Wind turbine power?

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by gypsymama, May 5, 2006.

  1. gypsymama

    gypsymama Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Ohio
    I have a lot of questions :

    how well do they work?

    what kind you would recommend?

    how difficult is it to change to one of these?

    will one do or is it better to get two?

    Is there a way to measure the wind?

    Can you change it's direction depending on where the wind is coming from?

    We get a pretty good breeze and have open space for one.

    Thanks for any input you have.
     
  2. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    May 14, 2002
    For shure you do have lots of questions.

    For many of those you need to sit down with an installer and break down your wants and needs.

    I have one very good answer for you;
    Please go to the MREA energy fair. There will be several workshops put on by very qualified guys where all these thoughts can/will be answered. And, as important --You can ask all the questions you want. Also there will be many machines on display, and reps to talk to about their machines.

    sorry I just had to get in another plug for the fair.
     

  3. offGridNorthern

    offGridNorthern Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    A "breeze" isn't going to spin the blades fast enough ... on the other hand .. if it's a breeze on the ground it may be wind 90' up.

    The generators have a tail that moves with the wind to keep the blades into the wind all the time.

    You need to sit down with a GOOD installer (don't go to your local store that has inverters & generators sitting in a corner and will give you insturctions on how to install). A reputable installer will be able to tell you about locations, best machines for your needs and anything else you need to know.

    Our machine supplments our solar panels as Nov & Dec in northern Ontario are insufficient daylight to meet the needs of our 2000 sq. foot home.
     
  4. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New Brunswick
    So how many kwh/day are you living with offGridNorthern?
    What do you use for heat, hot water, cooking, clothes drying?

    Congrats by the way.
     
  5. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to answer for offGN. But part of the answer to jak's question is, offgrid folk will cut way back on usage on the overcast days. "Wash the clothes tommorrow when the sun is shinning" (or the wind blowing) So the electrical usage can/does varry day to day.
     
  6. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Montana
    Hi,
    Before you get too far into thinking about wind power, you want to check on how good the winds are in your area.

    An easy way to get an idea about the wind in the area you live in is go here:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Wind/WindResource.htm

    You can see how the wind atlas rates your area -- if its a 1 or 2, its not likely to be worth the effort, and some other form of renewable energy would likely be a better deal.

    Gary
     
  7. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New Brunswick
    How difficult is it to change to one of these?
    - Anytime you are off-grid you should reduce your consumption first.
    - Also, with wind power you will generally need a larger battery bank.
    - Still, wind power is potentially cheaper than solar or generator.

    Will one do or is it better to get two?
    - It is generally better with small wind power to put your eggs in one basket to have a larger wind turbine mounted higher in the air. There are enough low wind days to do planned maintenance. It is usually cheaper to make your first tower taller than it is to add a second wind turbine. A 40m tower vs a 30m tower will give you more wind, but also a more consistent wind.

    Is there a way to measure the wind?
    - The hard part is measuring the wind up high where you think you want your tower. You want to be up at least 10m up to take a measurement that you can compare to the airport. You could also just take a hand-help readings at the base of the anemometer at you airport and compare them to concurrent readings at your place in a similar or better clearing where you thing you have good wind. Then you will know if you have more or less wind than the airport. You can tell alot just by looking for a good view that faces prevailing winds. If it is as open as your airport and with a better view then you should have more wind. You can buy a simple hand held non-electronic anemometer at a marine hardware store. You want at least 6 m/s at 30m for a 3kw turbine. If it is marginal than it won't be worthwhile unless you are a do it yourselfer. The nice thing about wind power is you can do it yourself. If you want to mess around with small projects, like 500w or less, then you should build it yourself and start with something really small. You can make a wind turbine out of a cheap portable drill. Another nice project to start with is to build yourself a 10m tower and an anemometer.

    If you had cows, or a large family and a few goats, and built a methane generator, you could build an oversized wind turbine, like maybe 10kw instead of 3kw. Then when you are generating surplus power you could use it to produce hydrogen and store it in the digester with the methane. When the wind isn't blowing you could then run your generator off the hydrogen/methane. This strategy should reduce the size of your battery bank, and also provide you with fuel for your tractor. If you average 3kw you will likely get 1000w fairly consistently, and you could average 1.5kw through a combination of direct wind, generator, and battery. The other 1.5kw would be for for tractor and truck fuel. 1kw is 36kwh per day, which is 13149kwh per year, or roughly 360 gallons of gasoline equivalent.