Another Wind Turbine
keyturbocars Solar Expert Posts: 375 ✭✭
I just saw this wind turbine on eBay. I thought it was interesting. Amazing how many different wind turbine designs are based on the Delco alternator. This one is too, but it has a extra long stator with end caps from a Delco type alternator.
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The sellers says 2000 Watts in 45 mph wind. Exactly how I got screwed on my delco purchase!
After doing my research, I am now aware that power in the wind goes up by the wind speed cubed. When you actually do math on what I just wrote it is very surprising. Watch what happens when you rate that turbine at 22.5 mph.
Do your homework! Most places in the US never get 45 mph wind and the ones that do probably get it a few times a year. Before you buy anything ask lots of questions to people on forums who have experience. I wish I would have done that.
Very true NewYorkMan. Those high power output numbers are at unreasonable speeds for most places. Even so, this one puts out more than some other Delco type alternators, but you still have to be realistic in output with these things.
I agree with you. This wind turbine should make more power than a stadard sized delco.
My concern with this wind turbine would be with the honesty of the seller. I feel that is it very deceptive to even talk about power production in the 45 mph wind range, let alone rate a wind turbine using that wind speed. It makes me say to myself "What else is the seller misleading me about?"
Truth be told, this wind turbine is probably about the same output as a TLG or Windtura 500 or maybe even worse?
In a way--physics, engineering, and weather issues really limit the useful day to day energy from a wind turbine (as well as solar PV systems too)...
In reality--probably nobody but people deep off grid or into the green movement will be able to justify the costs for actual, real world, output from wind.
It is hard to sell those real world numbers (for the few wind systems that really list those values)--So we are left with marketing hanging "real numbers" on unjustifiable assumptions.
For anyone interested in small wind--take a look at the Small Wind Power (is a scam) thread... A dozen professionally installed wind turbines in an open field in a windy region usually produced less power than advertised and had multiple failures. Some of the reports are in Dutch--but Google Translate will work on PDF files too (graphics do get messed up).
From this 2008 article there is a lot more details about the installation/testing--The conclusion:
Lots of great points Bill. Small wind power is definitely not for the faint of heart... or the faint of wind! You have to have good wind and the willingness to deal with the issues of wind power. Solar is definitely a better way to go for most people. Wind power has it's place if you have the wind and a desire to tinker on stuff.
Yes, I agree, everything Mae West said about growing old--"Old Age Ain't for Sissies"-- applies to wind energy,at least when you're talking about small wind. While home solar has made huge strides since the 1970s, small wind hasn't advanced in any kind of overt technological sense. There have been small improvements but nothing that really sells the technology. And the marketplace is saturated with exagerators and outright scammers. Even a good tubine/controller combination is not going to produce much if poorly sited and installed and even if everything is done right, you can't forget the phrase, "wild as the wind" because the wind is really wild and unpredictible and in most places at different times wind energy is going to be lacking or excessive. And if you own a wind turbine and have neighbors anywhere near you, you are going to have to be on top of it and be responsible for making sure it's safe--not that much different from driving on the level of responsibility.
That being said, my wind generator is currently supplying the power that enables me to post this while my solar array won't put anything out for the next 12 hours. In other words, small wind works well in tandem with solar in an off the grid situation but if I had to give up one or the other, it would be a no brainer that wind would have to go.
Do you have any long term logs of how much power your turbine outputs (month by month kWHours or similar)?
I find that solar folks are pretty good about logging their output (and for me, it allowed me to quickly see when I had some panel failures)...
Wind turbines--Either the installations do not include logging hardware or people don't seem to keep track of those details (probably easy to forget if your wind is seasonal).
Logging longterm power output of a wind turbine is tricky. I would have to put a meter in line that logged power output to do it accurately. I mostly measure current and look at things from a charge/load perspective. I can do a good guess from my solar arrays because they are predictible. On a sunny day this time of the year, I will get 1-3 amps between sunrise and 7 am and by 8 am the current rises to 10 amps, 15-16 by 10am and 22-26 amps between 11am and 1pm, 15 amps around 3pm and 10 again by 4 and that tapers off until sunset. My windgen was doing around 3-5 amps when I got up this morning and probably had been doing that or more for several hours. That has tapered off gradually into no wind at all right now. When I measure current from my windgen, the current fluctuates wildly and in a 2 minute time frame can go from 7-10 down to around 3 or less than surge up to 10 or more amps. There is a lot of averaging needed to log the power from a wind generator.
What makes wind energy work for me in my situation is not how much but when. Wind output almost always goes up in cloudy stormy weather that drastically drops solar output. There are some slow moving storms that litterally create an "energy void" where there is neither solar or wind output but most storm systems are preceded and followed by strong winds.
In terms of my present system, I'm a little disapointed in the current output of my Windmax turbine so far. I was hoping for currents close to what my solar array puts out--10-30 amps at 15-35mph wind speed--and so far I'm not getting anything close to the power my solar array puts out at full sun. I would give as a rule of thumb in hybrid systems like mine that both solar and wind output should be at least equal and if anything, the wind turbine should be capable of putting out more because of the fluctuating nature of wind energy.
The guy takes a radiator fan from a Mac truck, puts it on an automotive alternator, and charges $1400?
Here is a brief update to my previous post which illustrates a little better how wind works with solar in my hybrid system. When I was writing the previous post at around 12, it was sunny with a few clouds and no wind. Now at 3pm there is a snowstorm and there is almost no sun. Output from my solar panels has droped from around 15-17 amps to .2 amps and the wind generator is putting out a current that is varying between 3-7 amps with an average of at least 5 which is floating my batteries when they would be discharging with solar alone.
If your turbine stays under 100 amps peak, the Doc Wattson looks like a neat tool for logging.
They also offer instructions of how to change out their 100 amp 100mV shunt for a larger one.
The Doc Watsons are certainly affordable. I've never seen a company give instructions on how to mod their product and even sell you the necessary parts. I would certainly rather use an external shunt. Putting something with 14 awg leads in series with 6 awg cables is not something I'd like to do on a permanent basis.
This turbine should peak at around 30 amps and I'm thinking about just 1 more 125 watt panel for my solar array which would give me a peak of around 32-33 amps. Ideally, I would like a wind generator that peaked at around 40 amps and generated 5-10 in low wind conditions(6-10mph), 10-20 in moderate wind conditions(10-20mph) and 20-40 amps in high wind conditions(20-50mph). Replacing the 3 blade rotor with a 5 blade one might help but I am going to see how this turbine performs under high winds before I do anything like that.
I am not thrilled with the idea of 100 amp on a 14 AWG wire either--I have never purchased one of their meters--So I don't know the details of modifying them.
You would be on your own--but it would give you a great tool for measuring/optimizing your wind turbine output (change the blades out and measure for a week the output).
In reality, you probably would need a data logger (wind speed, turbine rpm, output current, etc.) to really do a nice job.
LOL, when you buy it?