Author Topic: Wind turbine  (Read 13602 times)

Offline shingman

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: 0
Wind turbine
« on: August 01, 2009, 08:50:31 AM »
Please tell me the minimum amount of wind that can run a small wind turbine for house hold electricity.? I have a feeling that I don,t live in the right part of the country for a turbine! I do remember growing up that we use to have windmills in this area on farms. What do you think? (Central SC)

hideousmonster

  • Guest
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2009, 09:51:58 AM »
It depends on the turbine.  There are some turbines that are designed for light wind. Here's one for example, that, according to its manufacturer's website, can generate electricity on just 10 mph wind:

Helix Wind Turbine

Of course they're charging an arm and a leg for them, but if you're looking for a survival skill set, this could be your opportunity to learn how to make one yourself.

Offline LdMorgan

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Karma: 121
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009, 10:29:35 AM »
It depends on the turbine.  There are some turbines that are designed for light wind. Here's one for example, that, according to its manufacturer's website, can generate electricity on just 10 mph wind: (pic)


Well, the first thing you should do is look up your location on a wind map. (Just Google it!)

That will tell you what your average wind speeds are (roughly).

If you don't have at least 6 knots wind speed, don't even bother with it.

You can run a wind turbine in lower wind speeds (laughs maniacally) but two problems arise:

1) You won't get enough electricity to sneeze at with any ordinary turbine (no torque!), and

2) an "extraordinary" turbine (say, one 60-feet in diameter) might get you enough energy to sneeze at, but the cost wouldn't be a sneeze, I can tell ya!

You can't get much energy out of a wind stream if their isn't much energy in it.

At that point, dollar fer dollar & Watt fer Watt, yer better off with solar heat + generator + batteries, or photovoltiacs + batteries.

Notice that with that sucky little "low-speed" wind turbine they don't tell you HOW MUCH energy you'll get. It won't be much. Maybe enough to light up an LED--on a brisk day.

You can make electricity with a party pinwheel, if you want. You just can't make much.

As for designing your own low-speed wind turbine--don't even think about it. (Or, better yet,  do!)

I've been involved with wind turbine development for years. I had a great chance to make my next several million dollars by designing a (cheap!) low-speed wind turbine for the government of Malaysia.

Hah!

(Too bad I already spent all my other millions!)

I gave it a good shot, but it all boiled down to the fact that you can't get a big bucket of energy out of a small bucket.

You need a BIG bucket--and they aren't cheap.

Don't waste your time and resources re-inventing the wheel unless you are one hell of an inventor. (A powerful low-speed wind turbine is the Holy Grail of Antioch.)

Just buy something off-the-shelf that will do what you want.

If you have "marginal" winds--low but enough to maybe barely bother with--check out the small wind turbines available for yachts.  They are reasonably inexpensive, reasonably efficient, and pretty durable.

Good luck with your project--there is a LOT of good stuff to be found with a little surfing. You can probably find out what you need, and where to get it. Or how to build it.

hideousmonster

  • Guest
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2009, 11:27:26 AM »
Yeah, they're not good for powering a house, but you can slowly build up energy in batteries. The LED idea is a good one.  I thought about using LEDs to light my house, and powering those with a small wind turbine might be possible. Powering a freezer, or an air-conditioner, or a TV, or a computer, or even a box fan, however... not the best idea. There are many alternatives, though.  In fact, if you want to create a house that doesn't depend on the electric company at all, you might have to use multiple types of alternative energy sources for multiple types of appliances. Believe it or not, there are actually freezers that run on propane and natural gas. Plus you can also look into methods of heating and cooling your home passively, using things like "earth tubes," window and door awnings, and roof venting.

Offline soccer grannie

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 892
  • Karma: 57
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2009, 06:40:50 PM »
Welcome Shingman. We're in the CSRA area of SC. There's a thread under Region 3 asking if anyone is in the CSRA area of GA or SC.

Offline shingman

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: 0
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 08:44:43 AM »
Thanks for all the comments. I,ll have to look into this more!

Offline ebonearth

  • TSP Bunny Rabbit Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1497
  • Karma: 71
  • Plant a Revolution!
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2009, 03:19:21 AM »
HelixWind's new S594 works in 5mph wind areas averaging 1250KW/yr in that range. I just sent them an inquiry since their design is more appropriate to our needs. I will ask them about the certification status and such when I hear back as well as cost and other such pertinent details.

Offline OJ

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 190
  • Karma: 18
    • Big O Gunleather
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2009, 04:18:44 PM »
I wish I could remember where I saw it, but I just read about an innovative new wind turbine that works at wind speeds as low as 2 mph.

It features blades tipped with magnets, turning inside a shroud lined with copper coils.  By integrating the generator with the blades, energy loss in the gears is eliminated.

Offline ebonearth

  • TSP Bunny Rabbit Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1497
  • Karma: 71
  • Plant a Revolution!
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2009, 08:30:37 PM »
I wish I could remember where I saw it, but I just read about an innovative new wind turbine that works at wind speeds as low as 2 mph.

It features blades tipped with magnets, turning inside a shroud lined with copper coils.  By integrating the generator with the blades, energy loss in the gears is eliminated.
Sounds innovative and awesome and heavy and expensive. If it isn't I would be very interested.

I heard from a rep at Helix Wind this is what she stated:

Price estimates, which include grid tie inverters or charge controllers (installations & monopoles additional) Interface Module with Over-Voltage Protection required on all S series models with inverters the cost for it is $659:
-S322 - $7,500.
-S594 - $14,500.
-D361 - $11,000.

These costs are before any local or State rebates and incentives. All units are eligible for the new 30% tax credit (residential) or 30% rebate (commercial).
You can learn more about local, state and federal incentives and rebates at:  www.dsireusa.org



Offline AtADeadRun

  • I<3 Mr. Bill
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 974
  • Karma: 57
  • Velocitas eradico.
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2009, 12:26:08 AM »
I wish I could remember where I saw it, but I just read about an innovative new wind turbine that works at wind speeds as low as 2 mph.

It features blades tipped with magnets, turning inside a shroud lined with copper coils.  By integrating the generator with the blades, energy loss in the gears is eliminated.

It's this thing:  http://www.machine-history.com/Wind%20Turbine%20Blade%20Tip%20Power%20System

According to the specs, in Class 3 wind power density, she'll produce 2000 kWhe/year, which is relatively respectable.  If you're in a place with national-average electricity costs of about $.12/kWhe, then you're looking at $240/year savings.  Note that Class 3 wind conditions are still pretty strong, at 150-200 W/m2, or 11.5-12.5 mph at 10m (or 33 feet) above ground level.  Those conditions obtain throughout much of the Midwest and portions of the Northeast and Cali:  http://www.awea.org/faq/usresource.html.  Sure, she'll turn at 2mph, but at that amount of wind, it's not exactly making mountains of power.

Thing is, according to the Ace Hardware site selling the thing, http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3800670, it's gonna run you $6k -- $4.2k with federal tax credit -- so at $240 a year, you're talking a 17.5-year amortization on a machine that hasn't had a lot of field time to iron out possible problems.  Since she's making frequency-stable AC but not geared, that means she's either inverting in the housing or the vanes are variable-pitch, which is more stuff to break that isn't user-serviceable.

Still, your mileage may vary.  If you're living in a place that has Class 4 winds and/or can fix solid state power converters, vane control systems, and/or generators (depending on how she's set up internally), it'd be something to think about.  If I were living in a place with Class 4 winds, I'd seriously think about it for myself.  I could fix her if she broke, and it's more about the self-sufficiency than the money, though the money doesn't hurt.

Offline Tinker

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: 7
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2009, 02:26:29 PM »
Atadeadrun,
Your amortization calculation is based on a constant price per killowatt hour. Depending on which study you choose, that price may double under cap and trade.
Also, imagine you didn't have the turbine and you had to generate electricity using a gas generator. I haven't calculated it in a while but I think the cost of using a generator is an order magnitude greater than using the grid. 

Offline AtADeadRun

  • I<3 Mr. Bill
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 974
  • Karma: 57
  • Velocitas eradico.
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2009, 03:32:55 PM »
Atadeadrun,
Your amortization calculation is based on a constant price per killowatt hour. Depending on which study you choose, that price may double under cap and trade.
Also, imagine you didn't have the turbine and you had to generate electricity using a gas generator. I haven't calculated it in a while but I think the cost of using a generator is an order magnitude greater than using the grid. 

Easily an order of magnitude, but that's apples to oranges.  You use a wind turbine to offset overall usage and a gas genset for emergencies, peak loads, and remote ops.  Like I said, for me, it'd be more about the self-sufficiency than the costs, but I'd be unwilling to use speculative measures like "cost per kWhe might go way up under some legislation that hasn't yet passed."

Offline Tinker

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: 7
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2009, 03:28:42 AM »
Quote
Easily an order of magnitude, but that's apples to oranges.  You use a wind turbine to offset overall usage and a gas genset for emergencies, peak loads, and remote ops.

Yes, turbines and gensets are used for different things, and comparing their relative costs is like apples to oranges. However, in an extended grid down situation, they are both just fruit (a power source). In that situation the turbine pays for itself much more quickly.

Also, does anyone believe electricity prices are going down? If not, then the question becomes how much does one think it will go up. I think the price will likely double, maybe even quadruple, within the 17.5 years calculated. How about you?

The point I am trying to make is that a turbines value is not simply defined by some static amortization table. I think you agree since "its more about self-sufficiency and not the money" for you. Self sufficiency means not having to worry about future increased energy costs.

Offline ebonearth

  • TSP Bunny Rabbit Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1497
  • Karma: 71
  • Plant a Revolution!
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2009, 10:04:31 AM »
I agree with Tinker. it should also be said that wind turbines do stick out more than roof installed solar panels. So as we all look at at wind turbines as an alternative we should keep this in mind. I think that is one of the reasons Helx Wind appeals to me, it doesn't look like a conventional wind turbine which, provided it does not generate too much noise, should appease the neighbors.

Offline AtADeadRun

  • I<3 Mr. Bill
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 974
  • Karma: 57
  • Velocitas eradico.
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2009, 11:05:19 AM »
According to the S594 website, it generates "5 dB above background," which isn't much of an answer, but it's certainly quieter than your average HAWT, which can run into the 80 dB range for consumer-level mini- and micro-turbines running outside their optimal band.  Most urban and suburban noise pollution regulations run to something like 50 dB at 50 meters.  I found a video of the thing in operation, and if the sound hasn't been tinkered with, then this is a *really* quiet unit:  Helix Wind Turbine

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a video of the Honeywell blade-tip unit in operation, since that has a peak noise level listed to which we could compare the S594.


Offline Tinker

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: 7
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2009, 03:42:13 PM »
Here is HelixWind's fact sheet concerning their noise measurements. Its only a one page pdf, but it does give more details on their measurements. They checked the sound level at a distance of 5 feet, using a NIST certified sound level meter. At wind speeds of less than 7m/s, they could not detect any noise. With wind speeds greater than 7m/s, their measurements varied between 0 and 4 dB(A). In both cases the ambient noise levels with the turbine stopped varied between 5 and 10 dB(A). So ambient noise varied by a greater amount than total noise the turbine produced, meaning the turbine is virtually silent.

Offline ebonearth

  • TSP Bunny Rabbit Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1497
  • Karma: 71
  • Plant a Revolution!
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2009, 04:10:51 PM »
I looked at all these things before, the video was part of the PV installer course #2 is taking because he asked about making a hybrid wind/solar system. They look and sound rather quiet but I woul have to really experience it first hand before I would feel comfortable plunking down almost 18K for the S594.

Offline Pukwudji

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
  • Karma: 11
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2010, 09:43:13 PM »
  Most Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (the normal blades out from type) don't start making useful energy until 6-8mph wind.  This can, however, be worked around by wiring more phases (7 instead of 3) and more propellers.  That still doesn't get you much gain and you lose some performance in stronger winds, but you are better off getting a little power most hours of the day than a lot of power once or twice per month.  The more blades you add the more torque you have but it reduces the top speed of the turbine.  This is why all those water pumping windmills you see on the farms have a lot of blades; it takes a lot of torque to pump water out of a little hole in the ground.  There are several sites you can go online to find information and methods to make your own.  Here are a few of my favorites.

http://www.thebackshed.com/
http://www.fieldlines.com/board/
www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/index.html

-Brian

Offline Truik

  • Perpetual Student
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2908
  • Karma: 65
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2010, 10:18:42 PM »
Don't forget...

Windspeeds vary widely depending on the exact location.

If you live in a city between two tall buildings, you may end up with quite an impressive little wind tunnel, increasing your energy output by double or triple what the map may indicate possible.

If you live in the country, clear air paths and elevation are your friends. Mounting a turbine on a tower can get some dramatically increased wind speed over placing it on the roof. Even if you DO place it on your roof, placing it in such a way that it catches the wind blowing off the top edge of the roof may help quite a bit.

The best way to find the right spot for your wind turbine? Spend a little time doing a wind audit and try several good possible locations with one of these...



http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Kestrel-1000-Wind-Meter-Anemometer-Handheld-Meter-/390018413321?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5acee8b309


Offline johnlittle

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2012, 02:19:24 AM »
Hi, I think the wind turbine is the Vital part of the wind power generation. Actually I want to know about its use. Suppose I have to generate 1000 watt power then what wind turbine should I use?

Offline cuban-in-the-sticks

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2012, 08:32:38 PM »
Please tell me the minimum amount of wind that can run a small wind turbine for house hold electricity.? I have a feeling that I don,t live in the right part of the country for a turbine! I do remember growing up that we use to have windmills in this area on farms. What do you think? (Central SC)

im in aiken, SC and i have a wind turbine, it makes great power considering SC is a low wind area. feel free to ask any questions u may have. its mounted on a 27ft tower i made myself, if i were to do it again i would just buy a freestanding tower but its more money upfront, im happy either way the free standing tower just would of been allot less work. lol

i'll post up some videos.

oh, and i do not rely on the wind turbine for everyday power, but it is nice to have it on the windy and stormy days when a solar panels aren't doing much anyway.

also, your very own specific location could be better than the state average like mentioned before, could also be worse, i think i just lucked out and happen to be in a good wide open spot.

anyway, ask away

Carlos

Offline Fridom

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Wind turbine
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2012, 03:33:58 PM »