newbie wind airx questions

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
hi new to this wind thing and have a lot of questions
I just got a airx 400 to help out my 2 15 watt panels that power the lights and tv at my cottage. My thinking is that wind is all night the sun is not. My thinking is that I can run this off the peak of my cottage Pic attached. I have the fortune of being fairly wide open out to the lake with the prevailing wind funneling down the lake.
I currently charge 2 deep cycle batteries off the panels and have to run my generator only a little. I have the following ready to go, Air x , roof mount kit, fuse, switches, amp meter, questions I have are as follows
1) how much noise will it make from the roof mount
2) what wire size do I need cost is a factor here from the head to the batteries 50ft max
3) I have to use a ground plate as I have only 2 ft of soil max is this ok
4)I'm only there on weekends and want to make it able to take down and store inside, theft the concern here. Is there any ideas re a quick disconecct system.

I'm open to suggestions to links etc. hoping you here with experiance can save some work and stupid errors

Comments

  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: newbie wind airx questions

    I only have a tiny Air Breeze, which is a pretty darn quiet turbine from what I understand. And I certainly wouldn't want it on the roof! There is a definite sound / vibration induced down the pole I have it on, and I hate to imagine what that would sound like transmitted into the frame of the house. I have heard Air-X blades can be fairly noisy especially in high winds.

    The other concern is whether your roof can safely support it over time. There's a lot of lateral force on a wind turbine (especially if you put it on a very tall pole to get above the trees) which some roofs may not structurally be able to support, then that vibration I mentioned could work things loose over time.

    My "cheapo" mount is two poles sunk in concrete in the ground, with a gap between them for a third pole the turbine is on. Lets me quickly fold it over if I want. However, ideally you want the turbine much higher in the air. (I have city restrictions and limited fall zones hindering me, so short is all I can do anyway.) Just from your photo, what you really want is to get 30 feet above those trees. That takes a pretty sturdy tower, and perhaps some guy wires. They can be designed to be raised / lowered fairly easily (some people use a cable tied to a vehicle or an electric winch to make it easier) if you have enough clear space.

    Height makes a HUGE difference in the performance of the turbine. I had thought I should have "decent" performance with mine, as even though I was low in a bad wind area, there was still lots of it blowing around. But it's very gusty and turbulent - comes from varying angles in quick succession - which causes the turbine to spend most of its time just turning side to side and spinning well below cut-in thus doing no charging. Frequently the wind "hesitates" for just an instant, but that's enough - the turbine "spins out" literally turning to face the wrong way! Obviously it doesn't do any charging until it can get turned around the other way and back up to speed. Every foot I've been able to raise mine made a noticeable improvement, but to really get to the "clean" air where it would run smoothly would require a tower about 3-4 times taller than where I'm at now (just shy of 20 feet).

    As for wire size, the bigger the better! :p If you look at a wire sizing chart, realize those generally allow for a voltage drop that isn't too big of a deal at 120VAC or higher but can be killer at battery voltages. I initially tried 12AWG on my 200W Breeze, that was too small. It currently seems happy with 8AWG. My run is about 30 feet.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,212 admin
    Re: newbie wind airx questions

    Please note, I am not an advocate of wind power--especially small wind power. However, I will give you the "standard" answers to give you the best chance at having a successful installation.

    1) In general, it is not recommended for anyone to mount a wind turbine to an occupied structure... There is a very good chance that the conduction of noise from the wind turbine into your cabin will be highly irritating. Also--you have to be very careful that you have sufficiently solid roof structure that the constant force and vibration does not cause the mounting to fail (loosen nails or pull guy wires).

    Also, it is usually recommended that a turbine be mounted minimum of 30' higher than any nearby (upwind) obstructions (300-500 feet away). Mounting on a home will typically cause nothing but turbulent air flow which will dramatically reduce the output of the turbine.

    Since you already have the roof mounting kit--I guess try it and see how you like it...

    2) Use this wiring calculator. Aim for less than 3% loss in power for the entire run. And remember that 50' of run requires 100' (two way round trip) of copper wire. The spread sheet is made for a PV panel system--but the calculations are the same. You can probably reduce the assumed temperature of the wire (which will reduce its resistance) since your wiring will not be on a hot roof.

    3) That, and/or bury lengths of bare copper wire in trenches for better grounding. This article (PDF) suggests burying 150' of copper wire (perhaps in several lengths in a star configuration back to your common pont if you have rocky/dry soil).

    4) You can use Anderson Connectors -- Or if the currents are low enough--just go to your local hardware store and purchase a good quality twist lock 120 or 240 VAC plug set (such as used on an extension cord). Use whichever is cheaper--and keep the disconnects out of the sun/rain (in a box or UV resistant plastic sleeve).

    Also, I would be careful about disconnecting the wind turbine. You probably need to stop the turbine (turn it from the wind, tie off the blades) before disconnecting the battery load (or opening the switch). Most small turbines need an electrical load to keep them from over speeding in the wind (and you may cause a voltage spike which could fry the turbine's electronics--if any are on-board).

    I would also suggest some sort of totalizing Amp*Hour / Watt*Hour meter (if you do not have one yet) so you can measure how much power your turbine outputs over time (and log it by week/month so you can figure out your $$$/kWhr costs and turbine's usefulness by season). Either of these meters is inexpensive and flexible enough to give you a good idea of how your wind turbine performs (I have not used either of these meters myself or purchased from the company--as always, do your own research).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,462 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: newbie wind airx questions

    What Bill & Joe said.
    AND
    your 2 - 15 watt panels will barely keep your batteries trickle charged. They won't allow for much "recharge". Do you have a decent charge contoller with a battery temp sensor? I'm willing to guess you have damaged your batteries already, with too low of voltage, not recharging fully.
    Mike
    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 ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: newbie wind airx questions

    thanks to this site for the info. I have now hooked up my air x and reralize I need more height. At present as you can see by the pics I'm about 25' above the water and last weekend I had an avg wind speed of about 10 mph. the amp meter was reading 5 to 7 amps in gusts, but I would say that I averaged about 5 amps. I will try to get more hight on the tower. I have also attached a photo of my set up and am open for suggestions to better my system. My plan is to generate enough power to charge the batteries to power a 20" tv and a few lights for 6-8 hours a night
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,462 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: newbie wind airx questions

    A new thread here http://forum.solar-electric.com/showpost.php?p=37218
    "Busting Wind Turbine Ratings" has a link so you could calculate wind/blade size, and what you might expect to harvest.
    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 ,

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