Residential Wind Power

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by newcroft, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. newcroft

    newcroft Junior Member

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    Has anyone here had success in getting a wind turbine installed on a residential roof?

    Many of us will have seen the "Hush Turbine" https://www.hushenergy.com.au/ in 'renew magazine' and other sources, but it still won't be available until mid 2007 at earliest.

    I understand that wind turbines are usually too noisy for residential settings, but are there other exceptions to this general rule?
     
  2. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    THE Air X which is a pretty small wind turbine (400 watts) has an option for a roof mount kit. It has rubber grommets in the mounting hardware that are supposed to dampen the vibrations and make it pretty quiet, but no, I don't have first hand experience of this roof mount, sorry. One of our neighbours has an AirX, an older one, and the first time I heard it I thought someone was running an electric whipper snipper! Not a terrible sound to me, but some people around here are bit off put by it...
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    i can't help either newcroft,

    but why are we still using old propellor type technology for wind generation with all it noise and extra maintenance because it needs to swing on a pivot???

    surely we should be developing turbine type wind devices along the line of those ventilators on roofs, they are already all but noiseless and it makes no matter to them which direction the wind comes from, and for me would look a whole lot more appealing on the eye than do those ugly and very possibly dangerous propellor blades.

    also over here in aus' the last time we enquired about swing wind propellor they told us we had to buy a test station and set it up for (idealy) 12 months but 6 months could do, so they work out blade size and eddies and all the stuff that effects a swing unit, oh and i enquired what happens to the test station "the customer gets to try and sell it to recoup costs" cost that should be for those who want to sell the technology. and then hieght of tower and cost hadn't even been mentioned.

    how do insurance companies handle the inclusion of a propellor turbine attached to your home on the household policy, reckon the neighbours in suburbia would want to know hey?

    anyhow that's my thoughts on it.

    len
     
  4. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Newcroft,

    Same here I have no experience, but know a group of folk who do know the ins and outs of wind power. Live aboard Yachties.

    I have often heard them have discussions on the pros & cons. You will get great advice for the cost of a beer.

    cheers

    floot
     
  5. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

    These are supposed to be very quiet...don't know about roof mounting though: https://www.windside.com/ 9anda1f
     
  6. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Junior Member

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    Horizontally-aligned blades don't generate as much energy with the same amount of wind hitting them as do vertically-aligned blades.

    So if you have a lot of wind, but coming from all points of the compass, then it's worth having the horizontally-aligned ones. But if your wind is fairly consistently from one direction, then the vertically-aligned ones are good.

    Whatever the orientation of the blades, current designs will make the same amount of noise. The noise comes from two main sources. The first is that if the blade catches wind, it's because it's stopping some air - that means the air's hitting it, pushing it, then flowing around it; that makes noise. The second source is the dynamo itself - the miles of copper wiring all wrapped up, turning against magnets and generating the electricity.

    Compare the noise to other generators - like a diesel one. Or consider the sound of the refrigerator. Machines make noise.

    Again, to me this is a question of choices. Many local communities are unhappy about wind farms hurting their view over the hills and into the sea. I would say, "fair enough, then, we won't have a wind farm." I would then add, "but do you want electrical power at all?" When they answer, "of course," I would say, "Then you have to have some power station in your neighbourhood or backyards. Please pick from one or more of: wind, solar, coal, gas, nuclear. Which would you prefer in your neighbourhood?" I'm a very democratic person, I believe in asking people what they want, and then giving it to them.

    The buzz of a wind turbine starts to sound like music when you consider the alternatives.
     
  7. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    Amen, Jimbob!
     
  8. MonteGoulding

    MonteGoulding Junior Member

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    What a neat idea. The hot air rising through would drive it on hot still days and by being close to the roof it would take advantage of the windspeed increasing as it moves over the roof surface. Having the turbine inside the roof would reduce noise too.
     
  9. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day m.g,

    no matter what you do with a propellor they are noisy and potentialy dangerous.

    and having turbine vents to keep roofs/homes cooler is very common so if the power side of things could be coupled to this action it is like killing 2 birds with one stone, i get lots of negative about it! for me it seems like there is a rock solid square that no one wants to think outside of. and i have never heard a noisy turbine vent ever.

    also to me it is like we went away from propellor driven aircraft (except in small craft situations) to jet propelled so why not do similar, that swing action the prop's has got to be expensive to make and maintain.

    check the turbine vents that these people have,
    https://hurricanevent.com.au/ my prefference is to get their 'hurricane' model for the roof of our home, but really can't see that they can't be made more efficient than blades. they even have a stronger version of that cheapy vent that every one buys.

    like you said the alternater could be hanging under the roof then and no special towers needed.

    also the silly side of this whole issue of power is, the gov' is going to lumber us with newclear whether we want it or not, we are being put through all this sort of debate when china as far as i know has app' 300 coal fired power stations and is planning on increasing that to 600 or so, and i bet their stations aren't as modern as ours?? plus they intend buying the coal we won't be using.

    so the real math with this carbon issue is how much carbon does any coal fired power station emit, and leave out the per-capita ratio, because more people divided into a bad result to make it look better doesn't alter the real end result, like all this talk of carbon certificates it does not reduce the so called problem in the atmoshere does it? it is simply a play with figures on paper.

    and at the end of the day all of the population has to be able to afford the resource.

    again seasons greetings to all

    len
     
  10. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    We just installed a small Air X wind turbine on our house in November. It generates 400 watts in a strong breeze, and is reasonably quiet. In a heavy wind, the noise of the wind on the trees and buildings is about as loud as the turbine, but the turbine flutters a bit, which doesn't bother me, tho I know some who find it irritating. These same people own generators, hahahaha, and run them, too..... hmmmmmmm.

    I have installed 4 of these turbines in hybrid wind/solar systems, and they are great, but more ideally suited for smaller systems. A bigger (and heavier) wind turbine would be more practical for a larger house.

    I will have some photos up on our web page eventuially, and some up at ALS this week.
     
  11. toosusie

    toosusie Junior Member

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    Roof vents

    Hi gardenlen,
    Just wanted to tell you I have often watched my roof vent spinning and wondered exactly how we could harness the energy it creates too. Can't understand why some bright spark hasn't already done something along these lines myself. I'd definitely be interested in something like this if it was available because if nothing else it would be less obtrusive visually and therefore not as objectionable to others. Maybe then more people would consider it as a serious alternative for townies. It would create another dual function aparatus too. That is where we will make larger resource savings after all. We seem to have become hooked on having a different device for everything in modern times when often multi purpose equipment would be more environmentally wise. Think this is a commercial aspect though isn't it. More money is made if more equipment is required. There are always nay sayers though aren't there. If you ever hear of somebody succeeding with this let me know because I'd like to have several sources of power rather than rely on just one kind. Susie
     
  12. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    yes toosusie,

    the more uses something has the better i reckon, and those 2 particular edmonds spinners might be the best design to do this with, i'm no high educated person but if all the spinners on all the rooves where putting out a couple of amps an hour into storage that would have to count for something.

    but when ever this topic comes up it gets lots of locked in negativety about it, imagine if the wright bro's would have listened to the expert sceptics of their day, or even columbus (? dunno might be wrong) when he was told he would sail off the edge of the earth!!

    len
     
  13. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    There's a mathmatic principle involved. I do not know which one, having read about it years ago, but horizontal axis wind turbines will never make as much power as vertical axis ones do. Its just physically impossible, an inherent limitation from the convex side of the blade meeting resistance from the wind it is moving into. A free spinning roof vent is different than a roof vent hooked up to an alternator, and any drag will slow the movement down to next to nothing.

    I hear people say that wind turbines are dangerous, but most of the "research" on bird deaths has occured at Altamont pass (and this "research" was paid for by coal and nuclear interests), where older high speed turbines are used, and in the middle of a migratory route for birds. Newer turbines spin at much slower speeds, and are on much taller towers than the older turbines, so the danger issue is much less of an issue than most people think.

    As far as being a blight on the land scape, well, maybe. There is no accounting for taste, but I have seen them in Spain, Holland, the US and each one looked gorgeous to me, spinning slowly, making good clean energy. Even if it is "ugly", nuclear waste is pretty ugly, and remains toxic for 100 times all of recorded history. Coal makes acid rain.... As Jim pointed out, give the people the choice they prefer. When multiple factors are considered, wind comes out looking pretty good!
     
  14. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    BTW, our wind turbine flutters pretty quietly in most winds, and is not loud at all. In high winds the sound of wind in the trees or on our building covers up much of the sound of the turbine. Even tho our Air X turbine of 400 watts is mounted on our house, there are no vibrations in the building, and it is very quiet.

    Obviously, wind is not for anyone, but if anyone lives with solar has any wind potential, the Air turbines are pretty easy to mount and really compliment photovoltaic systems for keeping your batteries charged.
     
  15. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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  16. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day christopher,

    some good shots there in your album hey.

    not often you see/hear of anyone using wind and sun, makes sense hey?

    i'm no whiz kid on renewables just from when i first made enquiries costs where too high and output not enough unless more money was spent.

    with your set up can you power a fridge of say 500 litre capacity along with a freezer of around 300 litres capacity, or does that simply mean buying more batteries?

    what sort of costs are involved in a system like yours?

    and what cost in maintenance is there along with funds put aside to replace components as they pass their obscelescence dates?

    looks like and ideal situation where you are? waht bugs do you deal with ie.,. mosquito's nighttime only or daytime as well? flies? you know the pesky ones, yes i saw the mozzy net over the bed.

    len
     
  17. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Hi Len,

    Thank you!

    Wind and sun together really compliment one another. I love a storm at night (when there is no lightning), and the wind is howling, and the turbine is fluttering lightly. I run to the amp meter and watch. "Dawn, Dawn! Look, 25 amps! no, no, wait, Dawn, hey Dawn, hey, look! Look! we just had over 40 amps going into the battery!" She groggily says "Oh, wow... thats so wonderful..." and turns over....
    That is the problem for most people. Unless you live a distance from the line, its an easy choice not to go that way. We didn't have the choice. If we wanted electricity, we were going to have to make it ourselves (wwith a little help from the sun).

    Our system, though, has been modular. We started with one panel, a controller, one battery, two lights, one fan... we bought more as we could afford it (once we discovered that having lights to replace kerosene lamps was just the tip of the iceberg), and the system grew. It also shrunk, time to time. Solar panels are saleable, I sell renewable energy systems and components, so have a steady stream of people pestering me for parts, and we have cashed them in when we needed to... and replaced them later.

    I get dealer pricing on all my solar stuff, so I pay about %60 of the retail price on components. Its fairly easy to get prices %75 of retail if you hunt on line. There are also good deals available time to time as retailers liquidate inventory, or new modules come on the market ad the older ones (unused) are put on sale cheap.

    We have
    One 125 watt BP Panel
    Three 75 watt Siemens Panels
    Three 75 watt Photowatt panels
    two 60 watt BP panels
    for a total of 695
    one 1800 watt inverter
    One 60 amp controller
    one power center
    PV combiner box
    And all of this would cost about USD6000 if we bought it all new at one time, which we didn't.
    The biggest cost is the battery bank. Every 4-7 years we replace the battery bank. The battery bank we have right now costs about USD1000 (ouch).

    Regarding fridges. Rather than rehash all of that, I can point you at an interesting discussion over at ALS that happened this week. Dani, who has more experience with fridges than me (I don't have one) put in an excellent post on her experiences :
    https://www.aussieslivingsimply.com...rum_id=14&thread_id=3428&pid=35594#post_35594
    And, yes, we have mozzies at night during the rainy season, usually just around dusk, and the occasional sandfly (some years we get them for weeks, but only at night, and only in the rainy season).
     
  18. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    thanks christopher.

    everything like that over here costs about double usa$ prices.

    when i enquired on 2 occassion some 8 years ago it was going to cost around $30,000aud and that would not power a family fridge and freezer and when we where on our property we wanted to graze our own beef so we where wanting to run a 2 meter cold room, so at the time it was suggested we ahve solar for everything except cold storage and use a/c power for that part of our life, and still required a resonable sized generator for inclemant days, and no one wanted to even know about running wind and solar to them it was one or the other.

    $6000 of that was for batteries which needed replacing every 10 years, to me the cost was out of the question as the capitol was never going to be covered and you needed to run a piggy bank for replacement and maintenance.

    i'll check out that story but for us now it is too late we are back in the 'burb's. but basically renewables in australia is at feel good stage if you want to live spartan or have the money to be different.

    len
     
  19. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Len,

    Thas too bad about th cost, especially because ost of the PV rade silica (of hish there is a global shortage) is on Australias south coast...

    Well, ther is still wind!

    C
     
  20. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    yes christopher,

    improved technology has bought the price down a little though i think???

    but to me though we need to go decentralised renewables you need to be quiet well off money wise to even consider installing it in a new home or retro-fitting to current inefficient homes.

    i've been reading dani's story and it still supports my summise above if you compare it to hosuehold cost of power of around $600 per annjum renewables just never going to return capitol with the built in obscelescence. if one takes in initial installation (lets say no diy input) and waht you need to put aside for replacement maintenance, it blows the $600 budget right out of the water.

    as there is no impetus from gov' to promote renewables the makers installers kust charge like wounded bulls, so it is out of the pocket even the dreams of any but the neuvo-rich or wealthy.

    i've aksed dani waht size her fridge and her freezer are power usage won't mean much to anyone who needs certain storage capacity.

    anyway with dan's help i hope to include here information nwo and in the future on my site so readers have resource to hands on knowledge.

    len
     

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