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Originally posted on 26 November 2009

On the 31st of October, eight Sheffield Renewables volunteers gathered outside a church hall in Walkley with a car full of tools and recycled odds and ends. The aim was to work on our model Archimedes Screw and to start work on a bicycle powered electricity generator that could be used to charge a laptop. When complete, both of these models will travel with our display to local festivals and events.

To start things off I explained the theory behind the models to the other volunteers then we organised ourselves into three groups. One group worked on the bicycle powered generator, one tackled the inner part of the Archimedes screw and the third set about producing a stand for the screw to sit in. Everyone got stuck in and there was so much enthusiasm that it took the threat of tea going cold to force the volunteers to take a break.

Thanks to the donation of an unwanted bike trainer (used by keen cyclists to hold their bike still so they can cycle indoors) the bicycle powered generator was assembled quickly. It generated electricity but unfortunately even our fastest peddler could not get a bulb to light. Some more creative thinking will be required here. The group working on the Archimedes Screw created the framework for the unique curved blades that spiral around the screw and make it so distinctive. The group working on the Screw’s stand made a good start, but decided that some extra tools and materials would be needed for the next session.

Checking that the Archimedes Screw framework fits in its water.

When the owners of the church hall came to ensure we didn’t work all night, everyone was keen to come back another day. These model making sessions are going to become a regular event to maintain and improve our display models. They are also a fun activity for volunteers at Sheffield Renewables. To find out when the next one will take place, check out the Events calendar on the website and email info@sheffieldrenewables.org.uk to let us know if you are going to join us.

By Mathew Wroe, Model Making Workshop Coordinator

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