Life at the end of the road

July 13, 2014

Where’s it gone?

Filed under: daily doings, wind turbine — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:34 pm

Time really does strange things up here at the north end, it’s only four months since the ‘Old Girl’ and I went to Leeds for that Proven yet it feels like years ago. On the other hand it’s almost two weeks since I finished work and it seems like just a few days ago, having said that I’m fair chuffed with what I’ve achieved. Having said that, had I not been fortunate enough to have a JCB telehandler onsite I guess I’d still moaning and groaning with jacks, Tirfors and pulleys trying to remove the engine and transmission from the Discovery. I really cannot believe that tomorrow will be my last full day on the croft.

Can’t say that I’m that displeased to be going back to the Hallaig though, I could do with the rest and she’s a pleasure to work on. Anyway, after the torrential rain of yesterday afternoon, this morning arrived bright and clear. I was going to say ‘dawned bright and clear’ but that would have been an out and out lie, scrumpy put paid to that. No this morning I did have a hangover that I fully deserved, a more than half empty flagon of Weston’s in the fridge attested to that. Consequently it was either 10:30 or 11:30 when I got out of my bed, the dwarves and their hammers inside my head prevented me from seeing the clock right when the phone awoke me. Not that I realized at the time that it was the phone, no I thought it was a fanfare of pipes in a bizarre dream about gas cookers and solicitors, but the less said about that the better.

Fortunately I had the hen lady and her mum to deal with the animals and I just suffered in silence. Slowly, ever so slowly and with the help of a little breakfast I came around. The plan had been to continue work on the Proven 2.5kW turbine that we’d been installing yesterday but I was still a little ‘delicate’ to be ‘operating machinery’. Lifting the turbine head out of the barn and placing it on the end of the galvanized mast would require considerable ‘coordination at the man and machine interface’ and that was sadly lacking in the morning.

A little spell in the workshop painting the TDi and its various ancillaries seemed like a far safer option than driving a telehandler with 190kg of wind turbine swinging on its forks. So that’s what I did, and very therapeutic it was, leaving me with a lovely black radiator frame and a shiny red engine block.

Installing a Proven/Kingspan turbine head

Once I’d seen the back of the hangover and managed to walk from one end of my workshop to the other without tripping over anything I felt it was time to attack the wind turbine. Now this particular turbine is almost ten years old but has done no work and been serviced annually, I’ve already checked it over and it’s ‘A1 at Lloyds’. However I’m a great believer in being prepared and making life easier in the future, it is after all why I’m building a new house that requires no carbon input.

Now the Proven/Kingspan 2.5/3.2kW turbine is pretty bombproof, it is one could say the Land Rover of the wind turbine world. Like successful most mechanical things though it has weaknesses  that have been modified throughout its long production run. One of these weaknesses is the yolks that attach the springs to the blades and hubs. On my turbine and this one they are fabricated from pressed stainless steel and attached with M8 studs. All the later machines have forged yolks with M10 studs, so if you buy a new ‘spring set’ from Kingspan it will come with these superior fittings. Only problem being that they’ll not go through your M8 holes Sad smile Of course you can drill them out to M10 but you can’t actually get a drill into the hub!!! What you have to do is very accurately drill a hole in the turbine rear plate so you can enlarge the hole in the drive flange. It’s not a hard job but it’s far easier to do in a barn than on the hill, so that’s what I did prior to moving the 190kg head.



Here’s the turbine head



and these are the three M8 holes that need enlarging to M10 to fit the newer springset, as you can see there is no way to get a drill in there due to the blade flange.



My answer to this conundrum was to use an M8 wood bit to mark the backplate



the carefully measure the distance from the outer rim



and then drill an M10 hole. So, when I need to fit a new set of springs in my sixties I won’t have to mess about, all I need is to run an M10 drill through that hole into the drive flange Smile

Working on the assumption that if I was capable of accurately measuring and drilling that hole then I was fit to drive the telehandler I got on with moving the head.


very slowly and carefully right enough.



I really have no idea how I would have done this without a machine, I must have done it when I installed my own 2.5kW machine in 2005 but I honestly cannot remember how.

008 009 010 011 012

Now Kingspan tell you not to grease the yaw rollers at the base of the head and sure enough, when I fitted mine I never did and they wore out 12 months later. The next set I fitted I greased and they lasted five times as long! and I’m not alone in experiencing this phenomenon. My mate bill of has two Proven 2.5kW turbines and has had similar results.


So that’s it really, pretty dull I know, sure I could be watching the World Cup, Tour de France, Wimbledon, or Commonwealth friggin games but don’t get me started on that 5hite the Coliseum and fiddling whilst Rome burns Smile

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