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Assessing Wind & Renewable Energy for the Home

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thnx for the idea.

 

See also the Micropower Thread: http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=30

 

I have done some research on smaller scale windpower before. I will try to find the research and include it here. Meantime, you may want to have a look at a company called...

 

McKenzie Bay (MKBY) : 1-year chart

Yahoo profile : http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=MKBY.OB

 

I will try to find my work on it, and start a thread under "quoted elsewhere"

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I saw it said once (on Grand Designs IIRC) that if British homes were insulated to the same standard as Scandanavian homes (super insulation, triple glazing, etc) that there would be no need for central heating. I don't know if this is actually true.

 

The idea of homes that can generate all the energy they require on site seems perfectly feasible to me, if not now then in the future with new technologies.

 

If the wife and I ever fulfill our amition to build our own house this is something I will be looking to do.

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I saw it said once (on Grand Designs IIRC) that if British homes were insulated to the same standard as Scandanavian homes (super insulation, triple glazing, etc) that there would be no need for central heating. I don't know if this is actually true.

 

The idea of homes that can generate all the energy they require on site seems perfectly feasible to me, if not now then in the future with new technologies.

 

If the wife and I ever fulfill our amition to build our own house this is something I will be looking to do.

We have a few homes like that here. They are heated by passive solar, the waste heat of appliances (fridges, freezers, ovens) and body heat. The problem is fresh air. In order to achieve such excellent thermal efficiency the house has to be completely airtight. The solution is the installation of a fresh-air heat exchanger but these are not terribly efficient. Furthermore, if you get a few cloudy dark winter days in a row, you do need some form of backup heating. Whether the heating system is centralised or not is a matter of comfort and convenience, IMO.

 

The idea of being self sufficient in energy generation is a matter of location and position. Is there sufficient sunlight for solar? Wind for windmills? Waterflow for hydro? And does the cost justify the investment? I believe as small scale power generation improves and the cost of power itself increases, self-sufficiency will become a practicality for most situations, including plugging back into the grid and selling power. Right now, the numbers are iffy especially when you consider that most people live in cities, stacked on on top of another.

 

Perhaps a good road to start down now is looking at the other side of the coin, conservation. The Economist had a good article about usage of standby power in modern appliances. As an example, a microwave oven uses more power in its clock than it does to cook your food. Why? Because the clock is always on. It was estimated that at least 5% of all power generation is used just to keep appliances on standby power. An initiative is underway to lower standby power to less than 1 watt per appliance, but people should read the labels more carefully when buying things. Lighting has seen great strides in the last few years with compact flourescent and LED lights now easily paying for themselves. Best of all, people can do this without moving house! In any event, having a house that consumes much less power than the average would obviously be easier to make self-sufficient in the end.

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"I saw it said once (on Grand Designs IIRC) that if British homes were insulated to the same standard as Scandanavian homes (super insulation, triple glazing, etc) that there would be no need for central heating"

 

I AM SURE that the waste is incredible:

 

+ We need to measure it better- how to do that?

+ We need incentives to consume less, and higher prices will provide important incentive

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via consa's thread in the main forum

 

http://www.timesandstar.co.uk/news/viewart....aspx?id=346462

 

also found this site wind trap

 

The WindTrap site looks excellent. For this money, I am seriously considering giving this a try. For £499 all in, OK it going to take a few years to pay for itself - they reckon it will power 8 energy saving lightbulbs for 8 hours a day, and (or?) TV for 4 hours - but why not?

 

Notice they don't mention it powering a washing machine or dishwasher though, hmmm. OK, I can do without the dishwasher, and the fridge is always going to need to run off the mains, but if it would power the dishwasher for a 1-hour cycle this might be feasible...

 

The great thing with these small-scale project is that they get you thinking about how you could reduce your energy consumption. So, with a wind turbine, solar water heating, and some serious energy saving the 'off-the-grid' utopia might just be possible, for some at least ...

 

cletus

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The WindTrap site looks excellent. For this money, I am seriously considering giving this a try. For £499 all in, OK it going to take a few years to pay for itself - they reckon it will power 8 energy saving lightbulbs for 8 hours a day, and (or?) TV for 4 hours - but why not?

 

Notice they don't mention it powering a washing machine or dishwasher though, hmmm. OK, I can do without the dishwasher, and the fridge is always going to need to run off the mains, but if it would power the dishwasher for a 1-hour cycle this might be feasible...

 

The great thing with these small-scale project is that they get you thinking about how you could reduce your energy consumption. So, with a wind turbine, solar water heating, and some serious energy saving the 'off-the-grid' utopia might just be possible, for some at least ...

 

cletus

if you try it please let us know how you get on

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The WindTrap site looks excellent. For this money, I am seriously considering giving this a try. For £499 all in, OK it going to take a few years to pay for itself - they reckon it will power 8 energy saving lightbulbs for 8 hours a day, and (or?) TV for 4 hours - but why not?

You need to be cautious with wind energy systems to avoid getting well and truly kippered. Take a look at the performance graphs, especially power versus windspeed - this £499 package includes a spectacularly appalling Rutland 503 generator that produces less than 0.1A into 12V, or only 1.2W :o , with a typical onshore 6-8m/s UK wind speed – so unless you live somewhere extremely windy it will be next to useless. It would take almost 1000 years to recover the costs.

 

I would start with your average local wind speed (see below), then size your rotor/generator based on this and the performance curves. For the UK, try to get something with good aerodynamic efficiency.

 

UK Wind Map (quesstimate)

http://www.bwea.com/images/misc/noabl_c.gif

 

DTI UK Wind speed database (and postcode converter, bit fiddly but does work, 2letters+4digits, no spaces)

http://www.bwea.com/noabl/index.html

http://www.dti.gov.uk/renewables/technolog...eed/online.html

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This is what it looks like ...

... what your Pds.495 gets ... : . ... what your Pds.1495 gets ... :

........ Rutland FM910-3 ........ : . : ........ Rutland FM1803 ........ :

Rutland_FM910-3.jpg . Rutland_FM1803.jpg

 

Peak output of 200W (pre furling). ... 750W (pre-furling).

Turbine diameter of 910mm.... ... Diameter of 1869mm.

Weighs 15Kg... w/ 12V or 24V ... 38.5Kg. 12V or 24V output.

 

Basically, a toy............. A bigger toy??

 

THOSE "peak output" figures are what they say: Peak WHEN the wind is blowing.

Best you can hope for is probably 10-20% of that on an average basis

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Abolutely, and another trick played by Windtrap is to quote a “peak output” of 200W for the FM910-3 when even at the (very high) optimum windspeed of 16m/s the current delivered into 12V is only 12A, so that’s 144W – there is a sneaky multiplication by 1.4 “justified” by a cleverly hidden peak versus RMS type misdirection.

 

The manufacturer's website (Marlec) is quite good, though :)

http://www.marlec.co.uk/products/products.htm

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Abolutely, and another trick played by Windtrap is to quote a “peak output” of 200W for the FM910-3 when even at the (very high) optimum windspeed of 16m/s the current delivered into 12V is only 12A, so that’s 144W – there is a sneaky multiplication by 1.4 “justified” by a cleverly hidden peak versus RMS type misdirection.

 

The manufacturer's website (Marlec) is quite good, though :D

http://www.marlec.co.uk/products/products.htm

 

 

Thanks for the reality check. My neighbour reckons it might run a few LED lights, that's all!

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(does this kill the concept for some here?):

 

Anyone who has experience in the industry knows that wind turbines require substantial quantities of wind to produce power. There may be strong gusts and turbulence around buildings but only a small amount of power is available in such locations.

There are a number of manufacturers of rooftop wind turbines. They have sprung up to meet popular demand. There is no evidence that their products can deliver what they claim. Here are some of the web sites.

 

http://www.renewabledevices.com/swift/specification.htm

http://windsave.com/

http://www.d400.co.uk/

http://www.gual-industrie.com/

 

The manufacturers of rooftop wind turbines invariably make quite unrealistic claims, and present a very strong marketing rather than engineering image. They are always looking for very large numbers of sales before demonstrating the technology in a public way. They often play on public misconceptions of the nature of the wind by quoting high power outputs in absurdly windy conditions.

 

It is possible to use wind energy in sheltered locations by the use of very tall towers. The tower is a bigger cost than the turbine. But it pays for itself easily.

 

@:SOURCE: http://www.scoraigwind.com/index.htm

 

= = =

 

DISINTEGRATION RISK...

 

"We have had three components fail. The first was our AEI Multimode 5000 inverter, the central piece of power-processing equipment in the system (see components). The second was a switch used as an electrical brake for the wind turbine. The third component was our two Rutland 913 wind turbines, which disintegrated in a typical winter storm."

 

@:SOURCE: http://www.oceansolar.com/failcom.html

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The government is pledging £50m over next three years to encourage households to generate their own electricity.

 

But the first man in London to put a wind turbine on his roof says that's not nearly enough.

 

The turbine helps provide electricity to run his home and adds to the energy already produced by the solar panels on his roof, the ones on his shed heat his water.

 

The house is designed to save energy, cut costs and most importantly reduce emissions.

 

Last year his energy bill was just £12 - he sold £45 of electricity back to the national grid - making money out of the solar panels.

 

Thats not bad, selling electric to the national grid :) also grants are being made available as announced in the budget.

 

http://www.channel4.com/news/special-repor...age.jsp?id=2059

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Thats not bad, selling electric to the national grid :) also grants are being made available as announced in the budget.

The key to making this work has to be getting the net metering tariff to be more widely implemented, and supported by a low-cost and relatively standardised mechanism for producing, aggregating, and trading those Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

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Here's an interesting company with a smaller scale wind focus.

 

Not homes, but small communities: mcKenzie Bay (MKBY); see thread here

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A bit further up George mentioned the idea of insulating the house properly in the first place so you don't need as much energy. This is true. Most modern houses have the bare minimum 80mm of insulation as required by building regs they also have small trickle vents in the windows letting out all that expensive heat as well. If we adopted the German Passivehaus standard our homes would have 300mm of insulation and heat recovery/ventilation systems that are 85% efficient. These homes can be adequately heated by appliances and occupiers for most of the year. The Canadians and Scandinavians have a similar system. Timber frames in either open or closed frames are the best way of achieving the air tightness that is required are such frames are far more common abroad (or even in Scotland) than they are in England - we are such luddites. I have linked to Bill Dunster's Rural Zed house elsewhere, that just like the homes in BedZed uses passive solar heat recovery and ventilation as doe sthe Passivehaus available through WeberHaus. It's out there boys and girls all we need to do is demand our politicians make the developers build in a totaly different way :lol:

 

http://www.siphome.co.uk/financial_benefit.htm

http://www.buildit-green.co.uk/index.html

http://www.platz-house.co.uk/english/quali...x_qualitaet.htm

http://www.benfieldatt.co.uk/components/bu...nsulated_panels

http://www.scanhome.ie/passive/passiveinstitute.html

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WORTH REVIVING...

there are some good comments on this thread

Excerpts:

 

Spline's:

"this £499 package includes a spectacularly appalling Rutland 503 generator that produces less than 0.1A into 12V, or only 1.2W"

with a typical onshore 6-8m/s UK wind speed – so unless you live somewhere extremely windy it will be next to useless. It would take almost 1000 years to recover the costs.

 

Holland's :

1/ Wind turbine sound clip : http://www.burmeisterbrown.com/WT600-1.mpg

"do you want this on your house"?

 

2/ evaluations, including: DISINTEGRATION RISK...

 

"We have had three components fail. The first was our AEI Multimode 5000 inverter, the central piece of power-processing equipment in the system (see components). The second was a switch used as an electrical brake for the wind turbine. The third component was our two Rutland 913 wind turbines, which disintegrated in a typical winter storm."

 

@:SOURCE: http://www.oceansolar.com/failcom.html

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...more offerings : these from Canada...

 

Whisper 100... : AirX400w .... :

... c$ 3,000 .... : ... c$ 800 .... :

whisper100picyd5.jpg . airxpic.jpg

 

@: http://www.canadiantirepower.ca/en/product...b8&region=9

 

Whisper 100 Wind Turbine c$2999.99

Product Information : Product# 0111862

950W of power at 45km.hr winds

 

Delivers 100Kw (average kW/month @ 5.4m/s)

Adjustable voltage (12/24/36/48V)

One of the quietest turbines available

 

Lightweight cast aluminum body houses integrated charge controller, which prevents batteries from overcharging

Carbon fibre composite blades keep the turbine quiet and maintenance-free

Three-year manufacturer's warranty

 

# # #

 

Can be cheaper:

0111862_450_CC_575d7.jpg

Whisper 100 Wind Turbine with controller.

Factory setting 24v adjustable to 12/36/48 w/ controller. Turbine is new and in the box. I am a dealer for Southwest Wind Power.

 

Offered at $1,500 (2nd hand??) : http://www.sell.com/22BKWQ

 

# # #

 

Types of Wind Generators

There are many different types and styles of wind generators. Many of the older, multi-blade units as seen on farms across the nation generate mechanical energy, often used to pump water.

Small-scale units (under 3 kW): used to charge batteries or direct use (such as pumping water). We feature a selection of small scale units on the following pages.

Medium sized units (up to 50 kW): used in a grid-intertie environment to generate power and feed it to the utility grid. Energy Alternatives designs and installs medium scale units. Due to the nature of these projects, each system requires a detailed assessment prior to quotation or ordering products. Please contact us for further information.

Large-scale units (megawatts): large, towering units that cost millions of dollars and generate power to run hundreds or thousands of homes or businesses. Generally suited to large utilities and power co-operatives.

 

WINDTURBINE Manufacturers

 

Brands

African Wind Power

Bergey Windpower

Energy Systems & Design

Fafco

Global-Yuasa Batteries

Grundfos Pumps

Honda Generators

Iota Engineering

Kyocera Solar

Morningstar

Onan Generators

Outback Power

Solar Converters International

Sharp Solar

Shur Flo

SMA America Inc

Sun Danzer

Sun Frost

Sun-Mar

Southwest Wind

Thermodynamics

Uni-Solar

Wattsun

Xantrex

Zomeworks

 

LINK: http://www.energyalternatives.ca/catalogue...egories/130.htm

 

# # #

 

Ocean Solar's "what we've learned so far" comments are very useful

excerpt / SUMMARY

 

All the wind turbines were tested under load (connected to a battery system), and most experienced a range of wind conditions. While we found some of the units, especially the AIR-403, AIR-X, and Proven WT600 to be unacceptably loud in this location we feel that they have their placeut not in residential neighborhoods!

 

We hope that Southwest Windpower, Proven, Marlec/Rutland and other wind turbine manufacturers, put more of their resources into evolving solidly built units that are truly "neighbor friendly." This turbine must be reasonably quiet and solidly built. We believe that such a turbine would be much in demand, and could allow more wind machines to sprout in residential neighborhoods.

 

Interestingly the three turbines we have found to be most quiet, the Ampair Pacific 100, Rutland 503, and Rutland 913 all have six broad blades with stubby tips. We're not wind turbine designers, but we can't help wondering what a larger, well-constructed, many-bladed design could yield.

 

At this point we have tested 6 different wind turbines. None of these units meets our criteria for a quiet and well-constructed unit that provides more than just a trickle of power. We have decided that there is currently no wind turbine available that will work in this location, and have suspended our wind experiments for now.

 

 

Link: http://www.oceansolar.com/whatwevlear.html

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Havn't got any useful info for this thread yet but thought it might be worthwhile starting it.

 

I was thinking about small scale wind turbines and solar power and whether anyone has got any practical experience of installing these at their own home (costs - payback etc)

 

thanks

we

 

This is karen carty, there is a remarkable company in germany, actually offices all over the world that has redesigned small scale solar/wind units for residences.

 

although they are looking for investors for full scale production right now, please reuse their website:

 

www.bluenergy-ag.net.

 

get back to me if you are interested....

 

karencarty@aol.com

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I'm going to a self build show in Belfast on sat so i took the time to hunt out the appropriate topic!

 

Looking at the exhibitor list there seems to be a lot of emphasis on renewables/ alternative so i am going to commit most of my attention to these companies.

My objectives are:

a) to evaluate the products that are available and at point of sale. I will be collecting figures so i think it will be a good benchmark to just exactly where we are at on green energy.

:lol: to evaluate the popularity and interest from the general public at the renewables stands, i just dont think the general population either know or care what is available to them.

 

If anyone has any suggestions or wants me to relay info i'd be more than happy to

exhibitor list: http://www.selfbuild.ie/selfbuilder/admin/...ors_belfast.pdf

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Hello, I'm new here. I got to this forum via GOldfinger and the Gold Thread ! I need advice on micro hydro electric. I've got a stream ( an old mine adit which always flows at 50 litre per second. I can pipe this water for a 200 metres to a suitable position for a turbine. The total fall would be around 5 metres. The flow is constant year round.

 

Any suggestions to what turbine would be suitable. I understand all the stuff about grid tie inverters as I plan to get a ROC meter and send the excess back to my elecy company.

 

Thanks

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