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"Great Wind Machines"...the rest of the story

Post in 'The Green Room' started by billjustbill, Dec 10, 2009.

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  1. billjustbill

    billjustbill Member

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    In Sticky's heading for renewal energy there is a reference for wind power and a specific turbine...

    Paul Harvey often said.... "...and that's the rest of the story."

    Sticky had listed a heading with"Great wind machines". Here's a link telling the rest of the story to the generator listed under that heading.

    http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/showthread.php?t=4981

    I love wind, but spending big money on hyped up wind turbines will sour many people.

    FYI,
    Bill

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, being as Paul Harvey pushed those electric heaters big time......I don't know if I would use his "rest of story".

    Anyone considering any wind machine for personal use should do some big time googling.......and research, and find out this stuff. Of course, a disgruntled employee may not always be the only or best source.

    Here are some more upbeat stories on what is going on now...

    Our local town turbine in Portsmouth RI - doing MORE than planned:
    http://www.eastbayri.com/detail/132998.html

    Biggest wind farm in the USA - will power 230,000 houses!
    http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/10/14-billion-oregon-wind-deal-announced/
  3. billjustbill

    billjustbill Member

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    Hello Craig,

    As you said about doing one's homework, there is a lot to learn and weed-out in hunting, and ultimately buying, a wind generator. As I said, I do enjoy wind power, so I'm not putting it down, especially now that DC systems are better and the tower poles can be layed down so maintenance and repairs don't have to be done high in the air. However, the new links you listed are like comparing "Apples to Oranges", not in keeping with average single home wind generators. I ran across an article where 10 small wind generators were tested over the span of ONE year. By year's end, not one was still operating.... I hope you'll list more links when you find ones for small wind.

    I had a 1.8 Enertech grid tie-in win-gen back in 1980. They had about the best references and working data around for non DC systems. But, their design of attaching the system to a 50' tall telephone/power pole cause it to fail less than two years later. The three 1" all thread bolts crystalized and snapped, sending the 14ft. rotor system to it's death. My homeowners insurance company sent the bolts to a specialized lab and the lab reported the metal failed due to a term called "Work-Hardening". You could look at the end of the bolts and they looked like old fashion Rhinestone jewelry the sparkled so much. So, I know what living with one is really about, including climbing belts, tightening bolts and gearbox oil changes. Fifty feet looking down is more than fifty feet look up!!! ;>)

    All I was pointing out was what you explained, do your homework, Goggle for months, try to balance good and bad reviews, and lay out so you can compare what you've found. I'd also add that a NEARBY home-size wind generator seen in person and that has some true operating history helps an untold amount. To learn what works, what goes wrong, and how the installing vendor handles current and future issues should be the facts that tip the decision to Pro or Con.

    The Entertech company went under, but only just in the last few months has it come back to life and under the same name. With newer technology of using a oil based power transfer case instead of the metal gear box, it has good possiblities. So, having a company there to sell a product that is proven with very little maintenance and down town it so very important. More so in these uncertain times, than ever before. The new Enertech company lists a website and says they still sell part to ones like mine. In the last few months, I've written them with model and serial number, to enlist help in getting my system back into the air..for good advertising and Public Relations....BUT NO ANSWER has come.

    By the way, I do enjoy, and am thankful, for this forum and all the information and help I've received since the Googling and learning curve with my EPA insert. Please keep it going!
    Bill
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I have always thought that large scale was the way to go with these - because of the siting as well as all the things you mention. It's very difficult to engineer something which will last 30 years in the worst conditions....on a homeowners budget. Perhaps someday it will change, but for now I think personal wind machines are for hobbyists, sailboats and the lucky few who sit in an open field with very high winds.

    The energy picture is a BIG problem, and IMHO it needs big solutions. Sure, we will each be in on it, but more likely as owners of plug-in cars, payers of carbon tax to fund the larger wind farms, etc.

    I feel somewhat the same way about solar. Yes, maybe eventually it will be cheap and just built into roof shingles, but for now we need the big projects properly located and engineered.

    This is not to negate personal responsibility - just the fact that one large freighter crossing the ocean with thousands of tons of goods (a large scale solution) is always going to be better than 1,000 smaller ships trying to move the same bulk.
  5. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I have a skystream.It's ok, probably wouldn't do it again. Have a great wind site, but it still only does about 2 or 300 kw a month. Next green project is to find home sized nuclear reactor. :p
  6. billjustbill

    billjustbill Member

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    Do you have it on a tilt-down tower on your Skystream? How long have you had it going? Problems?

    I may be a step or two ahead of you as far as getting together a home size nuclear reactor.... In WWII, the Germans almost had enough 'heavy water' to make their super weapon... Here in Texas, the local water department is already supplying radioactive water.... ;>(

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/radioactive-Water-70661997.html

    Bill
  7. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Its on a 45 ft mono pole, with a truck load of cement in the ground. The installer, who i know quite well, made a nice jig to flop it down. Had to once because of upgrades. Took about 30 minutes to put on the ground. It has a 5 yr warranty.
  8. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="Webmaster" date="1260596289"]I...
    The energy picture is a BIG problem, and IMHO it needs big solutions. Sure, we will each be in on it, but more likely as owners of plug-in cars, payers of carbon tax to fund the larger wind farms, etc.

    I feel somewhat the same way about solar. Yes, maybe eventually it will be cheap and just built into roof shingles, but for now we need the big projects properly located and engineered.quote]

    The way I see things shaping-up over the last couple years is that wind is best left to the big towers/farms, but solar can be cost-effective & significant on smaller scales. The cost of panels has dropped a ton lately & the panel/micro-inverter combinations (Enphase are most successful so far) are catching on. IMO these may be what makes grid-tie solar practical in terms of initial outlay (they're modular, so you can start small) and permitting (easier for codes & inspectors to approve a packaged system with established performance than for custom systems). I've heard that California energy planners have revised their demand forecasts sigificantly because they think L.A. rooftops will start really contributing to the grid in the coming decade. Those are the folks planning the need for new/improved transmission lines...that take 5-10 years to get permitting, so I assume they're doig their homework.
    Might be wishful thinking 'cause I like the idea of a diversified energy grid, but imagine the savings in transmission lines if say 20 or 30% of power is actually produced locally.
    Of course I don't have any PV panels on my roof yet... :)
  9. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Might want to talk to Iran, they seem to have an overabundance of Nuclear items, maybe a fire sale?
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