Wind power and hype

SystemSystem adminPosts: 2,511 admin

"Wind power has been in the news a lot lately (along with a lot of hype), and this will be the forum to discuss anything about wind power."
I totally agree with the "lot of hype" thing, especially with the smaller units. A couple, or 3 of years ago, after some positive experience playing around with my own home built turbines, I decided to listen to what I now know was hype and purchased an 800 watt Hornet. I "knew" that 800 watts would = 66 amps at 12 volts. And that, I was told would happen in a 30 MPH wind. What a pile of baloney!
Conpared to small scale solar - forget it, there is no comparison for the price. Solar wins hands down for me.
With solar, very few are the days that I don't get at least some power production, with the Hornet, very few were the days when I got any production at all! For the most part, the only power output was during the passage of "tropical storms" that come up the East Coast in the Fall and then we would wonder, in which County we would find the blades, come morning.
Thanks to the Hornet, rather than using the smaller unit as a stepping stone to something larger, it has managed to turn me right off home scale wind power. In the future, I plan to use the Hornet's PM alternator as part of a small scale hydro setup.
I know wind works, it's everywhere one looks, but large scale.

Wayne

Comments

  • nielniel ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind power and hype

    wayne,
    have you tried larger blades? i know you will be more worried during the hurricane season(now, as the remnants of ernesto is blowing through my area), but you will harness more of the wind and earlier. on the other hand, a good hydro setup won't be beaten by wind.
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype

    No Niel, I didn't, partly out of disgust, partly because the way it's built I don't think it would hold together for very long and partly because even though more wind would be intercepted, I suspect the larger blades would turn slower. Part of the problem as is, is that the blades don't spin up fast enough to even start to bring the voltage up to near 12 volts, until about 30 MPH.
    So. I think I'll go hydro, then all I'll have to worry about is having the whole thing washed away in a flood. LOL :-D
    Wayne
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype

    The Hornet--and variations of the Hornet--are not mainstream turbines within the small wind community. I fly 3 turbines, an H-40, Whisper 200 and a Bergey XL.1. At elevation, none come particularly near their advertised monthly production, but that is not to say that they are not useful--as part of a hybrid system. I am often thankful--in the middle of winter--that I have them. When the skies are cloudy and gray, and the solar arrays are generating 2-300 watts max, I need another charging source. Don't forget that wind density is also greater in winter--at altitude. I will say that each of the aforementioned turbines do make their rated power when the winds are strong and consistent enough. We live off grid, and simply refuse to utilize the old, Onan generator we inherited with this place. There could be many reasons the Hornet was not successful at the site where it was situated. I'm not sure it would be successful up here. With due respect, I would not spend the money to find out.
  • nielniel ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind power and hype

    this is rare to have somebody using 3 different turbines at 1 time. i'd like your thoughts and comparrisons with any real dirt on them. i don't have a wind generator, but in my readings i lean towards the bergey. is your username indicative of deepcreek, maryland?
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype

    Hi Neil,

    We reside in the foothills of the Deep Creek mountains in SE Idaho. This is high desert just above the Snake River Plain. Here is what I think about the aforementioned turbines. Like you, I lean toward the Bergey. The XL.1 is a tough, simple machine. The controllers have become very reliable. What prevents the Bergey from being an exceptional machine is its rotor diameter. The machine needs longer rotors, particularly at altitude. Bergey might come back and say it would affect their "boost mode" or perhaps something altogether different. I'm old school, and subscribe to the notion that swept area is the best indicator of a turbine's potential. Bottom line, a Bergey XL.1 is hard starting at altitude. Once they start, boost mode will keep the machine running during lulls in the wind. I wish Bergey hadn't scrapped their old 1500--which had a 10ft rotor diameter. I love the Bergey/NRG towers.

    On the other hand, there are things to like about SWWP. The H-40 is a well designed turbine. Recently, it was upgraded to Whisper 100--and that included some beefier internals and their new controller. It is not as robust as the Bergey, but mine has taken its fare share of abuse, and has never failed. These machines start very easily and have a high tip-speed ratio--which translates into "just because its spinning fast doesn't mean its making any useable power!" Whispers need to spin fast. The Bergey has a big, slow speed alternator....when it spins, you can bet you're charging the batteries. The H-40/Whisper 100 peforms better in turbulence than does the Whisper 200. That said, the 200 is a more powerful machine. It is capable of some serious power. SWWP trimmed down the rotor diameter from 10--9 ft. The longer rotors simply overpowered the alternator. Quite frankly, I'd like to test a 200 with the old H-80 blades--you'd have the upgraded internals-and the swept area I'm looking for.

    The perfect turbine (to me) does exist, but is not sold in North America--though it was for a couple of years. The African Wind Power 3.6 is a 1 kilowatt machine with the swept area I'm looking for and the slow speed alternator. They are built extremely tough--and heavy. If our sponsors at NAWS would only become the US distributor! Trust me....if NAWS bought 20, they would sell them all by the end of the month. Hope this helps.

    Sincerely,

    Richard
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype

    Thanks for the info deepcreek. With that kind of talk, you might just renew my faith in small scale wind. :-)
    Wayne
  • nielniel ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind power and hype

    that's alot of good info for sure. maybe the old blades (as replacement parts) from the 1500 could bolt onto the xl.1 or maybe the new 9 footers from swwp. not sure if the bolt arrangement would be the same. if you could go into more detail on with the performance of each i'm very sure everybody here would be interested as i would be.
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype

    Niel,

    The best reference I have found regarding small wind actual production is at Mike Klemen's site. Sorry, I don't know how to send links...but, search Mike Klemen. One of his sub-pages is entitled Energy Data. There, you will get a side by side comparison of an H-40, Bergey XL.1 and the AWP 3.6. There is also some data on a World Power 80---I think prior to its acquisition by SWWP. Paul Gipe did some testing on an H-40, and you can find that info at wind-works.org--once there, look for small wind articles. I am a big fan of Mike Klemen, and have exchanged e-mail with him a handful of times. His answers are always well thought out.

    I wish I could tell you more. I don't track our Monthly production. I do check our system often. For the money, the Bergey to me is your best bet....but you're going to be 24 volt. It is capable of well over 1000 watts. They are easy to install. Their towers are the best. Their customer service is first rate. I think Bergey is working on a 48 volt machine. At the end of the day, what I care about is that my batteries completed their absorption cycle--(these are big ones too.. Surrette 4KS25PS). For me, if you're off grid, you should strongly consider a hybrid system. If you eliminate the "hobby turbines" , my machines and a couple of others are the only game in town. I might add that for me, the jury is still out regarding the Whisper 200. I like it, I've seen it make 3kwhr in a day. It also starts way before the others, I'm just not a big fan of high, tip speed ratio machines. Maybe the 200 will change my mind.

    I want the AWP 3.6...it is superior to what we fly. I understand they have upgraded the blades and the tail. Hands down, it would be the most versatile machine.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help,

    Richard
  • nielniel ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind power and hype

    you are being helpful, much more than you realize and i thank you for your input. if you happen to think of anything else don't be afraid to chime in.
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype

    Yes, thanks very much deepcreek, great info and if anyone comes uo with the link to "Mike Klemen's site", please post it.
    Thanks a lot.
    Wayne
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype


    Here you go:

    http://www.ndsu.edu/ndsu/klemen/

    brad
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype

    Thanks man. Appreciate it.
    Wayne
  • BrianellulBrianellul ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Re: Wind power and hype

    Hi

    Some time ago, I also enquired regarding the AWP.

    I've read a lot of positive things about it, even in homepower magazine. Although there isn't a supplier in the states, I found one in Europe-France. The link is below, http://www.krugwind.com/index_en.htm maybe you'll want to contact them.

    Regards
    Brian
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype


    On a tangential note, this thread reminded me of a favorite artist of yesteryear...

    "Windpower" update:

    http://blog.thomasdolby.com/?p=189

    (BTW, deepcreek and others who may still be "mystified", this system automatically will "wrap" the actual text of a link with the html code to make it active...)
  • Patman3Patman3 ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind power and hype

    I guess I'm out of the loop, what do I need to view a .m4v type file? I met and shook hands with T. Dolby in downtown LA mid 80's when he was a famous rock star.
  • nielniel ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wind power and hype
    Brianellul wrote:
    Hi

    Some time ago, I also enquired regarding the AWP.

    I've read a lot of positive things about it, even in homepower magazine. Although there isn't a supplier in the states, I found one in Europe-France. The link is below, http://www.krugwind.com/index_en.htm maybe you'll want to contact them.

    Regards
    Brian

    wrongo. i found one in the states. tulsa, oklahoma to be more specific. they carry the awp 3.6 and it's a 48v or a direct to grid model.
    http://www.harvest-energy.com/index.html
  • System2System2 admin Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wind power and hype
    Patman3 wrote:
    I guess I'm out of the loop, what do I need to view a .m4v type file? I met and shook hands with T. Dolby in downtown LA mid 80's when he was a famous rock star.

    http://all-streaming-media.com/streaming-media-faq/faq-mp4-streaming.htm

    I really like his "Windpower" and "Flying North" songs from those days. BTW, "PNM" has contracted with a "wind farm" here in New Mexico:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2005/04/18/story3.html

    This should drive home the point that wind power is quixotic in nature, even in "windy" areas. Anyone run across studies comparing wind vs sun power in grid tied systems? I suspect that from an overall standpoint, solar would be the better performer here in the SW...

    K.D.
  • BrluxBrlux ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wind power and hype

    Just a heads up I found the AWP 24 and 48V versions here.
    http://www.thesolar.biz/African%20Wind%20Power%20Wind%20Turbines.htm
Sign In or Register to comment.