Opinions wanted on this turbine.

OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
Hi guys, I am new to the forum, but I wanted to ask an opinion on this wind turbine.

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/naturepower-nemo-400w-12v-wind-generator.aspx?a=1015427

It's pretty small, but I am looking at it just to supplement my solar panels on those nice cloudy days that push it to its limits. I am currently completely off grid, but my electrical demands are pretty low. Also, just for a bit of background, the area I am in has average wind speeds of around 16 mph, and on the hillside where I am the wind very rarely stops blowing for long. Thanks in advance for any input.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Welcome to the forum... I personally am not a fan of small wind. But, lets start from the basics.

    How tall of tower will you be mounting the turbine. In general a 60 foot tower is the minimum height above flat ground, and it should be ~30' above any upwind obstructions.

    I guess you can try flying a kit and finding the level at which you could mount the turbine above turbulent flow.

    There are very few good quality, smaller wind turbines that will last in heavy winds.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Honestly, for now it is going to be temporarily installed on the side of my shed, about 20 ft up. I know that isn't ideal, but this is pretty much just going to be used to see if it is something I might want to actually put some money into. Once I get a piece of property of my own that I can do whatever with, then I will probably look into putting in a much larger tower. One of the questions I have on it is, does the production rating seem reasonable? According to the information on that link, it averages around 38 kwh per month at 12 mph winds. If my math is correct, that works out to about 50w per hour, so about 1/8th the rated power. not spectacular, but not bad as a small supplement to get going. Does that seem like a reasonable number on a wind generator this size? I kind of doubt the 110 mph survivability rating, but chances are if I get winds at that speed, my shed is going with it, haha.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.
    One of the questions I have on it is, does the production rating seem reasonable? According to the information on that link, it averages around 38 kwh per month at 12 mph winds. If my math is correct, that works out to about 50w per hour, so about 1/8th the rated power

    It seems reasonable. But that's in ideal conditions at sea level. You will not have ideal conditions on a 20 foot pipe, no matter how hard you think the wind blows. That turbine looks like an Air variant (used to be manufactured by SWWP), or one of the SunForce variants. I have never seen one of those that produced much more than about 12 kWh/month, even one I know of in Canada on a good wind site on a 50 foot tower.

    I will be fun to fiddle with and kind of cool to have a wind turbine going. But don't expect much more than 100-150 watt-hours out of it in a day on a 20 foot pipe.
    --
    Chris
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Ok, thank you. That's kind of what I figured. To be honest, it is pretty much just a tinker project that I want to try out. Solar I pretty much have figured out for my needs, but wind is a new direction for me. I didn't want one of the tiny ones that I wouldn't have any chance of getting any production out of, but I didn't want to be in it for thousands of dollars just to find out that it didn't do what i was looking for either. I love testing things and experimenting, so where it goes from here is anyone's guess. I will be updating information as I try things out. Thanks for the input.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    That particular unit looks amazingly like the infamous Air-X, most noted for not coming even remotely close to its claimed 400 Watt output.

    When it comes to small wind you're probably better off building your own rather than trying to get someone else's less-than-ideal contraption to work.

    Check out otherpower.com http://otherpower.com/ and of course Hugh Piggott http://www.scoraigwind.com/
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    I would recommend Hugh's Recipe Book:
    http://scoraigwind.com/axialplans/index.htm

    He's got a really nice little 350 watt 6 footer in there you can build. That little turbine is fairly easy to build, will produce 5x more kWh than the little plastic bumble-bee turbine even on a 20 foot pipe, doesn't cost any more than the bumble-bee turbine to build, and you will learn some things about how wind power works.

    Plus building your own, rather than buying one, is rewarding and fun.

    The problem with those bumble-bee turbines is that they have a slotted laminated electrical steel core in the generator and they cog. They won't start up until the wind gets blowing 10 mph. And then, when they get running if they're on a short pipe in turbulence the turbine will sometimes look like it can't figure out which way the wind is coming from and it will spin around on the tower because it doesn't have enough tail area to steer it, and it will stop. Then if the wind is blowing at least 10 mph it will swing around back into the wind again, and (maybe) start back up.

    If you build Hugh's little 6 footer it will track the wind properly, has a furling system to protect it from strong winds, the axial generator has zero core losses so it starts up in the slightest breeze and will be producing usable power by 6 mph, and doesn't require any electronics that tend to be problematic on these little turbines.
    --
    Chris
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    I have built two hugh piggott 8' turbines. I have not flew them yet except on a 5' test stand. It is better then other things I have tryed and I can tell this even though I haven't got it off the test stand. I did it with very minamal tools and work space.
    The book is only about $27 bucks. I found it not that hard.
    It is better then trying to reinvent the wheel.
    Cheers
    gww
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Thanks for the links. I will definitely check those out.
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Well, I got it installed. Have to give these guys credit, it may not be enough for most of you, but I am impressed. When the wind gets it started, which admittedly takes a bit more than I expected, it starts cranking out some serious watts. According to the meter, it was putting out close to 200w at one point, and averaging close to 100w. This is still early in, and it probably won't get the consistency that a 60 or 80 ft tower would have provided, but for what it is, I can live with it.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    I am very happy to hear your system is working for you.

    Please feel free to let us know what your setup us and how it is performing now and in the future.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    As far as my wind system is concerned, it is the turbine and charge controller linked in the original post on this thread. It is mounted on a 10 ft pole off the peak of my shed, so approximately 20 ft high. It connects to my 4 109 ah deep cycle marine batteries, along with a 195w bp solar panel and 6 18w naturepower amorphous panels. Total rated power of the entire system, ~700w. 400 wind and 300 solar. Oh, and in case the name didn't tell you, I am not connected to the power company at all. I use kerosene for heat, propane to cook and for hot water, and my small scale system for all my electrical needs between my camper and my workshop/shed. At this point, everything including my batteries, I have about $1600 in the system.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Sounds neat... The whole RE thing becomes addictive (nice to have electricity if you have not had reliable power for a time).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.
    At this point, everything including my batteries, I have about $1600 in the system.

    That's very nice. I assume the system is 12V, or maybe you mentioned that earlier and I missed it. Do you have plans for a standby generator, or maybe a gas engine charger with an alternator on it?
    --
    Chris
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    It is a 12v system, yes. My next purchase will most likely be a small generator, in case the system has trouble keeping up. Right now, if it gets too low I recharge it off my truck, but I know that isn't the best for my alternator.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.
    It is a 12v system, yes. My next purchase will most likely be a small generator, in case the system has trouble keeping up. Right now, if it gets too low I recharge it off my truck, but I know that isn't the best for my alternator.

    Isn't the best for your pocketbook either, as whatever truck you have will burn a lot more gas for the power produced than any small gen.
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Haha. That is very true. Unfortunately, my budget is very limited, so on the rare occasion that it happens, I just have to make do with what I have for now. I will say though, working with such a small system, and being off grid with it, I have gained a lot of practice with cutting down on my power usage.
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Quick update on the new wind turbine. Today has been a pretty steady wind day, and the system is averaging around 125w per hour. There have been a few good gusts that actually managed to push the 400w system up to 375w according to the meter, and has kept it above 200w for a little while a few times as well. Not rediculous amounts of power, but for the size of this system, and my less than optimum install, I certainly can't complain. I won't say that it would be a good standalone system, but as a supplemental system for my solar panels, I definitely feel like it was worth the $400 that I paid for the turbine to assist in my off grid endeavors.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Very happy to hear that the wind turbine is working out so well for you.

    By the way, one small correction:
    ... and the system is averaging around 125w per hour.

    Technically, Watts is already a rate (like Gallons per Minute). And Watt*Hours is an amount (like Gallons pumped).

    There is no Watts per Hour. And no Amps per Hour either--They are are just Watts and Amps (for rates)... (Watt is Joules per Second, Amp is 6.241 × 1018 electrons per second going past a single point in a wire or other conductor)

    To get even more technical, there is a Watt/unit time and Amp/unit time--But that is not used for our purposes here (Where Miles per Hour is speed, Miles per hour per hour is acceleration or deceleration--so W/H and A/H would be reflecting the amount of increase or decrease per unit time).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • OffgridandlovingitOffgridandlovingit Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Oh ok. thanks. I am pretty new to this stuff, and have no background in it beyond what tinkering I am doing, so I don't exactly have the strongest grasp on the jargon. I am learning though.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Not a problem... I am, mostly, some sort of electrical engineer and I still made the W/H and such mistakes when I first joined this forum... It is real easy to do.

    We try to be clear on usage here because Watts is the power being used at any moment in time (rate) and Watt*Hours (or sometimes WattHours, WH, W.H; but never Watt/Hours -- even though it is a common way some people do type it).

    When they say that have a want to power a 200 watt load... We ask is that 200 watts for 2 hours (200w*2h=400 WH), or do they really mean 200 Watt*Hours a day load...

    It gets easier over time.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.
    BB. wrote: »
    It gets easier over time.

    I could wrong, but I thought "easier" was a rate, and easier over time is a rate of a rate...:p --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,879 admin
    Re: Opinions wanted on this turbine.

    Easier is the first derivative of Easy. Easier over time would be the 2nd derivative of Easy or first derivative of Easier.

    Easiest would be the zero slope inflection point of the first derivative of Easy. :p

    -Bill

    PS: You can tell how little I dated in college and how much I have forgotten from college from this post. :blush:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
Sign In or Register to comment.