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Old 12-22-19, 01:43 PM   #172
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Delhi, NY
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Originally Posted by randen View Post
I had been interested in wind for a long time. I was very fortunate to have a close friend that had been in the business of manufacturing these for a short time. These 1-10kw turbines were used in remote areas and were plagued with maintenance issues. It was the day of lead acid batteries and lack of robust designs to keep the costs to a minimum. A proper tower and controls coupled with the cost of installations with proper footings made them quite expensive.

There are so many hurtles with wind. The first one is speed control in strong winds and even more so when the battery is full. To open the charge circuit when the battery is full can allow the turbine to run away with no load and one can expect a catastrophic failure with blades flying in any direction. The furling type is still dependant with having a constant load, however the turbine with pitch adjustable blades does not. Although more complex, for a larger turbine this is highly desirable. If the load is removed from the pitch adjustable turbine, the rpm doesn't increase.

Another factor is the wind is not kind to any dynamic machine. That large spinning propeller being spun this way and that are susceptible to some huge gyroscopic loads. Blades flexing and bearings in weather extremes don't make their expected life spans. The slip rings carrying the current from the alternator down the tower preventing the cable from twisting up, also has a hard life.

I had explored the thought of building an axial wound alternator large enough to power our home but the task is huge. A 5 kw alternator would be a sizeable machine with huge blades to carve and a tall robust tower. $$$$$ A concrete footing with a steel 50' tower, the costs would be prohibitive.

The wind resource is another part of the equation, little wind, no energy-simple enough. Here in southwestern Ontario the winter provides a decent amount of cold dense wind. The solar panels are covered with snow and that coupled with overcast and limited hours of daylight negates the energy equation. So bring on the wind.

The experiment with the 500w turbine is to check power/wind resource and resilience of a mono tower without guy wires. The pole is actually my sons basket ball pole. He won't be using it anytime soon so until then its on turbine duty. When I have some results and firm up plans I will elaborate with the group.

Enjoy Christmas Holidays

Randen - thanks!
I'm also at the point where I'm ready to install wind. I've been monitoring my Davis station for years now and I have enough good wind on my front acreage. Many years ago I bought a couple of those small South West turbines, about 400 watts each but you need really high winds to get that. I'm thinking if I can get 1/2 that it will be good enough to supplement my heat.
I'll keep an eye out for your findings.
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