Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:31 pm

Are you or anyone you know successfully utilizing a small (10KW or less) wind turbine to supplant some portion of your homes electrical demands? Or alternately, are there any wind turbine failure stories out there (whereby a wind turbine was attempted but it failed to generate any appreciable electrical output that would justify the expense and effort)?
lsayre
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:54 pm

Hmmmm, SUCCESSFULLY?????????????? Oh WAIT---YEP---CHINA ;)
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:23 pm

freetown fred wrote:Hmmmm, SUCCESSFULLY?????????????? Oh WAIT---YEP---CHINA ;)


Perhaps, but I would guess they are using megawatt sized wind turbines. I'm asking about residential back yard turbines.
lsayre
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:34 pm

I am pretty sure Freddy has one in his backyard he'd sell ya!! ;)
titleist1
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:40 pm

There is a home next to my brother in Virgil NY that has had a wind tower for at least twenty years and almost as many turbines . :shock: The latest went up last fall. My brother has been bitchin up a storm forever about the things making noise till this one went up. Well I happened to be working with a PE on a project this summer and asked what it was he did most; his reply was that he was getting into the wind turbine mfg business and said that he had three exp.units up and was tweeking the design. I mentioned Id heard of all the failures out there and he explained that it was for A<B<C reasons(I dont recall what they were) but he went on to describe how he intended to solve the various problems and I do remember thinking " this guy is sharp". Anyhoo, turns out one of his units is next to my brothers .its outlasted all the others by a grundle and continues to operate without any problems. Ill find out the mfg name and post later if anyone's interested .
'
'
waldo lemieux
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:42 pm

If they don't automatically feather,I be thinkin' they burned right off their mount in this here wind ! Eat your heart out,Al Gore ! :alone:
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:59 pm

There was a handful in Downeast Maine and they were not successful on the monetary scale. They made the owners feel better....when they were running and producing. One went down in a wind storm(ironic) another time it was hit by lightning and burned it out. The other just failed and was replaced with a better unit from Europe at a cost of $20,000. :shock: No word on that one yet. I do know he will not live long enough to recoup his costs. There are some new ones in the Cutler area being installed by a Maine Maritime grad that lobster fishes. These ones dont have batteries and operated more like Freddies. Jury is out on those at this time. I ain't holding my breath.

Kevin
KLook
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:59 pm

If a perspective wind site hasn't proved its self to have some min. yearly average wind speed it will be a questionable success.

As I recall reading here, Freddy was having better results w/ his solar photo-voltaics than when trying wind for electricty. ;)
McGiever
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:12 pm

Wind speeds are readily available from gov. sites. The local naval station in Cutler keeps these records for the immediate coastline. It is true that although we think the wind blows all the time in Eastern Maine,(listen to my wife for a bit) it actually is only adequate on the immediate coast and higher elevations inland. Kibby township in the west and another up above Lee in the east. That is why they wanted to put them offshore. Still, they are not a money saving or making investment.

Kevin

How are the big ones in Penn. working out?
KLook
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:01 am

I was in a long conversation about this several years ago -- came to the conclusion that passive solar gave the best pay back
Sting
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: samhill On: Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:20 am

There are a few back yard ones around me & from what I was told at the power Co. meeting they won't hit a payback in their lifetime even if there are zero problems. The manure digester (if you happen to have a large dairy herd) is the way to go, he was lucky with grants & low int. loans at the time & his payback was around 4 years but that was everything falling into place & extremely good luck. Going South down Ohio 7 the wind must be better & several homes have them & a farm had a larger one & then added a second a year or two after so it must have been worth it for him.
samhill
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:07 pm

We are on a ridge and on a site that is rated very favorable for wind energy in Maine, but it has yet to pan out. First of all, the big wind mill makers were unable to convince townspeople they were a good thing and as such, my town and the ones nearby have banned big wind mills. (3 were put up in a neighboring town, but only because the landowners son is the CEO for the wind company).

On the smaller scale, my Uncle put up a grid-tied windmill and it will never return his investment. It cost him 17 grand and saves him about $60 per month, or about half of his monthly consumption. This is on a very favorable site mind you, so wind power is pretty bleak in Maine as far as being viable.

Of the people who have spent money on green energy, as others have said, only passive solar has worked well. They claim they will get a return on investment, where as wind, and geothermals just never panned out like they hoped.

As for digesters. We have one in Maine, and another planned, but even they do not work well. The operating one only gets 25% of its power (about 250 KW's) from the cow manure of a 1200 cow dairy farm. Most of the power actually comes from restaurant waste which produces about 75% of the power, or an additional 750 KW's making for a 1 megawatt plant since it is now a dumping station for waste and licensed as such. Here is the thing though...while one was built in Maine, Uncle Sam told the other Dairy Farms in the State that there will be no more grants. In so many words they said they wanted to prove it was viable, have done so, and have no interest in doing so again. The cost was about 5 million for the existing digester, of which 50% came from grants.Now here is the thing, this is a dairy farm who does not make money from milking cows. They had plenty of money BEFORE they got into farming by evidenced by the huge library they had built at the local college and only for unlimited money have they continued to farm and built the digester that they did.
NoSmoke
 
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Re: Wind Turbines, anyone successfully making electricity?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:51 pm

Larry,

Didn't see this post.

My parents had a small windmill back in the late 70's. Their idea was to get ready for the waning years by having their utility bills covered. Started out with woodstoves for heat, passive solar for hot water, and windmill for electric.

Started out with a "downwind" 36 volt 4 KW battery system that didn't work as expected. Never produced the power and we realized too much turbulence from having the wind blow through the tower before getting to the blades. We found that in our area you usually get 10% of any wind turbine's rated output per month.

So they kept the heavy well built tower and replaced the turbine with a Jacobs KW unit. http://www.jacobswind.net/
read the history on the website. Jacobs had originally built these units for remote farms until the rural electrification act brought power to the farms. He retired. But then due to the energy crisis on the 70's, he restarted back up.

We were so excited to get one due to the reputation of his older units. We signed up as a dealer and finally were able to get the #18 machine off the restarted company's production line. I went to MN to school to service them. However they redesigned them after the first 40 units. But by then Control Data Corp was already making changes to them. Probably to produce greater profit for their investment. When it ran, it was great. We would spin the meter backwards. It was tied to the grid. Grid power was required to make the field for the generator.

However there were more than enough problems. We had the blades hit the tower at least 3 times. 11 1/2' wooden blades being shattered and pieces flying through the air. Not good. we owned it for close to 2 years. Every problem was covered under warranty. I spent many hours up on top of it. Finally 1 day it was hit by lightning and the homeowner's insurance covered the repairs. While getting rewired, we found a buyer for it as is, and it was gone. Thought about upgrading to a newer model but the servicing was getting to be too much. There were only 2 of us able to climb and work that high.

What we did find was that even though it was 100' high and we sat up on top of a hill, the air was turbulent due to coming up the hill. But the machine was able to handle it. It was self feathering and had a foldable tail for winds over 40 mph to prevent runaway operation. I believe they would work best with a long reach of undisturbed air. I really would not minding having 1 again.


Any more question feel free to ask.



Rick
Rick 386
 
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