Wind recomendations

SolarLurkerSolarLurker Solar Expert Posts: 122 ✭✭
I have been reading alot about small scale wind, and it appears that generally all of the critisisms of small wind is either poor site or poor quality equipment.

I live atop of a hill, 1500 feet, and ancedotly it seems like we have lots of wind. recently, my dad took me too his neighbors house to check out the neighbors windmill. Its a skystream 3.7 that the neighbor has had for about 5 months, the neigbor states that he has produced between 30 and 60 dollars a month since it was installed. I check it out everyday now to and from work and the things always seems to be spinning.

So I am now thinking that my property might be a good canidate for wind, is there any good small turbines? I am only looking for between 2000 and 3000 kw per year, as I will have solar and hopefuly the rest of my freewatt soon.


  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Wind recomendations

    Invest in an anemometer first. You're absolutely right that the two biggest problems with small scale wind are 1). poor site and 2). bad equipment. The second problem is frequently avoided by building your own, fi you're so inclined. At least one forum member here, GreenPowerManiac, has done so with at least some success.
    Otherpower is a great site for DIY wind.

    Personally I like the look/design of the TLG but haven't bought one because my site is unsuitable for wind power - too many trees.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,230 admin
    Re: Wind recomendations

    Wind is highly variable--and not many people seem to accurately measure their wind power... And the price of electricity can be a big variable too...

    Some people pay less than $0.10 per kWhr, and others pay $0.30-$0.60 per kWHr--so price is not an accurate way to gauge a wind installation--you really want to know the type of installation (grid tied or battery bank) and how many kWhrs per month across a whole year they get--not just the best couple months.

    I think this website is going away--but the owner has a nice chart of the past three years of production of his Skystream system... Around 2,400 kWhrs per year is probably a nicely producing system.

    Depending on your utility, that may be $240 per year or upwards of $500-$700 per year of power savings (excluding costs to install and maintain). Notice the last few months worth of production has dropped to 1/3rd of what it probably should have been---can be very difficult to figure out what went wrong and what to repair.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Truth SquadTruth Squad Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭
    Re: Wind recomendations

    The question you need to ask yourself is what happens if it doesn't do what you expect? Because you will have zero recourse to any kind of refund or compensation 9 times out of 10. There are no standards in small wind that state a turbine must produce thus-and-so if it is advertised to produce thus-and-so.

    Yeah, everyone thinks they've got a great wind resource and sometimes they do. It isn't always enough. You're at the mercy of companies that maybe had to push some questionable crap out the door to make their sales target for the month. Or companies that played fast and loose with their power curves. The question isn't are there any good turbines, the question is what are you going to do if it fails or doesn't produce what was advertised. Because you're going to be into it for between $16,000 to $20,000 dollars.

    The best advice I can give anyone is to take that $16,000 to $20,000 and invest that in solar (or more solar). Do business with a reputable, well-established dealer who is a renewable energy dedicated dealer and not some guy doing this out of his garage after having read one book and a couple marketing brochures on the subject. And pay that dealer what he is worth. Part of the problem with small wind is the manufacturers of those turbines like to claim small wind is "cheaper than solar / more kWhs per dollar per solar" when the reality is, that's only true in a perfect world where their turbines actually work and their power curves and advertising is actually correct. In other words---no. Small wind isn't cheaper overall. Not after you've had cranes out to take down your again-broken wind turbine. And not after the turbine you were told would give you 500 kWh per month is only producing around 75. (At which case you'll be told one of these common things: Not enough wind, sited incorrectly, need a taller tower, and on and on and this after their dealer did the site assessment and installed it.)

    There is no free lunch.
  • SolarLurkerSolarLurker Solar Expert Posts: 122 ✭✭
    Re: Wind recomendations

    I understand what has been said, I understand that solar is economicaly more feasable. In PA wind does not count for SREC's (green tags).

    However, my ultimate goal is to stay grid tied, however to never pull from the grid. I have noticed that solar and wind seem to compliment each other as the best winds seems to occur when solar is at it worst.

    I am not expecting much, I just need a big enough turbine to use the smallest windy boy.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind recomendations

    Try this website. Guide to bulid wind generator.

    www(dot)solar(dash)reviews(dot)info [break link to build your own solar panel for $200 ebook... go there at your own risk. -Bill B. Moderator]
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,465 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind recomendations
    etctan wrote: »
    Try this website. Guide to bulid wind generator.

    Usually sells for $49.97 but included as a Free Bonus Today

    scam guide to build junk. Don't waste a penny on it

    Check out my fave - Hugh Piggott - Scoraig Wind site,
    the free plans are well hidden (last years PDF guide) but for building jigs for winding your own coils, to magnet resources, and precut parts, can't be beat.
    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: ,

  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 109 ✭✭
    Re: Wind recomendations

    Once it has been determined if there is adequate wind resource for a turbine, go fly a kite.
    A kite will offer information that an anemometer can not, like what level above ground has the low turbulence laminar wind. Also different sites can be tested for resource availability. Try it during various wind speeds as ground shear occurrs at various heights with various wind speed.
    In doing these tests myself I have found that the smooth powerful winds near my area in Alaska are typically found at 100 ~ 150 feet.
    I would advise against putting up a 45 foot tower.
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