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Alaska: The Last Frontier exclusive — Otto and Levi harness the wind

On Alaska: The Last Frontier on the Discovery channel, lots of tinkering and trying to harness the elements will be going down for the Kilcher clan.

We have a bird’s eye view of how Otto, the resident engineer, and his son Levi are tackling a project in an exclusive clip.

Otto and Levi bring Alaska’s fierce wind power to the remote cabin.

The action shows that the two really know how to machine and cobble together parts into a wholly new tool – in this case a power source – to harnesses clean green energy via the wind.

Otto and Levi are building a turbine from scrap parts, and it works! Pic credit: Discovery

Otto explains the parts assembled that will make this turbine hum.

He says: “This is cool. Wind turbines convert the wind into rotational energy or torque. These barrels will act as sails catching the wind to rotate an axle inside flange.”

He tells Levi: “While you were gone, I made this old crusty flange look like this thing’s great!”

Levi explains this technical bit and says: “A flange is used to transfer
torque from one component of a shaft to another component.”

Otto adds more layers of tech talk and says: “From there a pulley attached to the flange drives the generator that converts the rotational energy into electricity sending all of the little electrons down the wire across the ground to the battery. Voila!”

He adds: “What this cuts (and) makes the thing (go) down is called lathe.”

Moving to the next task, Otto says: “The next job here is we’re gonna fabricate an axle to put this whole wind turbine together…load it from this end.”

Showing Levi how to do the job, he adds: “We’re going to be putting a piece of pipe in the lathe and grind it down to fit this flange.”

Carefully, Levi measures and says: “It’s one point three six”

A stickler for exact measurements, Otto adds: “One hundred and ten thousands come out of there. We can turn that thing about 400 rpms and be okay. “

What Otto is demonstrating is that it is absolutely necessary to make some of these parts as accurate as possible so there is little or no vibration in this turbine.

He says: “If there is vibration when this turbine turns at the charging rate of
speed it will wobble itself to death.”

Showing Levi how it is wired, Otto says: “This machine is wired backwards so that it’s down is ‘on.'”

Acutely aware of his limitations, Levi says: “I’ve always been more of
a woodworker myself.”

Encouraging as always, Otto says: “Always go forward, never back up,

You can see Levi is learning as he works alongside his dad and says: “I didn’t get the skills of working with metal, but I’m having a great time working with my dad and upping my game on those skills.”

Smiling and happy with their progress, Otto asks: “Are you good?”

Proud he has accomplished the turbine build, Levi says: “I guess! Thanks dad.” You always learn something new watching this series.

Also tonight, Atz Lee and Jane help homesteader Mike renovate an old city house into a proper Alaskan cabin.

And Tela receives help from the Kilchers as she struggles to fix her dry spring.

Plus, August is heading back home on his 21st birthday.

Alaska: The Last Frontier airing Sunday at 9PM ET/PT on Discovery.


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