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Any guidance or direction on off-grid wind turbine power?

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  • Any guidance or direction on off-grid wind turbine power?

    Hey guys,

    I'm an EE who's taken on a pro-bono case for a local school who wishes to power a small barn with a windmill and battery back up. I'm looking for similar projects, companies or website forums for those who have done similar projects. This sub forum is the closest I've come to being wind-only, but perhaps someone can direct me otherwise. I have been doing my share of research on the topic and I'm fairly well-versed, however there are large difference between solar and wind and hybrid solar/wind systems; this can be quite complex. Thank you advance for your help!

  • #2
    Tell them to abandon the project.

    Anyplace with usable wind, will be "uncomfortable" for humans.

    Whirling, DIY wind systems should not be mixed with children, as the risk of the propellers mixing the children is too great ( see Bass-O-Matic )

    For wind advice, check out Hugh Piggott's great wind sites:
    http://scoraigwind.co.uk/
    http://scoraigwind.com/

    [QUOTE]It
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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    • #3
      [QUOTE=Mike90250;n343737]Tell them to abandon the project.

      Anyplace with usable wind, will be "uncomfortable" for humans.

      Whirling, DIY wind systems should not be mixed with children, as the risk of the propellers mixing the children is too great ( see Bass-O-Matic )

      For wind advice, check out Hugh Piggott's great wind sites:
      http://scoraigwind.co.uk/
      http://scoraigwind.com/

      It
      I was hoping you'd respond, I've seen you in the NiFe vs. FLA thread. Thank you for the response, but I'd like to argue that sentiment about abandoning the project entirely. The barn is 50'x75' with a mild 2kW load max, realistically about 30% of that. The battery back up would provide the source of constant power. You might not be familiar with my location in the Midwest USA, and that's fine, but to all calculations the wind is available with an average of 6-11 mph year round, plus we have multiple MW turbine farms within a 15 mile radius of the school. Danger and wind power aren't the issue, but installation is.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by idle View Post
        Hey guys,

        I'm an EE who's taken on a pro-bono case for a local school who wishes to power a small barn with a windmill
        What type of grain will be you grinding into flour?

        Or, if considering a wind turbine I agree they should scrap the project in favor of solar. If you don't take this advice, stick with turbines that have been small wind council certified at least. Do NOT use any vertical axis wind turbines. Energy production is near zero on those marketing installations no matter what charts they have come up with. It client pressures you on vertical axis - ask them to help you find a single example of an installation with energy metering proving energy generation.

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        • #5
          I made a post but it was deleted. I'm new here, what's going on?

          Comment


          • #6
            Anyway, thank you both for the messages. It won't let me quote either of you.

            Mike90250 So, I see what you're saying about the danger but you're not being clear what the actual potential hazard is other than saying "it's dangerous".

            adoublee Thank you for the advice, I'll ensure what turbine we do receive is small-council certified. No flour will be ground lol, just a water heater (100w) and some LED lights.

            Both of you have alluded to the danger of the windmill. I would imagine it would be <1 kW in size, so I don't see why it wouldn't provide power. Where I'm located in the Midwest USA, we are average 6-11mph year round, and there are multiple MW turbine farms within a 15 mile radius. But again, that depends on height and other potential obstructions. We are still in the planning stage and I will adjust my research down the path of safety and practicality rather than the implementation so I don't go too far down a path which wouldn't provide what we want.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by idle View Post
              Anyway, thank you both for the messages. It won't let me quote either of you.

              Mike90250 So, I see what you're saying about the danger but you're not being clear what the actual potential hazard is other than saying "it's dangerous".

              adoublee Thank you for the advice, I'll ensure what turbine we do receive is small-council certified. No flour will be ground lol, just a water heater (100w) and some LED lights.

              Both of you have alluded to the danger of the windmill. I would imagine it would be <1 kW in size, so I don't see why it wouldn't provide power. Where I'm located in the Midwest USA, we are average 6-11mph year round, and there are multiple MW turbine farms within a 15 mile radius. But again, that depends on height and other potential obstructions. We are still in the planning stage and I will adjust my research down the path of safety and practicality rather than the implementation so I don't go too far down a path which wouldn't provide what we want.
              The turbine needs to be 40' above the highest obstruction within a 500' radius of the installation to have a shot at "reaching it's potential". This includes trees. The intent is to get it out of turbulent wind into a continuous wind stream. There is more to wind than than a published speed. Just make sure it is very high - higher than they are probably expecting. And this is a mechanical device - they should be prepared for how the turbine will be brought down for service WHEN it breaks down. Consider this when selecting pole type. Nothing worse than having a broken device screaming "FAIL". I'm to am in the Midwest USA.

              I highly recommend subscribing to Homepower Magazine to pull articles with hones assessments of wind and best practices.

              Comment


              • #8
                adoublee I have acquired all the state and local ordinances for us in my county location, contacted all necessary authorities as well. For me, it is 20' above anything within 300' so you might be careful where you apply those numerics. At any rate, we are also researching the necessary avenue on getting the pole/mount approved as required (I've since forgotten where that requirement was, state or locally).

                More of my concerns are with design of the electrical system system due to the various voltages available from the wind turbine as well as cell type for the battery bank.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by idle View Post
                  adoublee I have acquired all the state and local ordinances for us in my county location, contacted all necessary authorities as well. For me, it is 20' above anything within 300' so you might be careful where you apply those numerics. At any rate, we are also researching the necessary avenue on getting the pole/mount approved as required (I've since forgotten where that requirement was, state or locally).

                  More of my concerns are with design of the electrical system system due to the various voltages available from the wind turbine as well as cell type for the battery bank.
                  I'm not talking about codes you have to meet, I'm talking about an installation that produces reasonable amounts of power and energy. If that is not a project goal you can scrap that rule of thumb. Pika has a system for small wind and storage you might want to look at.

                  Best of luck,

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by idle View Post
                    I made a post but it was deleted. I'm new here, what's going on?
                    The post was not deleted but was held for review because it had weblinks which our software flags as needing approval before they can be seen.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by idle View Post
                      Where I'm located in the Midwest USA, we are average 6-11mph year round, and there are multiple MW turbine farms within a 15 mile radius.
                      Thats the problem is people think they can use the average. With wind you can't. below a certain speed the device does nothing and above it has to be locked down to prevent damage as well. The big ones you are talking about are designed for lower speeds with lots of control units in them.

                      For the cost, you are going to get far more production and reliability out of solar than small wind, and certainly safety
                      OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by idle View Post
                        adoublee I have acquired all the state and local ordinances for us in my county location, contacted all necessary authorities as well. For me, it is 20' above anything within 300' so you might be careful where you apply those numerics. At any rate, we are also researching the necessary avenue on getting the pole/mount approved as required (I've since forgotten where that requirement was, state or locally).

                        More of my concerns are with design of the electrical system system due to the various voltages available from the wind turbine as well as cell type for the battery bank.
                        Any type of wind turbine requires some type of charge controller that will provide the proper voltage to charge batteries as well as limiting the output from the turbine should it spin too fast. Hopefully someone will provide you that information.

                        From what I have seen you also need some type of breaking system to stop the turbine at wind speeds that could damage it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          adoublee You did actually refer to a code requirement, that's what the clearance requirement is for '20 feet higher than anything within 300 feet'. As for the wind, wind is wind, there really nothing more to it than that.

                          SunEagle Okay, his post I quoted did have links.

                          ButchDeal Yes, I'm aware of the speed danger and requirements. I still need to look into the variability of solar vs wind as many others have suggested.

                          SunEagle Yes, you need a break which is similar to just shorting or opening the leads of a solar panel, you just don't want the wind turbine to spin freely with no resistance. You're also right about the charge controller, I need to find a company which provides a charge controller able to handle a much larger voltage window than for solar panels.

                          Thank you so far everyone.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by idle View Post
                            adoublee You did actually refer to a code requirement, that's what the clearance requirement is for '20 feet higher than anything within 300 feet'. As for the wind, wind is wind, there really nothing more to it than that.
                            No - a design rule of thumb is not a code requirement. And wind has low speed, high speed, direction, change in direction, and change in speed in addition to your average speed.

                            Trust us that they will regret not going solar over wind. Some have been looking at both for years. If you don't believe this they might need to find a topic expert with more qualifications on the subject to figure out how to best spend their money.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by idle View Post
                              adoublee You did actually refer to a code requirement, that's what the clearance requirement is for '20 feet higher than anything within 300 feet'. As for the wind, wind is wind, there really nothing more to it than that.

                              SunEagle Okay, his post I quoted did have links.

                              ButchDeal Yes, I'm aware of the speed danger and requirements. I still need to look into the variability of solar vs wind as many others have suggested.

                              SunEagle Yes, you need a break which is similar to just shorting or opening the leads of a solar panel, you just don't want the wind turbine to spin freely with no resistance. You're also right about the charge controller, I need to find a company which provides a charge controller able to handle a much larger voltage window than for solar panels.

                              Thank you so far everyone.
                              The charger should be matched to the wind turbine output. I am sure there are quite a few manufacturers that sell both but IMO I would go with a quality company like Schneider Xantrex they make CC for both solar and wind.
                              Last edited by SunEagle; 02-22-2017, 12:14 PM.

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