Powered by Invision Power Board


Forum Rules Forum Rules (Please read before posting)
Pages:12 ( Go to first unread post ) Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Wind Power, Diy option?
damien
Posted: December 25, 2011 12:09 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 5,494
Member No.: 175
Joined: October 02, 2002




So we hosted Christmas for my wifes family. Some members haven't got to spend time at our newly built house so spent a fair bit of time in each area.

We had great weather and were outside when my brother in law piped up and said 'you get decent wind through here.' I replied with 'this is calm, on a windy day forecast it blows a gale. Chairs blow off the deck.'

It was joked 'you should set up a small wind turbine in that dead zone where that gully wind rips through.' Got me thinking. Is this a viable DIY project to power my workshop in the double garage? 240v @ 10 amps? Doubtful. Is such a thing legal?

Father in law said 'generate 12v and you'd be fine' wtf would I use 12v for?

It is an interesting project. Even if it was on the roof the amount of wind in my area is ridiculous.

Damien


--------------------
Wow you look quite normal for a geek.

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Geek
Posted: December 25, 2011 12:29 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Moderator
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 9,943
Member No.: 62
Joined: July 23, 2002




We can get these on sale for ~$500 here:
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Au...W.jsp?locale=en

Might be worth playing with?

The expensive part is the prop and gearbox (which blow up if not designed right). If you have *that* much variance in wind, I'd suggest an adjustible pitch.

Cheers!


--------------------
-= Gregg =-
"Ratings are for transistors.....tubes have guidelines"
(please do not PM me for advice. Non-forum business messages will be ignored)
PMUsers Website
Top
MacFromOK
Posted: December 25, 2011 04:26 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 14,133
Member No.: 5,314
Joined: June 04, 2006




QUOTE (damien @ December 25, 2011 05:09 am)
Father in law said 'generate 12v and you'd be fine' wtf would I use 12v for?

Lighting? Fans? Computers? Automotive stereo systems? Lol, seat heaters? biggrin.gif


--------------------
Mac *

"Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." [Wernher Von Braun]

* is not responsible for errors, consequential damage, or... anything.
PMEmail Poster
Top
CWB
Posted: December 25, 2011 04:38 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 21,381
Member No.: 15,154
Joined: May 15, 2008




if the power system you install is completely isolated from the commercial mains ; no problem with legalities concerning the power company .

a 12 volt system would require some fair sized wire to get the current required by heavy loads to the loads ... expensive proposition .
small loads , such as inverter driven florescent lights would be ok on #12 or #14 wire .
however , a higher voltage will lessen IIR losses .

if you're looking to generate higher voltages to make your shop equipment "plug-n-play" you would need to either use a constant speed AC wind generator to maintain the 50 or 60 Hz .
a DC generator/alternator system charging a battery bank and running a decent sized inverter would allow you to use your shop equipment/lighting "as is" .
start up current requirements of things like compressor and table saw motors have to be taken into account in either case .

you could run one of the high energy consumers in your home by either ac or dc of the correct voltage ... the water heater .
you could plumb in a large "pre-warming" tank ahead of the real water heater .

i have often thought about using the mechanical power from a wind mill to drive a refrigeration compressor for house air conditioning and the 'fridge .


--------------------
"Know how to solve every problem that has been solved"
R. Feynman '88
PM
Top
AwesomeMatt
Posted: December 25, 2011 08:07 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 3,027
Member No.: 9,878
Joined: June 21, 2007




A windmill that would be fun to build and use? Sure.

A windmill that would be worth the time or money investment? Probably not.

LOTS of DIY windmill plans out there, from the whole off-the-grid and hippy communities. You can re-use car alternators, you can buy some neodymium magnets and wind your own coils, sinking it into resin, carve the blades and build the tower yourself.

The tricky part is the stuff you more or less have to purchase. All the non-windmill things. Battery banks, charge controllers, inverters, and if you want to synch to the power grid, all that stuff too. And yet, all that's necessary if you want it to be worthwhile and not be wasting most of the power you're generating (since you won't be using it most of the time).

I think CWB has the right idea though, to use it directly for things like a pre-warming tank or air conditioner or something else that's helpful when it's helpful but otherwise redundant.
PMEmail Poster
Top
johansen
Posted: December 25, 2011 08:45 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 3,153
Member No.: 10,912
Joined: September 06, 2007




Thanks to modern day electronics you can get about twice as much power out of a turbine as compared to the fairly proven designs you can find over at otherpower dot com, but this isn't sufficient to break even.

there's entire wind farms that are sitting idle, shut down because the federal subsidies have run out....

If you have a very good wind site, lots of free steel to build a tower from, and don't need to pay an engineer a grand or three to stamp *approved* on your turbine, then it can break even.


--------------------
9/11 was really a prototype steel smelter that runs on naturally aspirated jet fuel and phosphorus.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
tekwiz
Posted: December 25, 2011 09:14 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 28,711
Member No.: 5,746
Joined: July 24, 2006




If you're good with tools, DIY wind power shouldn't be much of a problem. DC is somewhat easier to generate, because you don't have to worry about little things like correct frequency. It's also much easier to store, for obvious reasons. But this aspect is changing as synchronous inverters become cheaper. These allow you to use your national grid as the storage device, eliminating all of the problems with batteries & converting everything to DC. This method is also much more efficient, simply because you don't have the near 50% battery loss. Such inverters simply make your electric meter run backwards when you are producing more power than you need.
There are a few very simple turbine designs out there, designed specifically for developing nations where access to mechanical technology is very limited.
One I saw a while back used a car's wheel hub as the main bearing for a wind turbine & for a custom built planar permag alternator. Flat steel plate, magnet wire, epoxy & a bunch of neodymium magnets are all that's necessary to build the alternator. Wind turbine blades can be made of thin plywood, pipe, & epoxy very simply. A couple of kws worth output in a 30mph wind shouldn't be difficult to achieve with a 8' diameter turbine. Maintenance is minimal...about what you'd have to do to any exterior painted surfaces plus a once yearly greasing of the bearings. This design has no variable pitch, instead depending on loading for speed control, with a mechanical brake for extreme conditions. A counterweighted tipover tower can also be used for this, but will require a strong swivel base.
Not sure about the legalities in your area; check with your local bylaw officer for that.
Note also that all wind turbines make some noise & this is a consideration in urban areas.


BTW: 8-10' is a good turbine diameter because it allows best use of the standard 4' plywood dimension. 1/8" thick door skin material is perfect for making blades.


--------------------
Trouble rather the tiger in his lair, than the sage among his books.
For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
To him, mere toys of the moment, to be overturned at the flick of a finger.

Fortuna favet fortibus.
PMEmail Poster
Top
telomere
Posted: December 25, 2011 10:39 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 4,300
Member No.: 9,502
Joined: May 18, 2007




There are a lot of folks that DIY turbines in the 3+kW range, plans abound, workshops exist, etc..

But is it legal to erect one? If you want it to do any good, you generally have to put it up higher than most folks would think, and the legality of putting a 50' (or higher) structure on your property depends on your locality.

They rarely do mains voltages directly, because of safety, code, and also because a hobbyist -level project isn't going to be able to sync to the correct frequency. Batteries and inverters have to be part of the project.

And one more thing that many don't imagine.... as opposed to solar, when the batteries are full, you don't just go open circuit, you have to direct the juice into a high-power "dump load".


--------------------
"Sometimes I can't tell the difference between thinking and being quiet, but I'll try."
PMEmail Poster
Top
tekwiz
Posted: December 25, 2011 10:50 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 28,711
Member No.: 5,746
Joined: July 24, 2006




QUOTE (telomere @ December 25, 2011 01:39 pm)
There are a lot of folks that DIY turbines in the 3+kW range, plans abound, workshops exist, etc..

But is it legal to erect one? If you want it to do any good, you generally have to put it up higher than most folks would think, and the legality of putting a 50' (or higher) structure on your property depends on your locality.

They rarely do mains voltages directly, because of safety, code, and also because a hobbyist -level project isn't going to be able to sync to the correct frequency. Batteries and inverters have to be part of the project.

And one more thing that many don't imagine.... as opposed to solar, when the batteries are full, you don't just go open circuit, you have to direct the juice into a high-power "dump load".

Which is why small synchronous inverters are becoming so popular...it's awfully tough to overload the national grid. laugh.gif


--------------------
Trouble rather the tiger in his lair, than the sage among his books.
For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
To him, mere toys of the moment, to be overturned at the flick of a finger.

Fortuna favet fortibus.
PMEmail Poster
Top
Nothing40
Posted: December 26, 2011 01:55 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 3,550
Member No.: 181
Joined: October 05, 2002




Here's a great site for wind/off-grid stuff.

http://www.fieldlines.com/board/


--------------------
"we need an e-kick-in-the-nuts button" -Colt45
PMUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
damien
Posted: December 26, 2011 02:43 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 5,494
Member No.: 175
Joined: October 02, 2002




It's an interesting discussion. It seems one of those stymied things. In this area, near the coast, a valley below us and constant wind. Why not have every house with a small wind turbine on the roof to power thing like a hot water unit, or stove etc. around here we don't look twice at the tv antennas and wifi broadband antennas on people's roofs.

South Australia is big on going green but not enough to make it worthwhile. After all the government needs us buying electricity. With this push of going green, with people lapping up solar rebates etc, do you think we will eventually generate our power on a house by house basis? Say a mixture of solar and in cases like my area, wind.

Damien


--------------------
Wow you look quite normal for a geek.

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
telomere
Posted: December 26, 2011 04:03 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 4,300
Member No.: 9,502
Joined: May 18, 2007




QUOTE (damien @ December 25, 2011 06:43 pm)
It's an interesting discussion. It seems one of those stymied things. In this area, near the coast, a valley below us and constant wind. Why not have every house with a small wind turbine on the roof to power thing like a hot water unit, or stove etc. around here we don't look twice at the tv antennas and wifi broadband antennas on people's roofs.

South Australia is big on going green but not enough to make it worthwhile. After all the government needs us buying electricity. With this push of going green, with people lapping up solar rebates etc, do you think we will eventually generate our power on a house by house basis? Say a mixture of solar and in cases like my area, wind.

Damien

I don't know about how things are near your house, but to get into nice, clean wind, you need to be higher than anything else around, including houses and trees. Unless it's a fairly sparse landscape, that can mean 50' minimum. Plus, you don't get as strong of wind down near the ground regardless.

But, if you're in one of those locations where you get good, constant wind, then wind power can be quite economical if you DIY it. There's an army camp about half an hour away from me that is in an ideal location, it has wind above the minimum threshold for something like 99.5% of the year. They have a couple of huge turbines, and they're always cranking away.

Speaking of hot water, a lot of folks use an electric heating element in their water heater as their "dump load", so that even when batteries are full, the "excess" energy still gets used.


--------------------
"Sometimes I can't tell the difference between thinking and being quiet, but I'll try."
PMEmail Poster
Top
tekwiz
Posted: December 26, 2011 09:01 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 28,711
Member No.: 5,746
Joined: July 24, 2006




QUOTE (damien @ December 25, 2011 05:43 pm)
It's an interesting discussion. It seems one of those stymied things. In this area, near the coast, a valley below us and constant wind. Why not have every house with a small wind turbine on the roof to power thing like a hot water unit, or stove etc. around here we don't look twice at the tv antennas and wifi broadband antennas on people's roofs.

South Australia is big on going green but not enough to make it worthwhile. After all the government needs us buying electricity. With this push of going green, with people lapping up solar rebates etc, do you think we will eventually generate our power on a house by house basis? Say a mixture of solar and in cases like my area, wind.

Damien

Lots of little turbines can equal one big one. I've thought of placing dozens of micro turbines in strategic locations all around this place. In the summer here, we get afternoon winds every single sunny day. These come from the heating of the slopes around this valley & are always from the same direction. Any powerful storm winds come from the same direction.
I fiigure that a bunch of micro turbines placed in locations where wind speed is amplified because of the effect of the buildings could generate a fair bit of power.
There may even be a market for these micro turbines, if they can be mass produced for a low price. I would make them 100% clamp on mounting, so that they can be used on rental units. Low voltage DC units with maximum outputs under 25W apiece wouldn't need much in the way of wiring. user posted image


BTW: Too bad governments are only interested in profit, rather than anything that would help the environment. This is reflected in the electrical utility policies of the so called developed countries. We will eventually end up with a distributed electrical production system, in spite of all the governments can do. It's only increasing the resolution of the systems now in use.


--------------------
Trouble rather the tiger in his lair, than the sage among his books.
For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
To him, mere toys of the moment, to be overturned at the flick of a finger.

Fortuna favet fortibus.
PMEmail Poster
Top
Geek
Posted: December 27, 2011 12:15 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Moderator
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 9,943
Member No.: 62
Joined: July 23, 2002




QUOTE (tekwiz @ December 26, 2011 01:01 pm)
BTW: Too bad governments are only interested in profit, rather than anything that would help the environment.

Might change for us when we deep-six Clark and gang in 18 mos?


--------------------
-= Gregg =-
"Ratings are for transistors.....tubes have guidelines"
(please do not PM me for advice. Non-forum business messages will be ignored)
PMUsers Website
Top
GPG
Posted: December 27, 2011 01:22 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 6,220
Member No.: 792
Joined: April 25, 2004




PMEmail Poster
Top
kellys_eye
Posted: December 27, 2011 08:47 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 10,645
Member No.: 2,735
Joined: June 21, 2005




Usually a cost/benefit analysis reveals why there aren't a lot more of these things around.

If you are 'off the grid' and rely entirely on home-grown power they are indispensible, otherwise, unless you make one from 'scrap', they will cost you for a lot longer than you think.....


--------------------
May contain nuts
PMEmail PosterYahoo
Top
damien
Posted: December 27, 2011 09:09 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 5,494
Member No.: 175
Joined: October 02, 2002




Yes it seems priced just right to prevent anyone who thinks 'that might be a novel thing to do'. Hitting eBay results in turbines for $600 or so, then you need mounting hardware, electronics to charge batteries, dump loads and the batteries themselves. Cable too.

So maybe for $1500-$2000 you can get something going. It won't be viable until prices come down. All it needs is to be enough to get it into homes for less important things like powering that pool pump, or garden lighting etc.


--------------------
Wow you look quite normal for a geek.

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
tekwiz
Posted: December 29, 2011 11:55 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 28,711
Member No.: 5,746
Joined: July 24, 2006




QUOTE (damien @ December 27, 2011 12:09 pm)
Yes it seems priced just right to prevent anyone who thinks 'that might be a novel thing to do'. Hitting eBay results in turbines for $600 or so, then you need mounting hardware, electronics to charge batteries, dump loads and the batteries themselves. Cable too.

So maybe for $1500-$2000 you can get something going. It won't be viable until prices come down. All it needs is to be enough to get it into homes for less important things like powering that pool pump, or garden lighting etc.

Inverters are a lot cheaper than batteries, & have no ongoing costs.
Also, if one desires to go off grid, then electric heating appliances are completely verboten, other than possibly a waterbed heater. wink.gif

BTW: Photovoltaic prices are dropping rapidly. I have a friend who just finished building a couple of 90W panels for not much over $100 for the cells, shipping included.


--------------------
Trouble rather the tiger in his lair, than the sage among his books.
For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
To him, mere toys of the moment, to be overturned at the flick of a finger.

Fortuna favet fortibus.
PMEmail Poster
Top
EveryReasonTo
Posted: December 30, 2011 01:31 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Sr. Member
*****

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 454
Member No.: 13,873
Joined: March 16, 2008




I work in renewables. In general, the small commercial wind turbines aren't worth it financially, but maybe if you build your own, you could break even? The inverter is every bit as important as the turbine. SMA make some good inverters and some of them take voltages as low as 24V (like this one)
PMEmail Poster
Top
johansen
Posted: December 30, 2011 02:03 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 3,153
Member No.: 10,912
Joined: September 06, 2007




QUOTE (tekwiz @ December 29, 2011 06:55 pm)
BTW: Photovoltaic prices are dropping rapidly. I have a friend who just finished building a couple of 90W panels for not much over $100 for the cells, shipping included.

I haven't checked the prices lately but i have some of the latest generation 17% efficient cells.
at the time i paid 28 cents per watt.


--------------------
9/11 was really a prototype steel smelter that runs on naturally aspirated jet fuel and phosphorus.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
kellys_eye
Posted: December 30, 2011 02:22 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 10,645
Member No.: 2,735
Joined: June 21, 2005




QUOTE (EveryReasonTo @ December 30, 2011 01:31 am)
I work in renewables. In general, the small commercial wind turbines aren't worth it financially, but maybe if you build your own, you could break even?


ahhh, so you're in a position to 'tell it like it is' i.e. that most (if not all) re-newable projects are none cost-effective and/or futile/worthless? (excepting the profit to be made by the salesmen in the industry)?

Come on, 'fess up laugh.gif


--------------------
May contain nuts
PMEmail PosterYahoo
Top
Geek
Posted: December 30, 2011 04:38 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Moderator
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 9,943
Member No.: 62
Joined: July 23, 2002




Lousy cost efficientcy != worthless.

Just because people can't see past the dollar sign, doesn't mean the product's worthless wink.gif

Cheers!


--------------------
-= Gregg =-
"Ratings are for transistors.....tubes have guidelines"
(please do not PM me for advice. Non-forum business messages will be ignored)
PMUsers Website
Top
Nothing40
Posted: December 30, 2011 06:57 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 3,550
Member No.: 181
Joined: October 05, 2002




If you're trying to save money RE is NOT the way to go. You simply can't beat the price of grid power.

The FIRST step in any project like this is conservation.
Use LED lighting,insulate the house better,etc,etc.
Then do an energy audit,how much power do you use/need? then go from there,if you have the $$$$

It ain't cheap,but it is nice to be self sufficient.


--------------------
"we need an e-kick-in-the-nuts button" -Colt45
PMUsers WebsiteYahoo
Top
AwesomeMatt
Posted: December 30, 2011 08:25 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 3,027
Member No.: 9,878
Joined: June 21, 2007




QUOTE
You simply can't beat the price of grid power.


Yep. The way to think about it is.. if there was a way to produce power cheaper than the way the grid does it... then the grid would already be doing it. Yet even with economies of scale and location spotting and subsidies, it's still very rarely used.

Then again, hardly any of the things we tinkerers work on are cost effective. We do them because they're fun to do.

On the other hand, micro-scale has its benefits too. You can base a "business model" on salvaged parts and other tricks that don't apply scaled up. An old alternator, some magnetron magnets, scrap wood and metal you already have, regular inspection and maintenance that doesn't require sending a crew out to, etc.

If it's fun and interesting, go for it.
PMEmail Poster
Top
kellys_eye
Posted: December 30, 2011 09:12 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 10,645
Member No.: 2,735
Joined: June 21, 2005




Using the 'I had one spare so I used it' principle you COULD generate electricity cheaper than the grid - especially in countries where the 'real' cost of power is inflated due to hidden taxation (i.e. green subsidies, profiteering etc).

Using a diesel generator in the UK and powered from 'red' diesel (normally only available to farmers etc as it is not taxed as heavily as normal road diesel) you can generate electricity at approximately 75% the cost of grid power. This includes a sum for regular maintenance of the genny.

The cost of grid power can only get worse and any means of increasing efficiencies and/or generating your own cheaper is of huge interest.

Of course, once the popularity of gennying your own power gets wide coverage the government will stop the red diesel tax discount or make the access to it impossible for most people - b@rst@rds.


--------------------
May contain nuts
PMEmail PosterYahoo
Top
0 User(s) are reading this topic (0 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic OptionsPages:12 Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 


:: support us ::




ElectronicsSkin by DutchDork & The-Force