Looking For Suggestions On A Wind Turbine

JimNAZJimNAZ Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭

We are entertaining the idea of adding a wind turbine to our solar setup and are looking for suggestions. We currently have (20) 6v batteries wired for a 24v system. We have a Midnite Classic 250 controller, Conext inverter/charger and over 2000 watts of panels. We would rather just add mor panels but the controller is maxed out so adding the cost of another one plus panels takes us out of our budget. Which is why we are looking at turbines. We live in Northern Arizona and get well over 250 days a year that are windy.
We spoke to a sales rep for Northern AZ Wind and Solar. He told us anything over 1000 watts gets expensive due to all the equipment needed. They only sell the Primus brand and I think that's only about 400 watts. 
Any suggestions or comments on the Primus brand or Northern AZ Wind and Solar? We recently purchased some solar panels from them this summer but unfortunately their prices have gone up since then.

Thanks in advance


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,170 ✭✭✭✭
    With plentiful and regular sun I would suspect wind is not a normal thought in Arizona. Are there wind farms there? I usually takes a large tower/expense to get 20-50 feet above the tree line, but perhaps you are in a barren area of the state? Also generally you will want to take them down once a year or so for maintenance.

    Admittedly we don't have a lot of wind genny people here. I know it can be very effective where there is abundant wind,  
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • JimNAZJimNAZ Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Thank you for your feedback. As I stated in my post, getting more panels is not in our budget at this time and we have Wind over 250 days a year here up in northern AZ.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,490 admin
    Are there any wind installations near your place? Have you talked with them about how much energy they get per day/per month? What are their maintenance?

    In general, the tower is not cheap (tower, base/concrete, cables, wind controller, load bank, etc. usually cost 2-3x the cost of the turbine itself), and the ability to service the turbine once a year (lubrication, check bolts, repaint, etc.) can be an issue in itself. There are folks that use tilting tower/pipe to fly the turbine--Easier/cheaper than a bucket truck or crane.

    Here are some links for reading about wind--See if they give you any ideas:
    I am not a fan of small wind (or large wind, but that is another matter). Putting mechanical/electrical device 60 feet in the air, expose to sun/wind/rain/snow/ice/storms/etc.

    For most people, they do not really live in a windy enough location to make a turbine cost effective (it has to be miserably windy location to run a turbine anywhere near its rated output). And if you have lightning in the area, you are sticking a huge lightning rod up next to your home. And turbines can be quite noisy (if mounted near your home). The turbine needs to be far enough from the home so that if the turbine falls or if the tower/blades fail, they do not hurt anyone in the home/yard.

    If you can decide on a tower/mounting system that is cost effective (concrete foundation, guy wires, tilting tower) and can do the maintenance. Plus you like to work on your equipment--It may be for you.

    In fact, Wind Turbines seem to be the one DIY project where people who build their own turbine can make better products than you can buy.

    JIm, I am interested in your cost issues... Unless you are going to build your own turbine and have access to a cheap/used tower, solar panels have been at their cheapest point ever--Do you see x,xxx watts of wind cheaper than x,xxx watts of solar (panels+charge controller)?

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,754 ✭✭✭✭✭
    And failure modes and precautions.  When it's really windy, and the batteries fill up - what-ya gonna do with all that power?  Can't let the turbine freewheel in a storm.  Ya need brakes, and dump loads, or you have boiling batteries and free-flying blades
    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

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • JimNAZJimNAZ Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    We live off grid and many other residents here have small (400+watts) wind turbines with no problems. We also live on a bluff so it would not be much high than 30'. I can get a 400 watt wind turbine for $800ish and do a diy mounting setup and a diy dump load pretty cheap. 1000 watts of panels and another controller will be over $1500. I appreciate your comments but they are coming across as negative for Wind. I have already stated twice that we get a lot of wind here. A lot of times it is during the night. The residents here feel they get 15%-20% of their power from the turbine. Over the course of a year that is pretty good especially if you just need a little extra to keep the batteries full. My original post/questions were thoughts on the Primus turbine and NAZWS. Again, thank you for your feedback.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,490 admin
    I am sorry--Yes, I am not a fan of wind power. I see solar (in many areas) as being much more predictable and less maintenance.

    However, given that you have installations that are successful in your area--I am not one to knock a good thing. And, I also provided links to places where you can get more information on wind power, and even look into building your own.

    Have your friends logged their nightly/monthly energy supplied by the turbine? It would be very nice to post some actual field results here.

    I am not an employee of NAWS, just a volunteer here moderating and, hopefully, giving useful answers (when I have them). And, except for Rick Forbes and David Lauzon from NAWS, all the rest of the posters here are volunteering their time and knowledge here too.

    NAWS (Northern Arizona Wind & Sun) is our forum host here (they started the forum, do software support, and keep the lights on here). Otherwise, they pretty much leave the forum open to all posters for the exchange of information (posters do not have to be a "NAWS Customer" to use the forum).

    I checked the forum, and did not find any information regarding Primus installations/reviews here (other than one which had difficulties getting going, but apparently was fine after some ice melted).



    Example of the old Skystream turbine (when it was running well, it was quite a good performer):

    Skystream 3.7 Wind Turbine near Lake Erie


    92 84
    97 164
    246 472 2,480
    265 348 244 371 18286 90 84 250 100194 131* 2,345
    101 130

    * December, 2007 - Skystream shut down from software problem with cold and would not restart.

    * January, 2008 - Skystream down until the 27th. Produce 98kWh in the 5 days remaining in the month.

    * December, 2009 - Skystream shut down several times and would not restart on it's own, production very low for wind speeds.

    * January, 2010 - Production very low for wind speeds.

    * February, 2010 - Production very low for wind speeds.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,170 ✭✭✭✭
    JimNAZ said:
    1000 watts of panels and another controller will be over $1500.
    I know you are set on wind and wind sounds like a good option! I did want to make a quick comment though on pricing. Many of the inexpensive panels today are 72 cell panels, if your array is close to your battery bank, you can use a less expensive PWM charge controller with 72 cell panels. I could have items shipped into Missouri 1000+ watts of panels and a PWM charge controller for less than $1000. I took a quick look at Northern Arizona Wind and Sun and they don't appear to have any currently in their inventory that are relatively inexpensive, but 3 of these would cost $951 and represent 1020 watts;


    And would work with this charge controller at $110


    For a $1061 package.

    I have several Midnite classic's and love them, but there is no sin in using PWM charge controller, and it should work fine in addition to your Classic. There may be about a 10% advantage for MPPT charge controllers, so this is not a bad cost evaluated choice.

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,478 ✭✭✭✭✭
    FWIW, Midnite solar supposedly has a 200w turbine & controller package coming out this fall.
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
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