Adding Wind to My Solar

BigboomerBigboomer Registered Users Posts: 4
Hello folks.....newbie poster here....question for y'all regarding adding supplimental wind turbine to my set-up.

I was looking to add a Primus 40 wind turbine to supplement my solar as we are in a very wind corridor in the Catskill Mtns in the northeast. With the limited winter sun hours I wanted to take advantage of the wind full time and was looking to hook the Primus directly to the batteries to do this.

Do you see any issues with this? Is the Primus 40 a good turbine? Any input is much appreciated.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,658 admin
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    Welcome to the forum Bigboomer.

    My first questions are how much wind do you you get (average wind speed), how high will you be mounting the turbine, and how much power are you expecting/do you need? Are you prone to lightning strikes in your area?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BigboomerBigboomer Registered Users Posts: 4
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    Bill,

    The average wind speed where we are at is between 5 & 15 mph. We plan on installing about 32 ft above the ground. The area is not normally prone to storms associated with lightning but you never know with Mother Nature. In general I am hoping to supplement my solar so that when we have several days in row of cloudy cover our batteries stay charged. The panels do a great job now but we also plan on boondocking several months out of the year in Quartzite during the winter months and we heard the winds there can really get intense.

    We want to cover all bases so we can stay off the grid!

    Les
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,658 admin
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    If you use the average wind speed chart:

    http://www.primuswindpower.com/wind-power-products/air-40-turbine/

    Attachment not found.

    5 mph is virtually no energy generated.

    And 11 mph average wind is ~30 kWH per month or ~1 kWH per day.

    An 11-12 MPH site is very windy... if you assume 8.5 MPH wind for an "average good windy site"--That is 18 kWH per month or:
    • 18,000 WH per month * 1/30 days per month * 1/24 hours per day = 25 Watt average output

    At 12 mph, the turbine outputs:
    • 35,000 WH per month * 1/30 days * 1/24 hours = 49 watt output

    This is not a lot of power... But if you have consistent winds--That is 24 hour per day output put vs ~4-6 hours per day for solar (which can output near zero power under heavy clouds).

    Another question--If this portable, will you be mounting the tower to the vehicle? I would worry about noise/vibration carrying inside.

    Again, how much electricity were you expecting from the turbine? For charging a 12 volt battery bank, 8.5 mph wind would be about 2 amps +/- during "average" windy season/weather... Not great, but may be better than nothing.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BigboomerBigboomer Registered Users Posts: 4
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    Bill,

    Honestly I was not expecting to be able to fully charge the batteries if they were run down to their half life but was hoping something like this Primus would be able to keep them from running down when the sun is not as strong or not out.

    I plan on mounting the pole on the rear ladder on the RV and then tie wire it to the ground.

    One question I still have is how good is this turbine. Does anyone have this particular model and are they satisfied with it for both performance and constructibility?

    Thanks,

    Les
  • DaveBDaveB Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    Unless the Air has drastically changed in the past few years it has had a very rocky history. If you are series about quality and reliability I would look at a Kestrel e160i. Only slightly larger diameter then the Air. Note the big difference in weight between the Kestrel and Air. That should give you some hint about which one is more robust and produces more power. You'd need a stronger pole to put the Kestrel on. Not sure if the extra weight would be a problem for you (or the extra cost!). You do get what you pay for though. You may also see if you can import directly from Kestrel. Not sure if they are still allowing this or if there are enough dealers in the USA that they won't allow it.
  • ThomThom Solar Expert Posts: 195 ✭✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    I think you will be disappointed with the power you get from any wind mill.

    Thom
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added [email protected] 100w panel with a midnight brat 
  • mahendramahendra Solar Expert Posts: 141 ✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    if i may chip in it is all true about output of wind turbine and the stress related to wind turbine as compared to solar,but there is some reassuring scenarios about wind power,i know a few persons that has Air 30 ,Air 40 and the old Air x (Primus -Formerly Southwest wind power).The Air series are very good wind turbine if not excellent in my opinion an i was thinking of gettin a few my self,but the problem with them is that the generate too little energy and as mentioned before you should be content with a minimum of 1kwh per day from the Air 40 and even less from the Air30 for the wind speed you mentioned(we get the same type here but a constant supply fortunately).The Air 30 will out perform the Air 40 in high wind conditions but those are in the so called stormy days which does not really make it stand out.So my recommendation is you either have to get a better turbine like a Kestrel or several Air 30 which when you add up the cost would be in the same price.I should mention though that kestrels are much heavier than the Air 40/30.So that would require sturdy mounting.
  • mahendramahendra Solar Expert Posts: 141 ✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    while you may be disappointed with the output of any wind mill in your situation. i don't think that may be the case.Because just as with solar we need to cater for losses,inefficiencies and weather patterns which we cannot control.But i must admit wind is very expensive that's the main reason i have not been able to supplement my solar for cloudy days.its is good for one that is expanding but cannot replace their batteries or in cases where it is not feasible to replace the batteries( batteries are very expensive too).So it is great to let us get some decent life out of our already overworked batteries.Our professionals are great on this forum but i think they tend to forget the financial position some members.Stop thinking short term think long term.
  • jcheiljcheil Solar Expert Posts: 722 ✭✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    I too have looked at the wind curves of these smaller wind turbines and never seemed to convince myself that it would benefit me here in central Florida because we don't seem to have high enough winds.

    However, I have a little extra $ to spend, and haven't had a "project" in a while, and considered installing one after a bit of research this past holiday weekend.

    I would be interested to know if anyone here has one installed in central Florida and what results they get from it.

    According to the national wind history tables, Orlando averages 8.6mph winds. I am about 30 miles south east of Orlando in a very large (100,000 acre) area that has absolutely no hills and very few trees over 30'. At my property, there are about 3 or 4 trees within "visual" range that might be 50' tall (and they "could" fall down with the help of a chain saw). Just my impression from being there (without a wind gauge) it seems more like 10-11mph most of the time at ground level.

    I was thinking of a 60' tower, and my main goal would be to be able to produce enough power to cover my inverter self-consumption (especially at night). Any more production would be a bonus. I figure if I do not set high expectations, then I will not be disappointed :)

    But I would absolutely need a turbine that is most efficient at say 9-10mph winds. I have read a bunch of online stories of people building their own alternators specifically for slow revolutions (120-160rpm) and producing maximum power but I am sure there is a trade off somewhere. Plus I really do not want to build one. I would prefer a ready made one.

    Opinions/Thoughts/Ideas welcome.
    Off-Grid in Central Florida since 2005, Full-Time since June 2014 | 12 X Sovello 205w panels, 9 X ToPoint 220w panels, 36x ToPoint 225w panels (12,525 watts total) | Custom built single-axis ground mounts | Complete FP2 Outback System: 3 x FM80, 2 x VFX3648, X240 Transformer, FLEXnet-DC, Mate-3, Hub-10, FW500 AC/DC | 24 x Trojan L16RE-B Batteries 1110ah @ 48v | Honda EU7000is Generator and a pile of "other" Generators | Home-Made PVC solar hot water collector | Custom data logging software http://www.somewhatcrookedcamp.com/monitormate.html
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar
    jcheil wrote: »
    my main goal would be to be able to produce enough power to cover my inverter self-consumption (especially at night).

    Huge expense for a few amphours. I hear florida is a great place to observe the effects of lightning on towers :roll:

    How about this: buy a second, low power inverter for your base loads that is always on, and then turn on the big inverter a few hours a week for laundry, microwave, etc.

    btw, how bad is the self consumption of that inverter? Also, how do you like your Iotas? They have low power factor... are you able to run them off your generators?

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar

    I will say that if cost is a concern you probly can't win with a turbine. I have found it comforting that on a few of the days when my 5600 watt aray put out only 2000 watts for the day, on a couple of those days the turbines added 1000 to 2000 watts. It really didn't help in the big picture or to help run my loads but my battery was dead and it "felt" better having a little action going on in the battery. I wan't to take the turbines apart and make a bigger one but may never get it done. Most would say "what an idiot" to put in what I have for what I get out, but I have still enjoyed it. I have a 4 wheel drive pickup that I keep insurance on and hardly ever use. My father would let me use his any time. I really like having my own even though it makes no sense.
    Thanks
    gww
  • jcheiljcheil Solar Expert Posts: 722 ✭✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar
    vtmaps wrote: »
    Huge expense for a few amphours. I hear florida is a great place to observe the effects of lightning on towers :roll:

    How about this: buy a second, low power inverter for your base loads that is always on, and then turn on the big inverter a few hours a week for laundry, microwave, etc.

    btw, how bad is the self consumption of that inverter? Also, how do you like your Iotas? They have low power factor... are you able to run them off your generators?

    --vtMaps

    Yeah I realize the expense is there, but I kinda like "projects" :) And lightning is a huge problem here but I do have a lot of lightning protection on all of my buildings and towers already.

    Self consumption of the 3000w inverter is 20w according to the documentation.

    I thought about the small inverter but here is my issue with that (ideas welcome).
    I run a DVR and 16 cameras 24/7 which draws around 40w in the daytime and about 80w at night (when the IR lights are on). Also, From 9am to 3pm I run a pool pump that draws around 200w. From noon until 1pm I run an irrigation pump that draws 800w. Other than that, it is just the fridge that is on and off as it needs to be and a few lights once in a while. So it would almost seem like any inverter I have would NEVER go into standby mode anyways.

    The Iotas are great but do have a super crappy power factor. But they are the best for the money IMO. And they last forever. but the power factor DOES make a huge difference on the generator.

    The 40a one I have, which needs a 20a circuit draws around 16a (according to a shunt I have on the ac line feeding it) when in bulk mode. However, I know it is drawing way more than that from the generator because when I run it on the 3500w generator it really bogs it down to the point where if I were to (as a test) plug in a 500w heating element at the same time, the generator just about stalls. I have loaded that 3500 with 3300w of heating elements (the most I had hanging around) as a test and it is pretty stable. So that leads me to believe the IOTA is using close to 3000w from the generator.

    I also have the voltage on the Iota cranked up to 29.6 on the bulk side which I am not sure how that would effect anything.

    I can run the 15a one on my little 1200w (claims to be 1400 but I swear it is only 1200 hence why the new 1200 model is exactly the same as my old 1400w model). But it just about maxes it out.
    Off-Grid in Central Florida since 2005, Full-Time since June 2014 | 12 X Sovello 205w panels, 9 X ToPoint 220w panels, 36x ToPoint 225w panels (12,525 watts total) | Custom built single-axis ground mounts | Complete FP2 Outback System: 3 x FM80, 2 x VFX3648, X240 Transformer, FLEXnet-DC, Mate-3, Hub-10, FW500 AC/DC | 24 x Trojan L16RE-B Batteries 1110ah @ 48v | Honda EU7000is Generator and a pile of "other" Generators | Home-Made PVC solar hot water collector | Custom data logging software http://www.somewhatcrookedcamp.com/monitormate.html
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Adding Wind to My Solar
    jcheil wrote: »
    But I would absolutely need a turbine that is most efficient at say 9-10mph winds. I have read a bunch of online stories of people building their own alternators specifically for slow revolutions (120-160rpm) and producing maximum power but I am sure there is a trade off somewhere.

    The problem with low wind speeds is not that the alternator is designed poorly for low wind speeds - the problem is that there is just very little energy there. Power is proportional to area and wind speed _cubed._ That means if a wind turbine can generate 1000 watts at 10mph wind it can only generate at best 125 watts at 5mph - no matter how efficient your alternator.
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