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Assessment of locally manufactured small wind turbines as an appropriate technology for the electrification of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua

1 blueEnergy (Alumni), Bluefields, RAAS, Nicaragua;
2 blueEnergy, Bluefields, RAAS, Nicaragua;
3 blueEnergy, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA;
4 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK

Special Issues: Wind Power Implementation Challenges

This article presents an assessment of the challenges facing the use of small locally manufactured wind turbines as a rural electrification solution for the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Strongly based on the authors work experience at the non-profit, non-governmental organization blueEnergy, this assessment makes an objective analysis of the technical, social, economic and organizational challenges faced by blueEnergy when using small wind turbines for rural electrification. The article provides detail on the challenges faced and puts forward methodologies and technologies to overcome or to detect and avoid these. Based on the challenges faced, a set of key factors that are essential for the success of small wind turbines in other contexts is proposed, together with two methodologies for a preliminary feasibility assessment.
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