Want opinions on usefulness of wind turbine

Jigme UrgyenJigme Urgyen Registered Users Posts: 13
Hi. ive been monitoring a site with two data loggers. The first graph is a wind speed graph which is from the loggers measuring in two different places. One logger is about 1 meter above a building, the building is about 3 meters above the ground level. the 2nd building is 11 meters on the very top most part of the site. the logger is about 2.5 meters above the building.

Although I have attached about 1 months worth of data, i have 10 months of data collected. Both loggers tell me the same things, the wind comes up during the midday and drops off around 6pm everyday day. There is a little variation through the seasons, but not much. The wind potential is there, everyday after noon - 6pm, and often through the night until about midnight. Some months stronger than other. The max wind speed seems to be ~ 6m/sec. We are not looking for a sustained output from wind here, we are thinking of just a supplemental generator along with our extensive PV systems.

Please check out the attached charts and my question is, do you think it would be worth installing a turbine to contribute to our existing PV systems based on what this data tells us? TFYO's.

Attachment not found.Attachment not found.


  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Want opinions on usefulness of wind turbine

    i don't think you'd be very happy with the results if you went with a wind turbine. higher and more consistent winds than i see on your graph would be wanted first of all. secondly, understand that when you buy a turbine rated for xxx watts that that is the maximum the turbine is capable of and you'd be lucky to see about a tenth of the output rating. many turbines don't even start to throw a few watts out until after about 5 or 6 m/s.

    i think more pv would produce more power per $ spent and the maintenance on a turbine can get quite high and therefore expensive.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Want opinions on usefulness of wind turbine

    Totally agree with Niel. I've been there, done that. Only useful power produced was during Fall Tropical storms that came up the East Coast. Unfortunately, as far as energy production was concerned, we don't get many tropical storms.
    On the other hand, it can give one great pleasure to relax in the tall grass, stare up into the clear blue sky and watch the blades go around. Granted a lot more expensive than beer, but on the other hand, unless a blade breaks loose, you wouldn't end up with a headache afterwards.
    As I've so ofter reported: Very few and far between were the days when I got any useful power at all from small scale wind. On the other hand, very few indeed, were the days when I didn't get at least some useful power from solar. But all was not lost. I now use the PM alternator from the wind turbine, to generate power from small scale micro hydro.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: Want opinions on usefulness of wind turbine

    5 to 6 m/s (11.2 to 13.4 mph) is about the floor of "average useful" wind speed for a turbine. Generally the suggestion is to have a turbine about 30' above obstructions (~9m) and 60' (18m) above the ground for a decent chance of generating much power.

    For most turbines, anything below ~10 mph is, for the most part, just spinning the blades and looking pretty.

    Remember that for Wind Speed, power extraction goes with the cube (V3) of the velocity... The difference between 6/5 meters per second:
    • 63/53= 1.73x more energy with 1m/s additional wind speed

    So, even a "small" amount of wind speed error / difference in measurement/actual wind speed can easily result in a 2x (or more) difference in collected power.


    PS, by the way, do you have the software to calculate RMS (root mean square) of your wind speed energy? For example if the RMS speed of your wind is ~3.5 m/s, then the difference between your peak 6m/s and 3.5m/s would be:
    • 63/3.53 = 5x more energy at 6 m/s vs 3.5 m/s
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Want opinions on usefulness of wind turbine

    quite true bill, but there are variations on turbines too as some may start earlier than others. in any case it would be a case of more than watching the blades spin when useful winds blow as they can get quite noisy too. i never heard anything out of a pv.
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