Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

windgate32windgate32 Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
Long story.. will get longer I am sure.. K, I have property in Tx, wind maps ave 9-10mph , The property has heavy wood around the homestead area but about 150ft due north the property is selective cut. My idea is to cut an area of about 2acres (round) and then cut a short path, 100ft wide to homestead area. I will dig a pond in the 2 acre area and place (2) 40ft hand crank towers here and run my electric cable back to the homestead site. Each tower will have a home made 1700 watt generator.(PS still looking for furling plans 8) ) I want to run 10/3 wire on towers and then combine the (2) on size 4g weld cable to the controller and battery house. Is this feasible? I have NO wind without making a clearing of the property which is no problem, and I want the pond as well. Is my cable thickness enough for 100-200ft distance? All of this IS not written in stone.. I am still planning but the property is real so now I am trying to make my off-grid dreams real. Please let me know if more info is needed or if I should take a totally new direction. Any and all suggestions are welcomed.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,051 admin
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    WindGate,

    Regarding your wind turbine plans--Try www.otherpower.com -- It is a DIY site pretty much dedicated to wind turbines.

    I am very happy to hear that you are working on mechanical speed limiters--should help give your turbine a longer and safer life.

    Regarding the towers--they should be a minimum of 30 above the surrounding obstructions (trees, buildings, etc.) within ~500 feet (and probably >60 feet above the obstructions).

    If the tops of trees in your area are not "Flagging" (shaped by prevailing winds)--you may not be able to gather much (consistent) power in your area.

    If you can, try to ensure what ever you do regarding installing your wind turbine--that the towers either fold, scissors, or have a catwalk/jib crane (or you have access to a crane truck) such that you are not paying big fees to service your turbine (on an annual--or whatever schedule you choose/need).

    Regarding running the power from your turbines back to the homestead--Please contact Midnite Solar--they should be in the last phases of working on a MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) Charge Controller for Wind Turbines... This controller seems to offer some real advantages over any existing off-grid wind turbine charge controller setup currently on the marked. You can run the trubine at a higher voltage (lower current, less voltage drop, and smaller gauge wire back to the battery shack) and significantly better match between turbine RPM/Voltage/Current/Power Curve/output to the battery bank's requirements.

    "HalfCrazy" has a thread or two on his results (hints mostly, as I remember)...

    Outback also appears to be working on a similar product.

    I am not connected with any company here--so this is just my 2 cents worth of reading here.

    Regarding cable awg--There is a voltage drop calculator here (Excel spreadsheet) where you can work to get a 3% (or less than 2%) energy loss for your cable run. Obviously, doing things safe by following the NEC will be a good idea too.

    voltage drop calculator

    I, personally, am not a big fan of wind--and this site is more geared towards solar PV electricity and related items--We will, however, try to help as much as we can.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    I'll be brutally honest with you. If you have a 9 to 10 MPH average windpseed, you don't really have enough to make wind worthwhile. Keep the trees.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    Do your homework,, here and elsewhere. Few if any are happy with small scale wind, especially with only 9-10 mph of average wind. From other powers web site for example,
    July, 2005 Page 13

    Power available in wind (in Watts)

    =

    ½ * air density swept area wind velocity3**

    where

    air density

    =

    1.23 kg per cubic meter at sea level (1.0 here in Colorado)

    and

    swept area is in square meters

    wind velocity is in meters per second If we work the formula for a 5-foot diameter turbine in a 10 mph wind:

    5 feet = 1.524 m swept area = pi * r2 = 1.8241m2 wind Speed = 10 mph = 4.4704 m/s So

    Power available (Watts) = ½ * 1.23 * 1.8241 * 4.47043

    =

    100.22 Watts

    Now if you could optimistically harvest that is a whopping 50 watts. 100 watts pf Pv might cost $300 to produce 50 watts net/net out the inverter. How much is a wind turbine set up going to cost over a 20 lifecycle?

    Welcom and good luck,

    Tony
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,051 admin
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    WingdGate--

    Let us know how far/what direction you want to take the "wind" discussion...

    You will, from this group, get pretty much a suggestion that you do solar PV electric system first (after conservation, characterizing your loads, then design the solar PV system).

    Unless you have some real issues with siting (in the bottom of a valley and you only get sun 4 hours a day and/or have a terrible marine layer issue)--solar PV will be reliable power you can pretty much count on for 9+ months out of the year... Stormy weather, winter sun, you may need a genset / alternative source (like wind) to help make up for poor sun days.

    We have some links here we can give you that document the issues with wind--But I did not want to be "too negative" until you have set the tone of how you want to proceed from here (make the wind work the best way possible--or talk about the best power source/design/issues for your area).

    Wind is fun and educational and lends itself to DIY... Solar PV Panels are boring and reliable--but you will be best to buy your panels commercially instead of building your own.

    Both end up being fairly expensive (solar for installs, wind for tower/maintance, battery costs and replacement for both).

    To level set exceptions... You are probably paying around $0.10 per kWhr for electrical power from the utility.

    Off-Grid power, when all is said and done (wind or solar)--is probably in the $1.00 to $2.00+ per kWhr (assuming ~20 year equipment life, ignoring interest/taxes/present value-future worth MBA type stuff).

    Solar Thermal (domestic hot water, space heating, etc.) also is a good DIY type project.

    So--conservation will be a big help in whatever plans you make/execute.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WisJimWisJim Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    If you have 12mph or greater average winds, wind power might be better economically than PVs. If less than 12mph, PVs are going to give you more kilowatt hours per year per dollar invested, assuming they are in full sun from 9 am to 4pm. If the winds are over 12mph, you need a tall tower, 60 feet above the ground, and 30+ feet above anything within 500feet, as mentioned before, and you need to budget for a lot more maintenance and repairs than you would for PVs. One machine on a 120 foot tower is better than 2 machines on 40 foot towers.

    I really like wind generators, and have been using one since 1977 or so, and PVs since 1981, and even though I get good reliable power from my generator, I recommend PVs to people who are in a situation like mine, because PVs are almost maintenance free, but ANY wind generator requires, at a minimum, annual (but more likely 6 month) maintenance, even if just checking nuts and bolts and electrical connections, and maybe some greasing of fittings.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,051 admin
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    Windgate,

    One other thing to double check on those wind maps... Most of them probably represent winds at 50 meters (~165 foot above ground level)... There are very few wind resource maps out there showing winds at 10-15 meter / 33-50 foot AGL (where the winds are much less).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    I find that wind power is a good addition to a PV powered off grid home. The bad day's that we don't have sun we generally get some wind. If you progress with this feel free to get in touch with me. I can help shed some lite on the options with controllers.

    As stated the turbines need to be 30ft above anything within 300 ft. And check out www.otherpower.com lots of good info there on homebrew electricity.
  • windgate32windgate32 Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    Thank you all for the input, it looks like I have a lot of work and experimenting to do. I am including solar in my plans. At the moment though, finding the best spot to place the panels is yet another challange of this endeaver. I have 2 Kyocera 135w, I am going to stick with 12V system. I also have a coleman wind/solar controller with T-105 6V batteries. I have already made my combiner box as well. I guess my trees present a big challange, I just need to make a plan to work with them. Thank you all so much... now my next step is to get one tower up temporary and see my best performance and options from there. Hehe at this point anything I do I am still gaining knowledge! :D
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    I suggest that you install a 1 year recording anemometer installed as best you can at the height you propose. By doing so you will get real world numbers which might influence you choices going forward. A small investment in testing might save thousands in misguided wind hardware.

    Tony
  • windgate32windgate32 Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    Re: Big Mess.. Help figure out the puzzle.

    Awesome idea! I am all over it. I am looking now for a kit that will record and work with my computer. TY very much! :D
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