Life at the end of the road

May 5, 2008

Another ‘Proven’ for Rona

Filed under: daily doings, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 pm

After having a house full of friends round last night to help us eat our diminishing stock of Jack ( wee Jack the Gloucester Old Sot pig ). We had all tucked into his last shoulder that mrs C had pot roasted and thoroughly enjoyed it ( along with the customary bottles of red wine ). We do allot of pot roasts as our ovens  are electric and we tend only to use them in anger if it’s windy or about to be windy so last night it was just the vegetables and spuds that got done in the oven and  crackling was made by cutting the skin off the joint and putting it under the grill, OK it’s not a patch on Stonehead’s of   http://stonehead.wordpress.com/ but it does the job. So I was quite surprised that both myself and Hugh of   Hugh Piggott – Scoraig Wind Electric had surfaced at 5:30. We’d said 6:30 but the pair of us were keen to catch up on computer stuff after last nights ‘meal’, me with a few lines on the blog and Hugh with his emails. The fact that the day was a pure topper and we were both keen to get up to   http://www.isleofrona.com/ to install their 2nd ‘Proven 2.5kw’ wind turbine also helped. Bill Cowie the manager of Rona had been so impressed with our turbine that he’d got Hugh to fit one at ‘Big harbour’ on Rona just over a year ago and he’s been so impressed with it’s performance that Hugh is installing another one at ‘Dry harbour’ on the west side of Rona. Whilst all the cheaper ones were shedding blades or lowered to the ground in case they might shed blades both mine and Bills continued to produce their full outputs for days on end in storm force winds. With my ‘Blogging’ done I went to feed the pigs and look for Hugh who had gone to the end of our drive to get a signal for his laptop.

The sight that greeted me was pure ‘Monty Python’ there amongst the heather with his laptop sat on a boulder and the ‘Old man of Storr’ in the background was Hugh Piggot surrounded by 5 ginger pigs lit up by the early morning sun, me I just wasn’t quick enough with the camera but Hugh has some of them trying to eat his laptop!

First time in almost 6 years

With all our internet stuff done we set off for a ‘Rona breakfast’. It’s over 6 years since I last visited Rona (since I started on the ferry in fact) but there was a time when I would visit every fortnight at least to dive at the fish farm there. The fish farm has long gone but the memory of the HUGE breakfasts we got hasn’t OK today Bill and Lorraine weren’t providing the ‘full monty’ (and after last night I didn’t want it) but we were both looking forward to a couple of bacon rolls and some fresh coffee.

The 5 mile trip was magnificent ( hence the silly grin ) and we were able to take advantage of the high tide to go through the ‘Fladda narrows’ over the tidal causway thus shortening our journey by a few minuets and getting us to ‘Rona lodge’ well before 9:00am.

After breakfast Bill took us the 1 1/2 miles to ‘Dry harbour’ on his much worked Honda quad and the day just kept getting better.

The turbine and mast had been dropped in position by helicopter a few weeks ago which made life easier. It’s not impossible for 4 guys to carry and with 6 it’s quite easy but the logistics of getting 5 strong men to Rona and getting them to carry a 200k mast and 250k turbine up a combination of bog, heather and rock are tricky to say the least!. The helicopter also laid the 270m of cable which whist making life much easier meant that Bill had to remove some of it out of the birch trees! Anyway as all 3 of us had done the job before and the day was perfect it all went like clockwork.

The first job being to put the turbine head on the mast and then assemble the blades. With this done, the slip rings, wires, brake rope and covers fitted the  fitted the mast is winched upright with a ‘Tirfor’ winch.

just click on images to enlarge

With the mast upright it’s then firmly bolted down at which point I set off back to Raasay leaving Hugh and Bill hard at it. I was wanting to take the Dude and his pal out in the boat and go and lift the creels.

Adjusting the field and the first lobster

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:45 am

Well it was pretty miserable yesterday with a good southerly breeze and pishing rain but that didn’t stop us hardy fishermen from going out to lift the creels. We’d gone out early as Hugh Piggot was coming on the first ferry to do some adjustments to the ‘Harris Turbine’ and wire up the solar charge controller for my mate. Imagine our glee when we found this beauty in the first creel.

The joy was somewhat tempered when I turned her over and found she was full of ‘berries’ so had to be put back but at least it means that there’ll be more next year.

However we did get 2 huge crabs before we returned .

Tweaking the turbine

Hugh arrived off the first ferry and after a spot of breakfast he and I went to my mates to do some work on his hydro turbine. Hugh did all the technical stuff like wiring the charge controller and dump loads whilst I was relegated to burying the armoured cable and cutting out holes for the ammeter’s. Once that was done we switched on the turbine and he ‘adjusted the field’ to get the optimum output from the turbine.

And now we’re off on a sunny bank holiday to install a wind turbine on Rona!

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