Wind power in London? Futile???

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Martin
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portable turbine

Post: # 20159Post Martin »

- you should be able to disassemble a small wind turbine, and move it to a new location relatively easily - all you'll leave behind are some smallish concrete footings (or it can be done using a stack of drilled concrete slabs - you can dig them out, and take them with you! 8)
Something like my simple £650 "electrify the garage" scheme could work well for you - if you mount all the electrics in an outdoor box or shed, you could simply run a cable into your home - plug a 5 socket block into it, and power things like your lights, laptop, radio and tv, and that collection of chargers we seem to collect these days (mobile phones etc) off that block..........leave your normal mains system as it is - you could use it considerably less! 8)
For any system, you have to do some simple sums as to what you need to use, and what you can affordably generate for yourself. 8)
If you're using an electric immersion heater, they run away with money - do some sums - if you think you're going to be in the place for some years, the "payback" time on solar warm water heating is not very long (especially if you buy a kit for around £1200, and "do it yourself" - who knows, the owner may even contribute, because it'll last for 25 years, and will add value to his property (worth asking anyway!~)
http://solarwind.org.uk - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.
Amateurs encouraged - very keen prices and friendly helpful service!

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Stonehead
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Post: # 20845Post Stonehead »

You can also go down the boating route and use as many 12v systems as possible, including lighting. That reduces your need for a large inverter, but you need heavily insulated cable or short cable runs to minimise loss.

A lot of electrical appliances use transformers to take them down to 12v (and most of the transformers are incredibly inefficient), but it is possible to set up a 12v wiring system to run most of them direct.

So, I'm currently looking at taking all our outbuildings off-grid, with 12v lighting and a small inverter for a few 240v appliances (heat lamps for example) that need to run continuously. Power generation will come from a wind turbine and, possibly, reclaimed/salvaged PV, with a battery bank.

When I need to use power tools, pressure washers etc, I have a Lister Start-o-matic that I'm converting to vege oil and methane later on. I also have a Lister LD diesel running on vegetable oil to power the water pump.

We also have a SolarTwin solar hot water system. It is incredibly efficient (and therefore worth the extra cost over a homebuilt system), uses a PV pump and has no antifreeze. It works even on overcast days and on a sunny summer's day it takes the water temperature up to 65C. But, our roof is only a couple of degrees off due south, the slope angle is 45 degrees, and we're not shaded.

But, before doing all this the most important thing is to monitor your electricity consumption and cut out everything that is not needed. I turn the computer off at the wall (and never turn the printer and scanner on unless I'm going to use them there and then), the hi-fi is turned off at the wall, the dreaded TV is off at the wall, and so on.

There are Savaplugs on the freezers and refrigerator (and they go off when not in use), the thermostats on the radiators are turned to 17C, and so on.

Only when you've reduced your energy consumption to the minimum should you consider how to replace the grid power with your own generation. And while a 6mw turbine may appear more efficient, don't forget to allow for its construction costs, the cost of transmission, the losses during transmission, the cost of maintenance etc. A 6mw turbine right next to a small town can be very good; a whole farm of them in the Highlands sending electricity to London can be very bad.

Anyway, I'm off on my hobby horse again so I'd better get off and go to bed! :mrgreen:

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Martin
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bang on

Post: # 20847Post Martin »

can't fault any of your reasoning....... :wink:
I think there's a point that gets missed - a political one! - once you have your own power generation etc., you are less dependent on the "state" - they've lost control of you - they HATE that (this lot of control freaks anyway).
I seriously wonder how much this affects the obvious total lack of real interest in alternative power - grants are a joke, and "more jobs for the boys", - I suspect they can't be arsed because they've already done the deal to sell our futures to "Atom Corp. Inc" - there is NO political will whatsoever to help the alternatives! :pale:
I'll be interested to see how you get on with a wind turbine - I've long been a fan of Hugh Pigott, and he shows that you can build very useable turbines at a very low cost if you're prepared to "get your hands dirty". On the whole, turbines are a daft idea in town - out in the sticks they really come into their own!
The one thing that really brought home to me how much energy we squander was the acquisition of an ancient caravan (1973) which I did up, and we now use to trot off to Glasto etc - I bunged in a 12v system, fluorescent lights, water pump,car radio, heater blower etc (all secondhand from a breaker), and you suddenly realise you actually only need about a 4-6w fluoro to read, wash and cook - you can watch a little portable b&w telly that only draws about 10w - life does not cease to exist without our usual floodlighting or vast coloured tv screens!............. (and a single candle in a caravan can be quite magical! :dave:
http://solarwind.org.uk - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.
Amateurs encouraged - very keen prices and friendly helpful service!

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