wind generator setup for nubie

I am trying to build my first wind generator to be connected to the grid to make the most power I can for my home here in Florida. We get a lot of wind. I may get solar panels later. Any way I have 7 Raptor generation 2 wind turbine blades. Six ft total dia. I was also thinking about buying a permanent magnet DC generator that I have seen alot on ebay. 600 watt,150 volts,14 amps,200 rpm,continuous duty,sealed,low cut in rpm. I also don't know what electronics to use to make it safe and basically plug and play. I am new to this but have done some reading and searching for parts. I am also trying to do this fairly cheep for now. Any help and ideas would be very helpful...Thanks kirk

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    First off, don't spend any more money until you put up an anemometer and get some "real world" readings of your sustained winds. Too often wind that seems "strong" to your face is too week to work a wind turbine. Alternately, gusty wind sites don't work well either as they tend to damage turbines.

    Beyond that, turbines have to feed a charge controller of some type. One that can handle diversion loads some how so that there's a place for the power to go when the batteries are charged.

    Really good site for do-it-yourself wind power: http://www.otherpower.com/

    On this forum Green Power Maniac has had good success with the turbines he built (impressive and decorative!).
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    I be right to the point, Florida is one of the lowest wind speeds of any state in the US.

    http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/images/windmaps/fl_80m.jpg

    Second, unless you have a UL1741 approved system, you can't connect to the grid to sell power, regardless of the energy source.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    I mean 2000 rpm. I also live along the coast(sarasota county). There is some wind here most of the time. I have two 12volt car batteries that I can use. Thanks
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,651 admin
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    Generally, you will find solar PV arrays to be more predictable in output and require less maintenance.

    Wind Turbines "look cheap" until you add the cost of a tower, possibly a crane truck every time you need to service the turbine, and few turbines that will last 5+ years without needing a full overhaul/replacement (at least that is my impression--I do not own a turbine or have a place to install one).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    I have a 10 sat dish stand that is very large and heavy that I got off the roof of the car dealership where I work. I can mount a pole on that that I can tilt down if I need to do work on wind generator. I will be adding some solar panels later..
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,651 admin
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    We are not really a great forum for DIY Wind Generator systems-- www.OtherPower.com has that nailed. www.builditsolar.com is also another good place to look around for DIY solar projects.

    Anyway, basically, you have to have a generator (or alternator) that outputs the voltage and current you need--and that is generally connected to the battery bank behind a fuse and diode (blocking diode needed to stop current flowing back to a true DC generator--Alternators have their own diode bridge).

    And, there is usually a double throw switch which either connects the wind turbine to the battery bank (normal charging) or disconnects the battery bank and shorts out the wind turbine ("brake" or Turn Off for service)... Shorting the output causes the wind turbine alternator to place maximum torque on the blades and stops them from rotating, or at least they rotate very slowly.

    Now--You have your turbine hooked up to your battery bank.

    Next, you need a "diversion" or "dump" charge controller and load... The dump controller goes across the battery bank and when the battery goes above the set-point (say 14.5 volts for charging or 13.7 volts for float), the dump controller turns on and sends current to a load (typically an electric heater that dumps heat into the air or a hot water tank--or something similar). Many of the solar charge controllers sold by our host can also be setup as diversion/dump controllers too.

    The reason the turbine is setup this way is because horizontal axis wind turbines can easily over-speed and self destruct in high winds if there is no load on them (either the "shunt/shorted" output, or the battery bank with a diversion controller).

    Even then, it is usually a very good idea to have alternate means to prevent damage to the wind turbine... Furling (turn away from the wind), stalling blades at high speed, mechanical brake, etc.). It is not unknown for a shunt/shorted wind turbine to have an electrical failure (diodes, brushes, slip rings, armature melting, etc.) and the turbine still shedding it blades.

    Anyway--that is the basics...

    For the most part, to get significant power from the wind, your trees in the area should be "flagging" (shaped by the prevailing winds), the turbine at least 30' in the air above any obstructions in 300-500 foot radius, and ideally mounted on at least a 60' tall tower.

    Also, mounting a turbine to a home/barn/building is not a good idea--the stresses can damage the building and the noise can drive people nuts inside. Also, the turbulence of the building/roof-line can cause a large loss of energy in the wind-stream.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie
    bueller wrote: »
    I have a 10 sat dish stand that is very large and heavy that I got off the roof of the car dealership where I work. I can mount a pole on that that I can tilt down if I need to do work on wind generator. I will be adding some solar panels later..

    Does this old sat dish stand stick up 50 feet in the air? See, that's one of the other problems with wind turbines: they have to be fairly high off the ground in order to be in a "clean" (non-turbulent) air stream to make good power. You will also find recommendations of the area being clear around them for quite a long ways - some will say hundreds of feet.

    I don't want to sound too depressing or pessimistic, but it is important to understand these things before you invest the money so you won't be disappointed afterwords.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    From a quick Google it seems that Sarasota County has an average wind speed far below 10mph.

    10mph AVERAGE wind speed is generally considered the break point for small wind - less than that and you probably won't generate enough electricity to be worthwhile.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    Florida also doesn't have prevailing winds, literally weather can come from any direction and is constantly changing. I already posted a wind chart, there is nowhere in Florida, including the coasts that would be suitable for wind power ... and a 50ft tower would get hit 10 times a day by lighting, doubt a wind system would last long around here just for this reason alone, never mind our tropical weather.

    Solar ( Thermal or PV ) is the only option for renewable power around this state
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    A good wind site is http://www.greenpowertalk.org/ About like here - nobody fancy but lots of knowledge - mostly wind.

    Before any purchase you have to determine how much wind you really have at your precise location - the value for the general area may or may not be good for you due to the topography of the surrounding area. Many weather stations have an anemometer as part of them which give you a real value.

    Can you have a tower on your property. The roof mounted type are generally useless toys. The small wind turbines tend to be the high speed style that are bird/bat killers. The larger version of residential wind turbines are generally low speed and are not a problem in that regard.

    Any wind turbine worth having (which excludes SWWP) will be heavy - not an easy thing to work with.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 917 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: wind generator setup for nubie

    Gee Russ, tell us what you think about SWWP :D

    After replacing the bearings and pivot bushing in my H80 this spring (6 years running) it works fine. The scraping and squealing sounds plus the lack of rotation precipitated the repairs.

    Ralph

    Ps Greenpowertalk.org is smaller, but a good community of like minded people.
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