Mini wind turbines

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ina
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Mini wind turbines

Post: # 16910Post ina »

Could one of you technical boffins take a look at this and tell me whether it seems any good, please?

http://www.renewabledevices.com/

They are an almost local (!) company that make small windturbines. I think one of those would provide me with enough electricity all year round. There are grants available; only if you own your home, though... (Isn't that typical? If you don't have the money to buy your house, you won't get any help with investments to save money on electricity, either! Grrrr)

An article in the paper said they expect the price to go down to about £1.500 pretty soon, as production levels are rising fast.
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Post: # 16955Post Muddypause »

I saw this discussed a coule of months ago on another forum somewhere, but I damned if I can remember which one, and I can't find it by Googling. I think the general consensus was that the claimed specification was probably on the optimistic side.

The generator patches into your domestic electricity supply, and as it generates, this power is added in, so that you use less electricity from the power company. It doesn't make it clear from the specs what happens to any surplus power you generate - it should be possible to feed it back into the national grid, effectively selling your surplus back to the power company (or looking at it another way, banking it for future use). This is a very effective way of using micro-generation, though it does depend upon you having a connection to the national grid in the first place.

The 2 - 3,000 kWh per year that it claims is probably about right from a 1.5kW generator (most calculations that I've seen work on an assumption that these things deliver an average of about 1/3 of their maximum output). A kWh (kiloWatt-hour) is one unit of electricity on your meter, so if you can find a years worth of electricity bills, you can easily work out how many units you consume in a year.

There's something making me wonder if this is all too good to be true. We each consume, domestically, an average of about 2,000 kWh of electricity per year, and if that can be supplied by this tiddly little thing, then why on earth have we bothered with huge power stations, and what exactly is the energy crisis all about?

Re. the grant - would your landlord be able to apply for one, as the property owner? Also, if he is able to apply for one, based on my knowledge of grants for LPG car conversions, make sure you know exactly what the grant requirements are before you order the unit.

Keep us posted.
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ina
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Post: # 16992Post ina »

Thanks, Stew.

As my landlord is the institute I work for, I think the grant business might be a bit difficult... I am on the grid anyway, so that should not be a problem - and, if I remember correctly, they did say somewhere that surplus can be sold to the national grid. There's plenty of wind up here; only few days when we have next to none at all, which is why I was thinking if it doesn't make sense up here, where would it?

I'll definitely look into that. Now that they have this grant scheme up and running, the production and sales figures are expected to rise soon, which would make them cheaper and more affordable, even without the grant.
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Post: # 17216Post midgemagnet »

The other device is "windsave" at www.windsave.com , I have been following swift and windsave devices to decide which one I may want myself - when I can afford it. The windsave device is only 1kw but comes with all the kit to interface with home power supply and appears to be £500 cheaper.

As muddypause says, the statistics on both are a little optimistic, but nonetheless seem good value.

Personally, I want to charge batteries as well as supply to mains so I'm guided to the swift - but can't get a lot of info on supply out of renewable devices or Scottish Hydro - they seem more interested in supplying glitzy public projects (schools, public buildings etc.) rather than domestic users.

Best wishes
Mick

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Post: # 17217Post Muddypause »

Cheers, Mick.

A useful link. I just amended the URL so that the comma wasn't part of it, to make it clickable.
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Post: # 18956Post Rohen »

Could one use a wind generator on an allotment to provide Electricity for garden appliances?
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Post: # 18970Post Muddypause »

I don't see why not.

But there are some things you would need to consider.

Firstly, would the conditions of your allotment tenancy allow you to do it? It would be disappointing if they didn't, unless you are thinking of a big one.

Secondly, consider what you want to run on the electricity you generate. At its simplest, a wind turbine usually generates power at 12 or maybe 24 volts. This is easy to store in batteries, with the generator recharging the batteries when you are not using them. In some ways, this would be ideal for an allotment, where there will be lots of recharging time. This will allow you to use more batteries and store more electricity.

But if you want to run 240v appliances, then the low voltage will need stepping up with an inverter. The real, pragmatic issue here is that both batteries and an inverter can work out pretty expensive, if you're buying them new.

Low voltages are more suited to use for lighting, small pumps, sound and vision equipement, computers - stuff like that, which would use a transformer to step mains voltage down to low voltages. Nev's the man to tell you more about this.
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Post: # 18977Post albert onglebod »

The other concern would be,would it still be there when you went to the allotment next time? What with peoples sheds and greenhouses being stolen,I can see something like a wind turbine being even more nickable.

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Post: # 19118Post Rohen »

The allotment is only accessible by a two foot wide path and there is a locked gate.

It is also overlooked by lots of flats and it is possible that someone might vault the golf course fence and come over but they would have a singularly difficult job to remove such a thing if sited properly with cement and concrete


As for the greenhouses some of the sheds have been there for donkeys years

The allotments are not visible to the public at all so how would they know a wind turbine was there?
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Beware "smoke and mirrors"

Post: # 19229Post Martin »

There are now several companies offering "roof mounted" wind turbines - in words of one syllable, they're a con! :?
Let me explain - noone in their right mind would contemplate "wall or roof" mounting - it WILL vibrate, and exert some hefty loads into the structure - I can forsee considerable structural damage, not to speak of the racket!
Secondly, shoving a wind turbine onto a roof is probably one of the worst places for catching the wind - height is very important. They cheerfully wafffle on about "making a statement" - to be frank, that's all the good they are - they won't generate useable amounts of electricity in almost all urban environments - it's faulty design and reasoning!
Anyone who applies to these companies is put on a waiting list - as far as we know, noones ever seen one of these mythical beasts!
Not that I'm cynical about "breadheads" or anything! :roll:
ps for the allotment, go for one of the robust and ludicrously inexpensive 200w ones like Dick Strawbridge used to pump his water in this weeks programme! (about £355 delivered, including mast, rectifier and control unit and inverter)

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ps

Post: # 19230Post Martin »

food for thought - if you use a "tilt-up" tower, it has been successfully argued that it is a "temporary structure" (like a shed), and hence you DON'T need planning consent! :wink:

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