Get carried away with the wind
The wind turbines in and around CAT vary from tiny turbines of a foot across, suitable for charging a battery in a boat or caravan; through to mid-range turbines which could provide power to a remote cottage; up to a large-scale turbine, capable of generating enough energy to meet the needs of 200 homes.
Flanking the entrance to our Wind pavilion are two 'multi-blade' windmills designed for water-pumping. One of them still pumps water, the other has been modified to create a 'wind seat' so that visitors can feel the power of the wind directly - a very uplifting experience! While wind power has been used for mechanical tasks such as pumping, milling and sawing for over 2000 years, current interest focuses on generating electricity.
We use a small wind generator (a Marlec FM 1800) to supply electricity for our eco-cabins. This is typical of the kind used for powering lights, TVs and small refrigerators in remote dwellings that have no mains electricity. This one has a maximum output of 250 watts. The Polenko, located on private land close to the Centre, has a hub height of 20 metres, with a 10 metre rotor diameter. It feeds energy into batteries, with any excess channelled into heaters in the restaurant and toilets.
There are also two community wind turbines nearby: the 75kW Vestas V17 turbine and a brand new 500kW machine. They belong to a consortium of local investors and demonstrate how CAT has spurred local community interest in generating renewable energy.
To give visitors some idea of the scale of the larger machines, we've brought an old MS-2 turbine down to ground level. We've also cut holes in the side of the nacelle (the cabin at the centre of the blades) so that you can see the working parts inside.
Coming up! Grand opening of CAT's Quarry Trail - 24th October. More details coming soon...