From A Jake To An Aero Power....

doubledipsoondoubledipsoon Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
I just put a wanted ad on the forum for a old pre-Rea era Jacobs 32 volt windplant. I immediately got a call from Jim Davis, an Wincharger enthusiast about a jake. I asked him about the lighter Jacobs "Airway", a 1400 watt with a smaller generator, and he said he just sold one yesterday! Referring to the superiority of the jacob's "blade actuated" governor, he commented on the Aero Power, a 1970's Berkeley based wind maker,  by saying, "They're better". I replied by saying there were 3 in my area that ran the decades, with one being right down the road, sitting on a Rohn tower for the last 20 years. Now things began moving fast. I got on my electric bike, headed over to El Cerrito Road, and knocked on their door. Asked if they wanted to sell it and he said, "Sure". You never know what's going to happen when you put ads in forums! Joe PS- anyone out there know anything about these Starlite 1500's? parts? How about you, Jim? 

Comments

  • NikiNiki Registered Users Posts: 21 ✭✭
    I think I said I like the Aero blade actuated gov better than the Jake.   I’ve never lived with one but seems like a nice design and I would guess theKWH per month would be similar to the small Jake or Airway.  The one I sold had a really nice governor,  stainless steel and hot dipped galvanized metalwork, SS springs and ball joints etc.  Don’t know how the cog belt performs over time but no reason to think it’s not a good design and the 3 phase Leese Neville alternator is of excellent quality and tolerances are very close so good magnetic coupling and high efficiency are likely.  IMO it’s a very impressive design.  Other than very long wearing field brushes and cog belt, not much to go awry.  Worth considering.  Niki

  • doubledipsoondoubledipsoon Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    I've heard this particular Aero Power after it was put up circa '82 and it had the same beefy quietness of a jake- they spin faster, 350rpm vs 250rpm, because their rotor/blades have a 12' diameter vs a 14 foot for a jake, but still maintain the heavy momentum inherent in a blade-actuated machine vs a "yaw' governor that constantly dances back and forth as winds change directions, causing more noise, more unnecessary movement, and more wear and tear.  One huge plus of this wind generator is having the benefit of a blade-actuated governor on a machine that weights about a quarter that of a Jake. Don't get me wrong- Jakes' are kings, but Aero Power "Starlites"  (Mario Agnello, where are you?) are a close second, and a more practical and manageable unit than a huge monstrosity with 300+ lbs of copper. It's amazing how this technology never exploded onto the wind power scene, and now have unfortunately been sequestered into the scrapheap of history- it'll be a blast resurrecting this beauty! PS thank you for commenting on it's 3 phase Leese Neville alternator- I can definitely use that information, as the owner passed on 10 years ago, and his son can't find the operating manual.  The alternator  in this machine was grid-tied and it's synchronous inverter fried the whole thing- I would have had to replace it anyway, since my battery bank is 24 volts. So thanks alot for the info. I do have one last question however: since it's sitka spruce blades have been sitting up there for 37 years, what do you think the chances are that the blades are still restorable? (The moss looks threatening- it's been shut down for 10 years!) 
  • NikiNiki Registered Users Posts: 21 ✭✭
    I’ve snagged Leese Neville alternators many times over the years, they’re wonderful, mostly 32vdc units out of locomotives and large boats. They’re beautifully made with stators about twice as long as yours but may still fit in the nacelle.  Maybe 150 amps or more continuous rating I would guess.  They are out there used, as marine and railroads used them.  They can be found in boat yards and railroad bone yards cheap.   I would think they would work fine on 24 volts as long as the speed approximates the original for adiquate cooling and you solve the self excitation issue of course. Just make sure you know the design voltage so you don’t over voltage the rotor. Overcurrent rotor protection may be prudent.   Niki
  • doubledipsoondoubledipsoon Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    I aim to make the restoration as "stock" as possible- all the alternator to hub matching homework has already been done by AeroPower- why mess it up? It's just a matter of finding out what specific alternator they used. Let's see: the Starlite 1500 was rated at 1500 watts as it is governed in a 21-25 mph wind, probably at 325 rpm's (my estimate with three 6 foot blades)- with a 3-1 tranny, that sounds like a alternator rated at around 1000 rpm. The voltage regulator should kick in and adjust the magnetic field to the rotor, pump up the voltage, and dump all the excess juice down a dump load.  This is too easy. I'm doing all brand new, as I only want to do it once!
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