Life at the end of the road

July 24, 2011

Proven down, Proven up :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:25 pm

Well the three weeks holiday is drawing to a close, the roof still isn’t painted, my Land Rover has still not got a guard in front of its oil cooler and the guttering at the rear of the house is still not repaired 😦 On the up side I did get an awful lot done on the mark III hydro scheme and I’ve caught my fair share of lobsters, the weather has been good and I’m still in one piece 🙂 We have also made lots of children very happy whilst they assisted with our labours on the croft, so all in all it’s been a great holiday, I just need to get back to work for a rest 🙂

The day got off to a bit of a shaky start, for whilst feeding the pigs I heard an ominous knocking noise from my Proven 2.5Kw wind turbine .


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So after feeding the herd, admiring yet another of Jamie Lee’s nests


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and watching Cheeky the tup square up to Molly, I went to check it out.

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First job being to stop it by putting on the brake, one of the features that sets the Proven apart from cheaper turbines is its easy to use disc brake. This is actuated by simply tying that cord around a lever then pulling the lever downwards.

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Once the turbine ground to a halt the broken furling spring was clearly visible, the turbine has nine of these, three on each blade and the allow the blades to ‘cone’ inwards during high winds to regulate it. The beauty of this simple design is that the turbine will continue to produce its full output even during storm force winds that would have an ‘upwind’ turbine braked or turned out of the wind. It does have more moving and therefore serviceable parts than a conventional design but this is only the second spring that’s failed in six years so I’m not complaining, Proven recommend they are changed at around four or five years anyway.

Common sense dictates that they are all changed at the same time but for now I’ll settle for a second hand one that I had as spare.

Lowering a Proven wind turbine

After returning home for breakfast I collected the rest of the team, loaded up ‘Tirfor’ and tools and set about it.



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First job is to set up the ‘gin pole’ and the ‘Tirfor’

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then get ‘Action man’ to drag the wire from the ‘Tirfor’ to the pole 🙂

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Once the ‘Tirfor’ wire is hooked to the ‘gin pole’ I took up most of the slack then undid the four M20 bolts that secure it to the hinged base.

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With, of course a little help from Rocky 🙂

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Once the bolts are out, the little slack that I’d left in the wire allowed me to gently ease the turbine and mast up off its base.

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Then it’s just a matter of winching it slowly down onto a convenient rest so the turbine is at a good height to work at.

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The broken spring was soon replaced

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but you can see from the picture that it is shorter than the original two nearer the camera, indicating that they could all do with changing before the winter. The springs were not the only thing worn, the plastic inserts and nylon washers also need changing and one of the hinge bolts was broken.

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No great problem but I really must sort it all out and give it a good coat of paint before October.

Proven wind turbine raising

With everything bolted up, torques checked and bearings greased it was just a matter of tirforing away until it was upright. Then the base bolts are re fitted, the brake released and away she goes.


To say that I’ve been pleased with the performance of this turbine would be a bit of an understatement, OK it cost us an arm and a leg but it’s made in Scotland and does exactly what it says on the tin 🙂

More lobsters 🙂

I could have thought of better things to do on a Sunday afternoon but my team had worked hard and wanted to go fishing, so after a bowl of noodles that’s what we did.

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The north wind had us tucked in behind the shelter of Aird Torran and nothing was caught on the handlines

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but I can think of worse things to do

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and the lobster pots proved quite productive. OK, we threw three of them back, but to be honest I get as much pleasure out of catching them as eating them 🙂

Wifey had to take our ‘team’ away for the 16:00 ferry so I spent the rest of the day in the garden pruning hawthorn trees and in the kitchen making chilli. It’s now 21:20 and I’m off for a bath then bed 🙂


  1. glad you enjoyed your “holiday” Paul, although I don’t the doctor would agree that’s what he had in mind for you to do when he told you to slow down a bit !!!

    Comment by carina — July 25, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    • Work this afternoon Carina, I can’t wait 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 26, 2011 @ 5:57 am

  2. HI Paul. Interested to see you had spring damage too. We only discovered in mid June that we had lost a spring, when showing my daughter’s school the turbine, Somerset discovered a spring sticking out of the ground at a jaunty angle having embedded itself by about 8″!! Reckon it happened during that end of May storm. Ours is under warranty and still waiting for installer to return to fix it! You make it look very easy. Enjoy the return to work! best wishes, from Mull.

    Comment by headlandoftrees — July 25, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    • Good morning Haunn

      your picture of the trap took me right back 25 years or more, I remember it being used 🙂 The cottages also with their new roofs and that little window on the end that I broke with a ‘frizbee’ 😦 Could not see any of your Proven though, is it 2.5 or 6Kw ??

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 26, 2011 @ 6:09 am

      • Morning!! Our Proven is a 6Kw and is on the hill above the steading at Treshnish. Other blog site has photos of installation etc., and of the broken spring. We hadnt noticed that it had fallen off for about a month whilst the turbine was still producing lots of electricity – so hoping no other damage. Rooves at Haunn were re-covered with onduline in 1995/6 – replacing all sorts of alternatives, including animal feed bags to catch the leaks… All dry now though!! Beautiful day for going back to work. Best for now, Carolyne

        Comment by headlandoftrees — July 26, 2011 @ 6:19 am

      • Hope you get your Proven sorted soon HOT, don’t think that it will take too much harm but when the engineer does come speak to him nicely and he may leave you the old ones 🙂

        Good luck, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 27, 2011 @ 4:56 am

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