Life at the end of the road

November 6, 2013

It’s my own fault :-(

Well that’s the first day on the croft by with and I managed to stay in bed until 7:30 and enjoy a much needed lie in. Of course when I finally did get out of bed and discover what appeared to be a beautiful day I was wracked with guilt for wasting part of it.


Not that it lasted, for by the time I’d fed all the pigs and loaded tools up into the quad the heavens opened, luckily I’d managed to ‘kit up’ first and was spared a soaking so early in the morning.

Poor Yangzhou Shenzhou

I must have written reams on here and on various internet forums about the inadequacies of Chinese wind turbines but as you probably know, I bought one anyway. The 200w unit was in a sale and cheap so I figured that I should at least have a go at making one work, and over the next few months I did.


It was just as I feared, poorly made, inadequately painted, abysmally welded, out of balance and complete with Mickey Mouse bearings. However after much patience and around £30 worth of bearings I got it ‘flying’ and was quite chuffed. To be honest though I didn’t really have a use for it as it’s 24v and my system is 48v. Of course I could have used a ‘grid tie inverter’ to ‘AC couple’ it into our own supply but we’ve more than enough wind power as it is with the Proven.

After much deliberation I just connected it to a 450ah battery bank for starting the HR2 Lister and used the ‘dumped heat’ to warm up the shed. This worked a treat and the little ‘dragonfly’ as we called it whirred away in the lightest of breezes and kept me company whilst building the hen shed cum solar panel mount.

Now, I knew that this ‘little baby’ was not man enough to weather a good week or so of gales and I knew they were lurking out in the Atlantic, indeed the same weather system wreaked havoc in the south east recently. Knowing all of this I was still too slow in stopping the turbine, so slow in fact that ‘braking’ the turbine by shorting the phases would have been catastrophic so I had to let her ‘sit it out’. The result being a ‘lost phase’ and reduced output, so that was my first task of the day, go and have a look. I’d measured the output and resistance a few days ago at the bottom of the mast and was kind of hoping for just a burnt connection or two where the wires exit the alternator and connect to the cable. So off I went and scaled the mast with meter and tools Smile


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I just knew it was going ‘to end in tears’ as soon as I got the cover off, smelt the smell and saw the burn marks around the breather hole Sad smile 

No point wasting daylight on that I thought and got on with the solar powered hen shed, I could deal with the turbine at dusk.



That’ll be the dusk that now arrives an hour later thanks to ‘daylight saving time’ but I’ll spare you yet another rant on that subject Smile



The 32’ x 8’ hen shed is coming along nicely, wifey and the boy dug some drains around it at the weekend so it’s considerably less squidgy underfoot than it was.


It’s still hard going right enough as I’ve not actually got a usable road up there now, sure I can get the quad up, but not with any weight or the trailer on so everything has to be carried up there for now.



OK, it’s not very far but it is quite steep and those 12’ long 6” x 2”s aren’t exactly light, especially when every single plank needs about 80 nails removing.






That was it really up at the hen shed really, poor light stopped play around 16:30, and whilst I could have carried on in the dark I wanted to remove the turbine so I could work on it. I’ve not got any lights up yet in the barn and my vice and most of my tools are in my wee workshop at home.




Sure enough, once I got the Yangzhou Shenzhou home and stripped it down my worst fears were confirmed Sad smile

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Believe it or not this charred lump was still producing electricity!!! admittedly not much and the casing was probably live but it was still generating.


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One thing for sure though, it got very, very hot before it died Smile I shouldn’t be too hard on the little ‘Chinese jobby’ though, it was entirely my own fault, I knew these turbines were not built for Scottish weather and did nothing about it. A far cry from the Proven that seems to thrive on whatever the Atlantic can throw at it, which reminds me of an adage about potatoes that is just as apt for wind turbines. ‘You should always take seed potatoes south’,  in other words don’t take a light wind turbine to a strong wind area and expect it to thrive.


  1. Regarding the turbine,never thought I would see something that would out-spin a modern-day politician 🙂 Good drainage work at the clucking shed.

    Comment by Andy — November 6, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

  2. Paul, re drains and path to hen house. I still think you need to own a mini digger. Think of your wifey or mother in law feeding hens. You have potholes to fill and drains to be cleared.

    Comment by William Mc Mahon — November 6, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

    • A mini digger, oh I’d give my right arm for one 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 8, 2013 @ 5:55 am

  3. mini digger? nahhhh JCB!!!

    Comment by v8mbov — November 6, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

    • Bit soft around here for a JCB but I could certainly make use of one 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 8, 2013 @ 5:56 am

  4. You need my whisper H80 bits, that’s a good project. . Paul, what spring configuration is on your proven… er kingspan

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — November 6, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

  5. You should always go with your instinct and put your time and effort into other satisfying results. But you can’t say you didn’t try with your Chinese Tin Blade.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — November 7, 2013 @ 1:07 am

    • Morning Walter, I’ve still not given up on her 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 8, 2013 @ 6:02 am

  6. I would be inclined to take the stator out of the housing and clean it up to see just how bad it actually is. With a bit of luck it may still be salvageable!


    Comment by John Williams — November 7, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    • John, it may still be salvageable! you are indeed an optimist but I’ll have a go 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 8, 2013 @ 6:03 am

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