2018

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Looking on the bright side, 2018 has shown that a small wind turbine would be a reasonably reliable source of power for my house.

At the beginning of the year my thinking was 6 weeks for the first part of the floor and for each of the two end gables. Call it 5 months. Counting February and March as one month for weather that'd take me to the end of July. Windows in and roofer lined up in August and September, roof on in October.

Actually, I've almost, but not quite, finished the second (east) gable now.

It just needs a bit more taping and one more bit of counter batten. I went up to the site on Christmas day with intention of doing that but couldn't get the tape to stick. I'm using Tyvek tape which is pretty good but seems not to work when it's chilly and/or damp.

Leaving the tape overnight by the hall radiator let me do a bit more in the following days but it's not quite done yet. It's a bit breezy now so I'm taking a break until Wednesday, January 2nd when it's forecast to be brighter and calmer for me to get on with the window in that hole.

As hinted above, the main slow down this year has been the wind. Here are all the wind lulls (runs of 3 or more days with the wind less than 5 m/s (~11.5 mph) as reported for Wick airport):

Start End Days Max wind
2018-12-21 2018-12-25 5 4.1
2018-06-08 2018-06-11 4 4.6
2018-02-02 2018-02-04 3 4.6
2018-07-16 2018-07-18 3 4.6

Yep, the five days up to and including Christmas day was the longest and calmest lull of the year.

What's also been a bit special has been the choice of wind direction. When I was doing the east end of the floor it was easterly but when I came to the west end it, of course, went round to the west.

I was getting sufficiently frustrated by the whole thing that on August 19th, having the west gable mostly done but not being able to finish the top off for a while, I decided to abandon the house build altogether. I spent a few days at home rearranging the house (making the spare bedroom my study and using what's nominally the living room mostly for storage) and went to look at the outside of a ex-council house in Helmsdale as an alternative long-term option.

But then I thought that, actually, I had almost all the materials for the east gable to hand, apart from the OSB sheets which aren't that expensive anyway so I might as well carry on with that and review things in a month or two.

It's been slow since then mostly because the wind has, as you'd expect, been easterly or southerly a surprising amount of the time but never quite slow enough to confirm my decision to pack it in. A couple of weeks ago I ordered the first three (of seven) Velux windows so I'll see how I get on fitting those.