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close this book Wind systems for pumping water: A training manual
View the document Acknowledgments
View the document Introduction to training
View the document Training guidelines
View the document Objectives for wind system construction training
View the document Session 1 Introduction and objectives
View the document Session 2 History of wind systems
View the document Session 3 Large projects and community analysis
View the document Session 4 Shop safety and tool care
View the document Session 5 Representative drawings for construction
View the document Session 6 Shafts and bearings
View the document Session 7 Strengths and testing
View the document Session 8 Joinery
View the document Session 9 Pumps and pump design
View the document Session 10 Siting considerations
View the document Session 11 Sizing wind water pumping systems
View the document Session 12 Design considerations for pumps and windmills
View the document Session 13 How to design
View the document Session 14 Presentation of designs
View the document Session 15 Construction of wind measuring poles
View the document Session 16 Exportation for wind sites
View the document Session 17 Tower raising
View the document Session 18 Plumbing the wind system
View the document Session 19 Testing installed wind system
View the document Session 20 Presentation of projects
View the document Session 21 Maintenance - preventive and routine
View the document Bibliography
View the document Construction materials list
View the document Tool list for 24 participants
View the document Technical vocabulary
View the document Report on the wind-powered in-service training
View the document Recommendations

Training guidelines

Wind Power Suitability

The country or region should have a number of sites with winds over 12 mph [5 meters per second (mps)] for durations of six to eight hours, during that time of the year when water is needed. These sites need to be within 1/8 mile (200 meters) of the location of the waterpump, and they should be located right over the water, if possible.


A good mix of participants is half to three-quarters nationals, the rest Peace Corps volunteers.

If possible, include several people from the area, where the windpump will be and from the area where the training will take place if the locations are not the same.

Also, a local worker skilled in building with the chosen materials should be included.

Peace Corps volunteers should have been in the country at least four to six months so that they will be familiar with the local conditions.

All participants should be screened for their genuine interest in the technology and its development and for the effectiveness, style, and quality of their work.


This is not a manual which teaches the trainer the theory and practice of windpump construction. It is a training guide for a person who has built and erected windmills and is familiar with the theory involved.

Two trainers are better than one for a host of reasons, the most important of which is that the participants can get better training with more individual attention. Also, different people at times cannot learn from one teacher, while getting along fine with another and learning a lot.


If necessary, schedule time for teaching basic construction skills. Use time to build small models of projects that will be built later in the training.

At the start or end of every day of construction, schedule some time to discuss how the group is working and how well things are going. Make sure that any differences or difficulties are resolved during this time. Point out how much time remains, if the work is ahead or behind schedule, and who has been doing a great job. Trainees who have experience in theoretical areas, tool use, or material application are of great value and should be invited to share their skills with the others in the group and act as assistant trainers. This time is also used to find out what people don't know and would like to learn. The training can best fill the needs of the participants by taking both types of information into account.

Schedule 15 minutes each day for three different people to come up in front of the group and talk for about five minutes about some aspect of the training that interests them. This gives everyone the chance to practice their presentation of technical ideas. Trainees should be used as facilitators, observers, and for specific technical training when possible.

Field trips are an important part of the training and should be scheduled as early in the training as circumstances permit.

Make sure the shop or working area is cleaned and swept at the end of the work day, and the tools stowed away and accounted for.


Put as little responsibility for the training as possible on the in-country Peace Corps staff.

A pre-training visit by someone who is later going to be involved with the training is advised when possible. During this visit many details can be dealt with that will make the training program more effective.

Selection of the type of wind system to be built is crucial. Make sure that the particular design selected can be built and repaired at a local level, in terms of materials, tools and skills.

A working model of the wind system to be built is advised. In many places, people are unaccustomed to working from drawings and cannot understand them, but everyone understands a model.


The requirements for the training are a classroom and work area. The work area can be outdoors if rain is not anticipated, otherwise some kind of roof is necessary.

If the wind system is to be installed as part of the training, the installation site and training site should be in close proximity. The minimum standards for selection of the site are that:

• It provides a felt need of an interested community

• It is a very good wind site

• The site has adequate wind velocities

• It is highly visible and accessible to the people of the area


Tools should be of durable quality, but only what is available locally.

Make sure that there are enough tools so the training and construction progress is not held up due to lack of materials and tools. This is also a scheduling issue; plan to split up the construction sessions to minimize demand on tools in short supply.

In general, restrict participants to hand tools unless there is a compelling time factor or what power tools would be normally used.

Maintain high safety standards, enforce them and have necessary first aid supplies in case of emergency.

If a lathe is not available, plan to provide a makeshift one which may be powered by people, animal, or vehicle engine (PTO).


Buy enough materials for reasonable experimentation (within budget), as well as extra to allow for miscuts and errors.

Timing and Climate

The dry windy season is the best time for doing the training. If there is a wet windy season then it will be less necessary to pump water, and maybe some other pumping system (hydraulic rams, animal power, etc.) should be considered.


The general text for the training is "The Homemade Windmills of Nebraska" which shows the many possibilities for homemade windmills. For the pilot training in Ecuador, this was the only text. In Paraguay, the "Construction Manual for a Cretan Windmill'' was used because this was the type of wind system being built. Use text and design materials most appropriate for the type of wind system being built.