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Wind turbines, your hates and loves

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Wind generation.

What do you like about yours, what don't like about yours, what do you wish yours did but doesn't?

Noise is a obvious one. Some are worse that others.

What else?


Another wee question, who has integrated their wind and solar inputs? Any goods, bads or 'watch out for' around that?

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Silentwind. Best out there, but not the cheapest. Low start speed, quiet,  and good output. Early ones had controller issues, but they seem to be remedied now.

I have an air breeze with silentwind blades. Just about to take it off for a bearing replacement. 

Probably wont put it back up for local sailing, not needed. May sell it....

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had a small 1 on a boat i bought

the bearings never got lubed and weren't sealed well enough so all the grease got washed out

the bearings got hot enough to melt the plastic holders they were in

so the fan started wobbling enough for the rotor to touch the stator and cut into the all the windings

ruining the whole thing

this wasn't picked up by the previous owner as the regulator also controlled the solar which worked perfectly at keeping the house batteries charged

i guess they have their place but for most sailors more solar would be better





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Yeap up on the ranch.

Slight change of plan on stage 1 of the power. Instead of stage 1 of a far bigger system it's now going to be System A and will run independently from what was stage 2, that is now System B. A will run the big shed and power the fencing, B will run the house and be back up for A if required. Been chatting with a dude who knows stuff, lived it for many years and he put a very good case across that renewables are like investing, never put all your eggs in the same basket and have a plan for when the market turns i.e. the sun stops shining.

To take that even further, as the big system is wind and solar possibly with some stored hydro if i can get it to work on a small scale, to spread the load i.e. risk, I want to do the same for both systems. Big wind is sorted or at least a work in progress and there is time for that to happen, working with a NZ start up on a cunning new windy thingy. But now I'm sussing wind for the smaller shed system and thinking of downsizing inputs to 500W of wind next to 500W of solar feeding a big bank of batteries. Like all renewables storage is the key to how effective they are so we're going to go large on that so inputs can stop but we have a lot of time before things get critical. Many systems only have hours of reserve not days and/or rely on generator back up. While I have gennys I want them as very last resort.

So sussing the ins, outs and so on of basic wind.

Spoken to one of my ex staff and he's onto my tracker for me, good lad that one.


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If you want a really good one for land based generation ...see if you can find an older ( pre Chinese manufacture ) Bergy brand unit. Made in the USA.  These are of a size suitable for serious home power. You will need to get it up on a tower to make it worthwhile.

A guyed tilt tower is the easiest to make and maintain . You can get 30 metres in height without to much trouble with a 50 plus kg turbine on top.

As for only hours of storage ? 

None that l know of or built !! 5 to 10 days usually...

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Yeap a tower is on the cards and I have found 2 real good spots for it. Both get good clean wind and are away from anything that it may annoy. Just being a little cautious as renewables take up a lot of space and often cause harm to things around them. Not to mention the visual pollution they cause and wind does tend to be like transmission towers by being put on otherwise pristine horizons. 

Bergy, I'll be sussing that in a few minutes thanks.

There are 3 schools of thought around sizing things. Go BIG on the inputs and less on storage working on the theory huge inputs fill storage fast so if it runs down no big worry. Another is go BIG on storage and then you need less inputs as it gives time to gather the inputs needed. The 3rd is go BIG on everything, this more tends to be for those with huge demands and huge wallets. Option 1 is the most common as storage is often the greatest cost.

We started off more theory 1 but have now moved to theory 2 after chatting with more experts and deeper sussing of how we'll be using the thing.


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for land based have a look at the rutland furlmatic.  Have used them on lighthouses in wellington and aren't too bad.  from trying  various units I tend to favorr mechanical speed control rather than electronic.  We cooked a few electronic controlled windmills over the years.  Biggest issue seems to be what happens on a windy day when the batteries are full.... no work today and some models appear to cook themselves at that point. The furlmatics give up and feather themselves when it gets too breezy.  superwind are the others ones i'l look at if we weren't using the rutlands, from what i understand they have a governor in the hub that progressively takes the pitch off as they speed up. again mechanical control...

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Word from Welly can't be bad, they do get the odd zephyr of breeze down there and do have some stonking big windmilly things :)

The Furlmatic is a bit down on grunt putting out only 92W at 21kts at peaking at 155W at 29kts. The smaller Superwind is better but still only 350W at 26kts. Both have quite high start up speeds being over 3m/s.

But the Superwind 1250 is a eye catcher. Putting out 400W at 15kts. 800W at 19kts and a very lovely 1250W at 23kt, that's very good grunt and not that high a wind speeds to gather it, nice. A quick google for the $$ was a wee bit Ouch but there is a simple equation I like to use - Do it once + do it using the right gear = no need to put down your cold beer for many many years if not longer, so it's about to get some serious attention.

Cheers fella, that's now going to make a mess of my day even more now ;)

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