Tower options

joeaksajoeaksa Solar Expert Posts: 39
Am new to the forum but have worked with solar for a while. Just getting my feet wet with wind power.

For a long time I was kinda put off on wind but every time I went out to a 5 acre plot of land I am working with it was windy as can be out there, so when a deal for a AIR-X came up (traded someone for it) I went ahead and did the deed. Yes I know their history and the 200 watt limit on power that we can hope for but after the sun goes down there is still wind out there and might as well try to harness some of it. The property is totally "off of the grid" so any power we have out there is good.

Now we need to mount the puppy. The land is plain flat desert here in Arizona and nothing within 500 feet. Am not rich, so a 200 foot tower just is not going to happen, but was hoping for something around 50-75 feet high.

Now the next issue comes up of how to get the unit up and down. This piece of land is 20 miles from any civilization, so a cherry picker or crane is not an option. It will have to be either a tower that raises and lowers or something that we can pivot up and down.

Did a search before posting this and there was not much that I could find in suggestions on towers. Not real excited to mount it to the doublewide trailer out there, so want something stand alone that we can put close to the battery bank.

Thanks for the help,



  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,327 admin
    Re: Tower options

    The fact you want to get closer to 60' is a good thing... Will help a bunch when trying to gather your wind power...

    Regarding tilt-up is probably the place I would look at for further information on home-built wind stuff.

    Our host also sells some tower kits:

    There have been a few discussions about wind towers here--but most of them have been around "not tall enough", not strong enough (collapsed), or too much wind (turbine self destruct, tower collapse).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • joeaksajoeaksa Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: Tower options


    Thanks much!

    I would love to get as high as possible, but also have limits due to funds and also how to get it up and down should maintenance or repair be needed.

    When I was a young pup worked shortwave and know what its like climbing a 100 foot tower, so at my advanced age not going to be doing that these days.

    Excellent info at both sources.


  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Tower options

    Another tower design option is the scissor tower, looks like it would be easier to raise and lower, see about halfway down this page:
  • peterakopeterako Solar Expert Posts: 144 ✭✭
    Re: Tower options

    scissor tower That is a nice name i made one my self it is standing up for two years.
    I call it partial tilt up. i have 1/3 fixed and 2/3 tilting and using a counterweight to counter balance i still use supporting wires. the setup wash still after a storm for four days and several wind gust around 160 km/hour. i am happy because it takes me 5 min to take down the wind generator. and only ones i needed a crane to install the top section.
  • dlenoxdlenox Solar Expert Posts: 42
    Re: Tower options


    I use an unguyed freestanding lattice tower sold by AN Wireless, and 70' tall.

    At the top of the tower I built a telescoping stub so that the wind turbine can be lifted about 10' above the top of the tower (for blade clearance).

    Also I fabricated a davit crane that also extends/lowers, and use an electric winch for raising/lowering turbine.

    In addition I have 3 work platforms so that while working on the tower I can be as comfortable as possible.

    Some good photos are available here

    It has worked out quite well for me.

    Dan Lenox
  • joeaksajoeaksa Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: Tower options

    Just wanted to reply that I found a very nice tower on CraigsList. Its a 75 foot model that is in three 20 foot sections (cable risen) with a 15 foot header on the last section.

    Its used but in good condition and got everything for $200 delivered. Now just have to pour some concrete and get everything set up.

    Thanks for everyone's help!

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tower options

    be careful as some used towers can have weak points on them due to the age and weathering of them.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tower options

    Beware used cable, if it ever had a kink, it can look fine, and break under load (when you have to climb it.)
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tower options

    Just in general, be careful! I have spent WAY too much time on towers, all for little or no pay back. There are a million ways to let concentration lapse! I dropped stuff almost on others, I have had erecting lines break, I've slipped and mercifully I was clipped in. (Most of the time was "clipped in? What's that?"

    Be careful!

  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Tower options

    Bear in mind that there are towers that will take wind loads against a radio aerial, but not a wind turbine. Towers must be rated to hold against the lateral thrust of your turbine.
  • joeaksajoeaksa Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: Tower options
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Beware used cable, if it ever had a kink, it can look fine, and break under load (when you have to climb it.)


    Thanks. I am an aircraft mechanic and know about cable very well. We always use new cable if we do not know of its history. Also know the "rag" trick for testing cable.

    Regarding towers. I grew up climbing 100 foot ham radio towers, so know very well how dangerous it can be. This is a "crank up" version so we can "lodgepole" it down to the ground to install/maintain anything on the tower, then will crank the three 20 foot sections.

    We are in Arizona, so very little rust and we have already checked the tubing for corrosion and so on. Its in very good shape otherwise would not have purchased it.


Sign In or Register to comment.