Wind Empowerment is a global association for the development of locally-manufactured small wind turbines (SWTs) for sustainable rural electrification. It aims to strengthen the capacity of its members through collaboration and knowledge exchange to promote and support small wind technology as a viable solution for rural electrification.
OpenAFPM: An Open Source Software Tool for Designing Generators in Wind Power Systems
News from WISIONS posted on March 23rd, 2018
This series of design tools have been developed by the Rural Electrification Research Group (RurERG), which is part of the Smart RUE (Smart Grids Research Unit of the Electrical and Computer Engineering School) of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), in order to assist designers and practitioners involved with small scale wind electric systems.
The OpenAFPM tools series consists of three design tools named MagnAFPM, UserAFPM and OptiAFPM.
- The tool MagnAFPM can be used for designing a generator for a specific set of rotor blades and a specific set of permanent magnet dimensions
- The tool UserAFPM can be used to validate the performance of a specific generator geometry
- The tool OptiAFPM uses the particle swarm optimization (PSO) to optimize the dimensions of the permanent magnets used in the generator design for a specific set of rotor blades, while minimizing the generator’s efficiency, cost and/or mass
The creation of this online user interface has been part of this SEPS Exchange Activity: Online Design Tools for Locally Manufactured Small Wind Turbines
Wind Empowerment is an association for the development of locally manufactured small wind turbines for sustainable rural electrification. They represent dozens of member organisations, consisting of wind turbine manufacturers, NGOs, universities, social enterprises, cooperatives, training centres, as well as over 1,000 individual participants across the world.
The association was founded in 2011 at the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal. The aim was to bridge the geographical gap between its members by providing a global platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Shortly after the inaugural event in Dakar, the online platform windempowerment.org was created, which allowed knowledge to be exchanged via webinars, a document library, a discussion forum, news articles and, of course, by Skype and email.
Mission & Goals
Wind Empowerment supports the development of locally-built wind turbines for sustainable rural electrification by strengthening the capacity of its members globally through:
- Building and sharing financial and human resource connections
- Performing joint technical research, sharing technical information and collaborating on key vendor relationships
- Strengthening understanding of business and social models for the effective implementation of small wind technology
- Managing projects, offering consultancy services and developing/distributing products in line with the association’s guiding principles
Wind Empowerment acts as both a central knowledge bank and a facilitator of direct connections between its members (currently 39 organisations).
The Wind Empowerment conferences, which take place every 2 years, have been key in building and maintaining the relationships between individuals and organisations that form the basis of the network. Despite the staggering array of digital technologies available and used across the network, it has become clear that face-to-face follow up meetings are essential to allow members to discuss their experiences in person, share practical skills and build trust and partnerships. The last conference took place from in November 2016 at two different venues in the Patagonian region of Argentina. A comprehensive conference documentation is available here:WEPatagonia2016.
The webpage of Wind Empowerment is a rich source of information and serves as an exchange platform for the members, as well as for other people interested in the network and the technology. It covers not only recent news and event information, but also contains a library of documents and articles on wind technology, research background, broadcasts and the latest information on working groups. In addition, lively dialogue takes place in the discussion forums and the webinars offer background information on relevant current topics.
The Working Groups (WGs) have been set up to actively address the key barriers facing the development of small wind technology for rural development. The six WGs are:
In 2016 all six working groups started to develop so-called kick-starter projects to ensure a more intensive form of collaboration within clearly targeted projects or studies.
The next conference, WEIndia2018, will take place between November and December 2018 in the South of India. To be informed about all the details, sign up here.
Coordination & Support
The coordinating person is Jessica Rivas.
The regional partnership WindWorks, which aimed for the promotion of small-scale wind turbines in Latin America, merged with Wind Empowerment in 2014. WindWorks was initiated and supported by WISIONS, in close cooperation with Green Empowerment from 2011 - 2014.