Anyone have a Wind turbine???

Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:08 am

Just kind of wondering if anyone out there has a wind Turbine hooked up to generate electricity for their homes? I have been researching one for awhile and am hoping to purchase one next year. Of course Skystream is the big name in residential versions. I was thinking of getting a smaller one to play around and test with.

I have a very good source of wind at my location as I am on top of a hill. I just need to get a pole up above my barn roof to get good wind.

So I am just wondering if anyone out there is using or installing wind generation items at their homes? would love to hear your story and findings!

Thanks.
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:48 am

Mark,

My parents had one and I was the "service guy" on it back during the last energy crunch. Somewhere in the 80's I think. It was a Jacobs 10KW model. We had the # 18 of the first 40 units they built when they restarted operations. After the first 40 they redesigned the top section. Of course we ended up being a guinea pig for any modifications that they thought would improve it.

We had the blades hit the tower (100 ft.) a couple of times, it got zapped by lightning a couple of times, lots of trial and error trying to get it to work properly.

Then they needed cash so Contol Data Corp came in, provided some financing, and then everything changed. They were more interested in selling machines for wind farms rather then helping the individual homeowners. Sad, Sad. It was really a good product when it worked. I checked and some other company bought them out. I was thinking of contacting myself. http://www.windturbine.net/home.htm

Basically the machine connected to the local power grid via a synchronous inverter hooked directly to a dedicated 220v breaker in the electrical box. You would use all of the power from the wind machine first and then supplement with utility power. Any excess initially would spin the meter backwards. But then they put a ratcheted meter on. Then we installed another meter to register what came in and what excess went back out. My parents were never paid for the excess.

However I'll mention that being on top of a hill doesn't necessarily mean good wind. Sometimes it is a very turbulent wind at the top of the mountain. It is best to have a nice long straight stretch of wind. Better production in that it is coming directly and the machine isn't turning constantly to be in the direct path of the wind flow.

What ever the rating on the wind generator is, use a factor of 10% of the max as a general rule of thumb for what you can expect here in PA.

The last lightning strike fried the generator on top of the tower. Even though I was a dealer I was not allowed by the insurance company to repair it myself. We shipped it off to a dealer in R.I. While there someone offered to buy it and they sold it.


Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss it further.


PS I still have my climbing belt and all safety gear in the barn. However I don't know if the knees will hold out to get to the top of the tower.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:08 pm

I have one! It's a Breezy 5.5 KW, a home built unit using plans from a book.

http://www.prairieturbines.com/

If you are seriously considering one I'd strongly urge you to erect a temporary tower at the height you plan to have your turbine and watch wind speed for a year. I hired a guy to do a wind study for me and got poor information. I learned a lesson: Do not hire a windmill salesman to do a wind study. When I hired him I did not know he sold them. If I had accurate information I probably would not have built it, but, here it is and I'm not ready to give up on it yet. I am not disappointed with the device. It does function well, given proper wind. My record day is 30 KWH in one day. If it did that 20 days a month it would pay my entire electric bill, but, as it sits, it generates less than 10% of my bill.

It can generate 5,500 watts in a 25 MPH wind. It makes 220 volts and is connected directly to my main panel and the grid. I have two meters on my house, one coming in, one going out. When it generates more than I use, the surplus goes out to the grid and the electric company gives me 100% credit. Generally when it's windy, about half goes to the grid and I use it when the wind stops. In effect, the power company is my batteries. I need no storage as trading 100% works well.


Next year I have plans to raise it from 60 feet to 80 feet, and do a redesign on the blades and how it sits on the tower. I'd really like it to work! If I lived on the coast I'm sure it would pay almost my entire bill.

No human ever goes up the tower. It's hinged at the bottom and using a built in "gin pole", I raise and lower it with my Ford Van and a winch.
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Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined


Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: WNY On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:26 pm

My sisters new house she bought is a Green Home, it has an African Wind Turbine http://www.thesolar.biz/African%20Wind% ... rbines.htm and it's made of Strawbales.

It powers I think 12 Batterys, that run into (2) 110v Inverters then into the Breaker Box. I will check this weekend when I go up and post some pics.

Completely off the grid, there is NO AC power hooked to the house.
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:05 pm

Thanks for the story guys!

Freddy I like the idea of a wind study. Could be very beneficial i can imagine. Especially when you are looking at investing $10K into something. Of course you can do it cheaper. just a round figure anyway.

WNY Those African units are certainly more cost effecient than what I have been looking at. I see from their website they have an on grid system now also.

I much prefer the on grid system where there are no batteries needed for storage. at least for the permenant system I should say. Maybe for a system to test and play around with batteries will suffice.

I get countryside so I've read about the strawbale homes also. Very neat concept.

Once again thanks for your stories. I need to research some cheaper alternatives to set something up to test with etc. Or figure out how to measure my wind speeds. At least a few months of reading etc.

I hadn't though about turbulant winds due to locations although it makes sense. right now the wind seems to alwasy be coming up the field and hitting into the barn. My thought is to put the turbine on that far side of the barn and high enough to catch that. maybe putting a device on top of the barn to measure wind speeds for awhile would be helpful.
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:17 pm

Ok so I spent some time talking with a person that has a Skystream here in PA. I believe there are only 4 people in the state or something along those lines... which is very interesting... In any case the red tape is apparently overwhelming to the tune of 12 to 16 months to be permitted! I was advised to start TODAY if I want to get a turbine like this approved.

Its interesting that a state (PA) that is proclaiming green everything from the gov on down makes things so difficult... In any case we shall see I guess.

It may be better to stay small... and "UNDER" the radar!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:33 pm

Mark,

One of those home weather station gadgets may be what you need. I think you would need something to measure and record speed and direction. That way you can monitor prevailing winds to help you determine location. Or possibly NOAA may have some data.

Sometimes the highest spot is not the best location.

Also with a utility grid system, for safety reasons, when you lose utility power, you also lose wind generated electricity. A synchronous inverter uses the utility power to create the field for the wind generator.

I know we never had that long of a wait. I would think the local township may be the first place to check. That seems to be where all of the crap starts with erecting any tower. I see what happens to the cell towers when they propose adding another in my township.



Freddy,

Our original tower was constructed out of corten (sp?) steel. 3 legs 18' apart. No guy wires necessary. A very stable tower. The Jacobs machine was designed to go on a Unarco-Rhone tower which only had a 10 ft spread on the legs. We had to make an adapter plate to joint the original tower to a top section of 12' Unarco with the generator assembly. There was no way to build a tip down model. However one of the dealers had made a set of tip down adapters to use on the Unarco tower. It was later adapted to all of their units.

It was tough the first couple of times trying to work up there while bear hugging the tower with both arms locked tightly to it. After a while I was hanging with the rest of them. My mom's cousin helped with the install. He used to erect the huge utility towers so he was more comfortable up that high.

And at the end of the day, no better place than to be at the 80 foot platform watching the sun set.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: WNY On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:05 pm

here a pic of my sister's new house, it is strawbale constuction, but Vinyl sided on the outside, and mostly plaster walls on the inside, the walls are like 12-14" thick!

you can't see the Turbine, (it's on the left, just outside the pic). Only 2 wood stoves for heat and solar/passive for hot water. It's gonna kinda neat, we are going up on Sunday.
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:25 pm

coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:29 pm

Cheap wind gauge: http://inspeed.com/

A recording one is much more.

Oregon Scientific sells a weather station. A third party sells software that you can hook to your computer and make it a recording weather station.

The tilt up tower is handy. Mine is 60 feet tall, but next yr will be 80'. I guess you can go to around 120 feet with a tilt up, but over 100 is tricky..... not that 60 isn't! About the scariest thing I ever did in my life as raise it the first time. Go ahead...put 1,010 pounds on the end of a 60 foot 1,000 pound stick & stand it up. LOL Good fun! Now it's easy. 5 minutes up, 10 minutes down.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Anyone have a Wind turbine???

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:53 am

Pics to follow.

I believe hers is a 2500watt turbine.
We were up at my sisters new house on Sunday, I think hers is 100' tall, it runs into 3 banks x 4 batteries each at 6 Volts (in series) (12 batteries total) , therefore, 3 banks of 24VDC into the (2) Invertors that feed the 200A Breaker Box. Most of the lighting is 24VDC and/or 7-15Watt floresent, but various 110 outlets for other items. There is a 2500watt dump circuit for extra load to 2 different quartz heaters in the 3rd floor for extra heat OR it can be used to aux heat the hot water tank too!

The wind currents are very interesting, you have to measure where your turbine is actually going to be put, it was really windy yeasterday at ground level, but the turbine wasn't turning at all, then about 3 pm, it started getting really foggy? it was Weird, in the middle of the afternoon, the winds at ground level were not blowing, but the turbines was cranking right along!!
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon


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