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DIY Off Grid Power Supplies using Micro wind and Solar PV

Sunday 9 March 08 | 10am - 5pm | €100 (16 places)

This workshop is intended to be an introduction to the subject and is aimed at novices who wish to set up their own off- grid power supplies using micro-wind, solar photovoltaic panels or other forms of renewable energy. The workshop has evolved somewhat in the last year and now concentrates on an examination of basic principles and the equipment which is available.  There is a small amount of practical work. It is recommended that workshop participants bring a notebook and a calculator.  While maths is kept to a minimum, it is an intrinsic part of the workshop and of understanding how electrical systems work. Level of maths required: ability to add divide, multiply and subtract – about primary school level!

Some course notes will be available in advance. (More below...)

Workshop Contents:


  • General overview on fossil fuel depletion and global warming
  • Examination of off-grid renewable energy technologies: Wind; Solar PV; Hydro; Biomass; Pedal     Power
  • Explanation of energy terms
  • Basic Energy Auditing: Assessing domestic electricity requirements using worked examples     (practical)
  • Individual assessments of workshop participants own personal electricity requirements      (practical)
  • Reducing energy requirements
  • System Choice:  Type of Installation; Site Evaluation; System Sizing
  • Energy storage
  • System management and maintenance
  • Safety considerations
  • Simple demonstration of pedal powered generator and solar PV (some practical work)

Please note that this workshop is aimed primarily for people who aspire to low energy lifestyles. While larger systems will certainly be looked at, the   technical and economic considerations are such that this subject can only be covered adequately in a separate workshop. This will be offered at a later date. 

Unless the weather is truly horrible, the latter part of this workshop is likely to take place outside. Participants should come prepared for Irish conditions – there were a few near cases of hypothermia at the workshop in the autumn!

Workshop Provider:  Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson is editor of Sustainability magazine, probably the only national Irish magazine ever to be produced from an office powered by off-grid renewable energy.

In between editorial duties and running various courses in renewable energy and sustainable building, Andy works part time as an independent energy/building consultant and has a particular interest in low cost DIY projects.

Andy is also the founder of The Sustainability Institute, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of ideas pertinent to sustainability, training and education. 

For further information on both the magazine and institute, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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