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Wind Turbine for Garden (in UK)

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by WannabeOwner, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Longshot in case anyone has some thoughts ...

    I've toyed with this for years, just never got around to it.

    I have a small tower, and a recording anemometer, which I planned to erect to measure how good my wind is :) I even chucked some left-over concrete in a hole ... so no excuse not to have mounted it already ...

    My understanding is that
    a) I need to measure the wind for a year to form a view about whether its worthwhile
    b) I have clear line of site for "a long way" from garden perimeter, across farm land, to SW prevailing wind direction
    c) I have some trees on that perimeter, some way away on either side. I also have trees 100 yards behind
    d) my understanding is that (c) makes the whole project a waste of time (turbulence)​

    I'm kinda stuck at (d) unless I should still have-a-go, at the measuring at least.
     
  2. DJP31

    DJP31 Member

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    • Like x 1
  3. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Thanks. Doh! I'm a customer of theirs! Haven't visited that site in years ... will take a look ....

    I have Navitron solar-thermal panels for domestic hot water (had those for 10-ish years since we replaced both the central heating and pool boilers (oil) with a centralised log burner and 5 tonnes :eek: of accumulator, and any excess Solar Thermal goes into that accumulator which, along with supplying heat for Rads and Under-Floor (but of course not enough Solar in Winter to be any use ...), also pre-heats the water for domestic hot water tank, or can be dumped into the pool .

    We have also, since, added solar-thermal [dedicated] for pool and PV ... and a passive-house extension, which we migrate into during the winter heating-season ...

    ... just need to get my wind sorted out ...

    ... and some batteries ... and then some more PV [dedicated to the batteries, as that will take us over grid-exportable limit] ...

    ... and then I'll have to find a different project.:)
     
  4. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    VAWTs (Vertical Axis Wind Turbines) are supposed to be better suited to turbulent conditions, but they do have notable disadvantages:
    1) Cut-in minimum airspeed (i.e. a minimum x m/s of wind must be present to sustain rotation)
    2) Powered startup required. Aerofoil-style VAWTs cannot self-start. The generator has to be run as a motor initially to get the turbine up to speed.
    3) Cut-out max airspeed. Unlike HAWTs which can adjust the blade pitch, VAWTs are effectively fixed-pitch systems, so will autobrake/shutdown in high winds.

    Example: Vertical Axis Wind Turbines the qr6 helical VAWT
     
    • Like x 1
  5. culverwood

    culverwood Member

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    From long experience (10+ years) of supplying to wind turbine companies we have found it to be the least stable industry we dealt with and in fact no no longer sell to them due to so much money never being paid as companies go into administration or liquidation regularly. Vertical axis wind turbine companies we have found to be the biggest patent medicine merchants of the lot.

    Sorry for the rant but personally I would choose a PV system plus batteries every time.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    The rant is good data too :)

    Batteries might get me from Day-PV to night, but my PV is 90% less productive in Winter ... for the same reason that I am happy to be early-adopter for Biomass Boiler (nearly 10 years now), Solar Thermal (about the same), PV (came late to party, but was waiting for new-build extension roof) I'm happy to have a go at Wind.

    I'm not sure quite how far DIY I'm prepared to go (time being the issue, rather than aversion), but Hugh Piggott might be a route I would follow.

    Hugh Piggott's blog
     
  7. Subevo

    Subevo Member

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    I think domestic wind turbines are a non starter." you need to fork out about the cost of a tesla to get a decent one which will payback in less than 10 years.
    Fully charged did a feature on a farmer who installed one with good results.
     
  8. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Ah ... payback :)

    White goods, holidays ... a Tesla even ... any car in fact, we all are quite happy that they have no payback ...

    ... but I can pay, capital, now to fix my costs in retirement; have continuity of supply; charge my car (not realistically going to be able to do that from Solar 'coz the car isn't at home during the day when the sun shines, but when the wind blows at night that would contribute).

    I have friends who are envious of the "no payback" things that I have done which turned out well for me, whilst they stood their waiting indefinitely for government to provide sufficient subsidy for them to make the leap.

    But I ain't going to do it unless I can generate a reasonable amount, and turbulence from trees nearby etc. might be the killer. That said, I've investigated more and people have successfully installed a turbine having been told the turbulence was too great, it just needed some testing to find a good location.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. sashton

    sashton Member

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    My advice is forget small wind. You need an average wind speed of at least 5m/s. It's really easy to quickly check. If your local trees and bushes are growing away from the wind you may have it but if they grow upright forget small wind. Secondly they are appallingly unreliable when compared with PV. I have a friend with two 11kW wind turbines and they are forever having bearings changed/blades repaired/braking systems adjusted. I installed 10kWp PV at the same time and all the maintenance I have had to do is clear snow off them.
    My second piece of advice for those considering PV > car charging. Do check your expected yields against the base loads in your house. Remember the minimum charge rate for most EVs is 1.4 kW so even if you install an "intelligent" charger such as a zappi you will only benefit from the PV when your generation exceeds 1.4kW + your house base load (probably 600-1000W if you have a family).
    For example we have 10kWp PV and my wife commutes 40 miles to work (about 11kWh). We have one Powerwall II which helps to even out the peaks and allows her to charge her car at night ….but even with 10kWp PV October through March we are getting less than 50% of the car charge from the sun, the rest being E7. I would estimate that this would drop to less than 10% if we had a standard 4kW setup. OK it has been free commuting for the last few months but it has been unusually sunny this summer(so far).
     
    • Informative x 3
  10. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Thanks, appreciate your feedback and candour :)

    According to the national wind map I have that ... but its not the whole story of course.

    I may tolerate that (I'm happy to help improved/cheaper/scaled-up products to market), but of course in all the Forum chat I've read about people's success that hasn't included discussion of reliability :) My log-boiler, thermal-store, thermal-solar, etc. are all the same - good fuel-cost saving if you ignore the increased maintenance; these solutions are NOT :( routine, mass produced, Corgi-approved solutions but rather pioneering boundary-pushing ones of course.

    Wind would give me some self-generation in Winter when my PV is pants, and also overnight and I'm tempted by that, and once I have PowerWall the storage/smoothing will help.
     

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