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Old 07-15-15, 07:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by WisJim View Post
I'm a trained and certified site assessor for small wind systems and I usually recommend a tower at least 120 feet tall, and seldom find a site in western Wisconsin that is actually windy enough to justify the expense of a wind turbine, especially in recent years with the falling price of PVs. My personal wind turbine needs annual inspection and grease at the tower top--and it was hard work putting 500 pounds of machine on top of a tower. It made sense 35 plus years ago when we first installed it to power an off-grid home, but back them PVs were very expensive.

The real problem with any and all VAWTs is that they are never installed high enough to get powerful winds. People that favor vertical machines don't understand how wind works. A turbine of any kind on a short tower is like putting your water wheel or water turbine at the shore in the shallows because it is easier to get to .
That's right, not only do mills need to be up high but now they're competing with PV's that have dropped drastically in the last couple of years. I just changed out a panel I hit with my backhoe. The original panel costs several hundred bucks a couple of years ago.... the replacement costs me $152.00. OK, that's wholesale but still, how do you beat that? The only thing wind has going for it in my view is that it compliments my PV.

I've been monitoring my site for several years so I know wind will work here, also I have a several acre front field, you need real estate for wind. That's another thing people forget. Also I can fabricate the complete windmill here which saves me quite a bit of money so any power I get is pretty much free aside from my building time. (I've got all the materials).

The only thing I need to decide is whether to put up the mill or do my microhydro first.

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