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Residential wind power

Post in 'The Green Room' started by jeff_t, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Can anybody point me to some good resources, forum and otherwise? Anyone with personal experience, please enlighten me.

    Just starting to think about it. I think I have a good location.

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  2. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    How much are you willing to spend and how clear is the area where you want to put it?
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  4. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    There is a lot of BS out there on small wind. The folks who tell the truth based on actual experience dont put out a lot of glossy webpages and dont earn a commision whenever junk get sold and there are always new folks coming on the scene that dotn understand the basics. One person that does tell the truth is this guy Mick Sagrillo

    http://scoraigwind.co.uk/?p=260.

    I worked for a wind turbine company that had been doing wind since the 1960's. The long term employees in general agreed that 99% of the small wind turbines were junk. The company, Northern Power, spent a lot of year bulding a wind turbine that would hold up and eventually did, albeit at a size and cost way more than what a home owner would buy. Home Power has frequnet articles on small wind and they are very cautious on recomending it unless the person buying it knows what they are in for. Strangely enough the most durable turbine that run the longest are the Jacobs units built back in the 1930's. As long as they are maintained, they just keep on running but most folks are unwilling to maintain them.

    The state of VT is littered with broken down wind turbines bought with federal and state dollars, I pass a few of them on occasion. Skystreams were popular a few years back and more than a few got installed by folks who didnt understand how to install them.

    If you are still serious take a look at this presentation

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...L8kot7Ueh6ssWw93Q&sig2=KvHEP2EWwYLMyD48wInlew
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    ^^ Yup, sounds like a lot of good information to me. I don't know of anyone who has tried to make small scale wind power work for them, but I'm willing to bet there are a hell of a lot more who've tried and failed than there are who've actually succeeded. I studied both wind & solar way back when I was working on my BSME, and it's been evident to me ever since then that solar has more small-scale potential than wind. And the simplest application for solar is to start with heating water...worry about generating electricity later, that's a whole higher level of complexity. Anyway, have fun exploring the alternatives. Rick
  6. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

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    I own one of these and they do not stand behind what they built.
  7. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I started with a google search, but came here to start sorting out the BS. From my wee bit of research today, it looks like ROI, doing it right, is probably longer than I'll be alive. A former employer looked into it about 10 years ago, and came up with the same conclusion. Thought maybe something had changed .....

    Been looking into solar, too. I planned on starting something in the spring, with hot water. Probably have a bunch of questions with that, too.
  8. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Doesn't surprise me one bit, unfortunately. :shut:
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Had a friend that had a wind energy dependent house in AK. It was labor intensive to say the least. Lots of moving parts, even beyond the mechanics of a big windmill in a windstorm. For example, battery management was not a trivial issue. At times it was a royal pain, especially with his remote location delaying parts. This eventually motivated him to his final solution, forming a neighborhood coop and install a small hydro company to feed about 50 houses.
  10. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    try www.otherpower.com, its a diy forum for alt energy. You will find many other sites and info there.
  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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  12. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I've been looking at their solar water heating build. Some interesting stuff.
  13. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Hi,
    The thing you want to start with is determining if you have enough wind to make it worthwhile -- most places don't. Even places that get high winds may not be a good bet in that you need a good high average wind speed.

    Since I do the BuildItSolar page, I'll mention a couple things on it that I think would be good places to start -- all on this page: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Wind/wind.htm


    The stuff listed under "Got Wind?" will get you started on evaluating your location for wind potential. This is a must do first step.

    The "Wind Power for Dummies" book that is listed is very good. Its by Ian Woofenden, the Home Power wind editor -- he knows wind very well and lives in an off grid, wind powered home. Its available from Amazon.com etc.

    When you are trying to sort out wind power generation claims by the various commercial turbines, the little graph at the very top of the page is helpful in that it gives an idea how much yearly power generation you should expect for your average wind speed as a function of turbine diameter. If you see claims that differ much from what the graph says, beware. A lot of the wind turbine makers quote their power output at very high wind speeds -- even if you are in a good location, you won't see these speed very often at all - so ignore those and look for the power output at your average wind speed.

    If you are looking to build your own wind turbine, the Scoraig Wind site and the book "Homebrew Wind Power" by the two Dan's (who are from Otherpower.com), and the Otherpower.com forum are all very good.

    Gary
  14. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    This discussion is fascinating... it was the search for alternative power (heat) that brought me to Hearth.com in the first place.
  15. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Wind speeds might make it doable here, just not sure if I want to lay down the capital.

    On the other hand, I really like your $1000 water heating system. Lot of the boiler guys here do something similar with storage, but kinda opposite. I can see myself building something in the very near future. Between my wife and two preteen daughters, hot water is getting a little out of control.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  17. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    shower timer LMAO :lol:
  18. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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  19. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Google is nearly useless for me now (thanks Comcast), but I used to frequent a DIY wind-power site in Ireland that was very comprehensive, to the point of having complete instructions
    on the self-manufacture of turbines. Not sure if that is where your interest lies, but you may find helpful info there regardless.
  20. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    So can a drain heat recovery system. Depends on how your drain & water heater are set up but it can be as easy as some copper tubing wrapped around the drain pipe before going to the water heater inlet. Build-it-solar has instructions.
  21. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    As recently as two years ago, I was heavily arming myself with info about wind power. I have 3 large wind farms within a 25 mile radius of me and a possible 4th going in about 4 miles from me. Point is, I have wind. After extensive research I came to the conclusion that wind power in my location had a payback of approx. 20 yrs. Basically the life expectancy of the turbines. A net zero gain if looking at it monetarily.

    I have since gave up my quest for wind and have come to the conclusion that solar is where its at (for me). No solar projects to date, but that may change.
  22. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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  23. valley ranch

    valley ranch Feeling the Heat

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    Lots of information: Thankyou, I just spent an hour on: making pine blades.

    Hope to look throught this when the time comes, We have a very good spot for this.

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