stator of the motor

Section 2, involves the construction of the alternator parts using the devices from the section 1.

Alternator Each magnet rotor is a steel disk with 12 magnets placed on it and set in resin. The magnets are each 50 x 50 x 20 mm, and they only just fit on the disk. The idea is to achieve the maximum amount of flux in a given space. The turbine runs at 650 rpm for 400W output, so the centrifugal force on the magnets is 60 times the force of gravity. To prevent them flying off, the resin casting needs to be reinforced. Stainless steel wire rope is placed around the outside of the magnets to hold the casting together at high rpm. We use stainless because it is non-magnetic, or at least less magnetic than normal steel wire rope.

You will wind the coils that produce the output power and cast them in resin to form a stator between the two magnet rotors. Photos of the final pieces here

  2.1 coil making (the Stator) using the wiring coil device from section 1. Making of 9 coils. 

them prepare the Generator, stator learn about 3 phase "Star" mounting

  2.2 stator casting using the molds from section 1 

Section 3, involves the creation of the rotor part of the generator:

   Step  - Generator, rotor: Preparation of the metallic disk. was made by machine at the shop 


   Step  - Generator, rotor: Preparation of the wheel hub.


The wheel hub

You can find a used car rear wheel hub (Golf, Toyota, etc.) that has a simple way to attach the axle, or alternatively buy a trailer hubs online new at low cost. PCD or ‘pitch circle diameter' is the diameter of the circle of the hole pattern in the hub, and usually this will be 100mm for a car wheel hub, or 4 inches for a trailer hub. Car hubs may have a brake-drum that you do not need. This can be removed using a cutting disk on a grinder. The simplest approach is to make four straight cuts around the four holes in the front, leaving a square surface to which you mount the magnet rotors. These photos show a golf rear wheel hub – first the brake-drum being cut, and then the finished hub after cutting off the drum.A typical rear wheel car hub with a flange on the back end of the stub shaft that can reused to mount it. Trailer hubs on the other hand are rather basic quality, and the bearings may be too cheap for long term use, but they are readily available items that can be purchased online as new. The drawings below (from autow.com) show a typical hub and stub axle which are bought separately. You need to be ready to replace the bearings with a named brand (such as SKF). It’s easy to replace the inner cones and rollers but the outer shells need to be knocked gently out of the hub with a suitable drift. Keep them straight by tapping evenly on opposite sides, and take care not to scratch the seating.

  Step  - Generator, rotor: Preparation of the template. 

   Step  - Generator, rotor: Gluing of magnets
   Step  - Generator, rotor: Preparation of the mold.

   Step  - Generator, rotor: PreStep

Section 4, involves the craving of the blades and the welding of the base for the turbine generator.

  4.1 Making the blades 

The drawknife is useful for thicker chunks of wood, and for cutting down into a hollow. It can make a nice smooth job of the root of the blade, whereas the plane will work better where you need a very straight finish.

Marking the stations.

Place the blade with its best edge toward you on its upper surface. This will actually become the back or ‘downwind’ side of the finished blade. (Most of the front or windward side is to be cut off, so defects on this underneath side are not important.)

The root of the blade will be on your right, the tip at the left, 1000 mm from the root (near the left end).

Measure from the root, and mark four stations. Station A at 75mm Station B at 150 mm Station C at 500 mm The Tip at 1000 mm.

At each station draw a line right around the workpiece using a square.


Tapering the blade The width of the blade tapers down from full size at station C to 55 mm wide at the tip. Mark the 55 mm tip width, measuring from the leading edge side. Draw a line though your mark to the trailing edge side at C station and cut off a triangular piece so as to achieve the correct tapered shape for the blade. Any knots in the triangular off cut do not matter as this piece is discarded. Try to make this a "square" cut, perpendicular to the back surface of the blade. You can do this with a circular saw, or by cross-cutting and shaving as described above.


Marking the leading and trailing edges The next step is to cut the windward face of the blade. This face is defined by the leading and trailing edge lines of the blade. These lines need to be marked with reference to the back face of the wood which has been uppermost in the previous operation.

Turn the wood over. Start by drawing two diagonal lines between stations A and B on the front or windward side (see below). One is on the front face and the other on the trailing edge which is now toward you.


Now draw the leading edge line as shown below, from station B, down to 16mm(from the back) at station C, then continuing to the tip at

7mm from the back.


(This drawing does not show the extra bit beyond the tip which may remain in your actual workpiece.)

Measurements are summarised in this table below. Heights are from the back of the blade which will then rest on the bench. Remove the wood above this height. "Full" refers to the full thickness of the original piece of wood you are using.


The trailing The trailing edge line starts at the bottom of the diagonal line at station B, and rises to 5mm at C, continuing at 5 mm to the tip. This view below shows the wood already removed between the two lines to form the windward face of the blade.


Carve this flat windward face between the 2 lines. Take care that the edges are straight, following the lines. The best tool to use for finishing the outer part of the blade is a plane, to give a smooth, straight finish. You may need to work the plane at 45 degrees to the workpiece, sliding partly sideways, to form the hollow shape at station C.

This step is completed when you can place a ruler across the face between the leading and trailing edge lines and there is no ‘hump’ in the middle. Fill any chips or small hollows with wood filler. If there are any serious errors, or large knots that weaken the blade then it may have to be discarded. Check the “drop” using a level as a reference. Clamp the wood so that the root part sits level, and measure the difference in level between the leading and trailing edges. The difference or “drop” should be 11 mm at the 500 mm mid-point, and 2 mm at the tip.

   Step 1 - Propeller: The pattern
   Step 2 - Propeller: drawing and cutting of the blades.
   Step 3 - Propeller: Sculpture of the lower surface of the blades
   Step 4 - Propeller: Sculpture of the lower surface of the blades
   Step 5 - Propeller: Blade profile finalization
   Step 6 - Propeller: Construction of assembly supports
   Step 7 - Propeller: Assembly

   4.2 Welding the base to support.

  Step  - Structure, Nacelle
  Step  - Structure, Rudder
  Step  - Assembly, Generator
  Step  - The final assembly and the production test.
  Step  - Balancing of the blades.
  Step  - Lubrication of the wind turbine

Participants :

Irene, Vero, Yann Keller, Eume, Keila, Philip, Denis, Oly, Pin,

October 2022

links videos