Inheriting a Turbine – Seeking Advice

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
I'm buying a house with a wind turbine already installed. The turbine, a Bergey 1500, was put in before the neighborhood had power lines . Since the house was hooked up to the power grid, the Burgey hasn't done anything.

I'm not an engineer, but my question is this: What can I use it for? My understanding is that it's still 100% functional, and the model apparently kicks out 6.5 kWh a day.

I've heard it's next to impossible to feed it into our local utility. And I already have hot water. It is possible to have it kick out a little heat via resisters? Otherwise I may take it down due to the noise it generates.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Inheriting a Turbine – Seeking Advice

    Contact your utility about grid tie. I'd don't know of any that won't allow it. The Bergy is w good unit. Consider bulk water heating for space heating, or space heating.

    Tony
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,684 admin
    Re: Inheriting a Turbine – Seeking Advice

    You can charge an off-grid battery bank and run an AC inverter... However, the costs to do this and keep it running may not be insignificant.

    At the very least, a new battery bank every 8-15 years is very common.

    The inverter(s) and charge controllers--Probably around a 10 year life (electronics fail, difficult to find replacement parts for older systems or people to repair them).

    And wind turbines do fail (blades, bearings, yaw bearings, slip-rings, etc.). Many of the failures can include shedding pieces or even the entire turbine falling to the ground. So, location of the tower, residence, other buildings, and places where people congregate becomes important too. (not saying your Bergey is excessively prone to physical failure--Just the nature of mechanical objects exposed to wind and weather).

    Connecting to the grid with the Bergey will need a matched GT inverter or a Hybrid Inverter (battery bank + Grid Tie / Off Grid capable inverter). Not cheap, and may or may not be possible with your local utility.

    Before you spend any money on the system--do a paper design first and add up the costs.

    Most home wind systems are probably lucky to get 5-10% of rated (average) power over a year. With the cost of grid power, it is difficult to make a wind turbine/battery based system pay for itself--Unless you have fairly unreliable grid power (or lose power for weeks during ice/wind storms, etc.).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Solar Expert Posts: 375 ✭✭
    Re: Inheriting a Turbine – Seeking Advice

    Nome,

    I would have loved to inherit a wind turbine like that! That Bergey is probably going to be one of the better made small wind turbines. That model is no longer sold, but it should be well designed and well made if it came from Bergey. If it was me, I'd try to find a way to take advantage of it already being set up on my property. If the previous owners were living off grid, then they must have had a battery bank and inverter system in place.

    Is the whole system still at the house?

    You could get a cheap hot water heater from Home Depot or Lowes and plumb it as a pre-heater to your existing hot water heater. Then you could divert wind power to that water heater. Whatever energy your wind turbine makes will be converted to hot water which can lower your existing power bill. That's the way I have my system set up.

    If you have no interest in wind power, then this might not be a practical situation for you.

    Wish I had it! :D

    Edward
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Inheriting a Turbine – Seeking Advice
    Nome,

    I would have loved to inherit a wind turbine like that! That Bergey is probably going to be one of the better made small wind turbines. That model is no longer sold, but it should be well designed and well made if it came from Bergey. If it was me, I'd try to find a way to take advantage of it already being set up on my property. If the previous owners were living off grid, then they must have had a battery bank and inverter system in place.

    [...]

    If you have no interest in wind power, then this might not be a practical situation for you.

    Wish I had it! :D

    Edward

    Seconded! I'm finally looking to replace a vintage (aka, old) Whisper 1000 with something similarly sized that I can drop onto our existing tower/mount, sized appropriately for the gauge of wiring we have. If you are looking to pass it on, please let me know - I am seriously interested!

    -/\/
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