Anyone into Wind Generation?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by MaxHeadRoom, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. MaxHeadRoom

    Thread Starter Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,548
    2,373
  2. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,389
    1,605
    Yes I am, but only small scale: I keep a fan on my all my desks.
     
  3. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,869
    1,393
    I had the same reaction to the question. :D

    But in all seriousness, I am interested in wind gens, however, I don't think my location is very suitable.
     
    ErnieM likes this.
  4. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    737
    150
    I blow hot air but that's not the same as generating wind. Wind generation depends more on what I eat.
     
  5. MaxHeadRoom

    Thread Starter Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,548
    2,373
    I guess this can be moved to the Jokes of the day section! :p
    Max.
     
  6. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
    998
    Naw Max, its very interesting. I need to live on the plains so I can get into it. 'Round here, I can barely get enough wind to push my little sailboat.
     
  7. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
    3,361
    Brownout likes this.
  8. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    2,449
    428
    I work with the guy that makes the kit form 5.5kw Breezy 5.5 wind generator. he also has the 10 kw model, and working on larger ones.
     
  9. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,908
    2,169
    Small home wind generation is mainly a bust. (even at 100% efficiency how much power can you extract at 2 mph?) Most locations that really have good steady wind for small generators are not places you want to live and to get it up above ground turbulence for anything close to rated power you need a tower.

    Invest in Solar.
    http://www.solacity.com/smallwindtruth.htm#DamnedLies
     
  10. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    2,449
    428
    kansas generallly has lots of good places for wind, but in town wind generators have a habit of falling on neighbors houses if they are tall enough to be in the wind reliably. great for farms though.
     
  11. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,908
    2,169
    Oregon has some of the largest wind farms on the planet so big winds works well at a good location but these are massive structures that operate in almost perfect conditions with hydro as the base-load when the wind dies.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Oregon

    The mechanical aspect of small wind just defies the physics of reliable power generation in most places. (too little or too much wind in bursts)
     
  12. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Agreed!

    "Noiseless" is great, and it looks cool, but power generated is relative to diameter squared, and it is an extremely heavy and expensive looking way to get a large diameter. Also, much of the weight and cost of the rotor is near the centre of the rotor where it will generate practically no power at all (because of the diameter squared rule).

    A much better design puts the cost and weight of the blades out near the periphery of the diameter, even as simple as this;

    [​IMG]
    :D

    Also to be worth using a windmill needs to be mounted very high where the wind speed is much higher (power generated is relative to wind speed cubed) and the "Archimedes" is very heavy for its rotor diameter, which makes is difficult and very expensive to mount up high for such a small rotor.

    So it looks cool, and I'd love to own one, but ultimately it's a fail because it will have incredibly poor cost:benefit ratio (which means EVERYTHING in alternative energy).

    Someone did a design degree and could design a real pretty shape but (seemingly) knew nothing about the practical issues of generating power from the wind. :(

    There's a reason practical wind power generating looks like this;

    [​IMG]

    Very large diameters, up very high, for the minimum possible weight and costs.
     
  13. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,908
    2,169
    The thousands spent on proper wind structures could have been invested in solar panels, controllers and a bullet-proof battery bank that will last for years if you're off-grid. If you have money to burn add wind as an opportunity charge source but please don't depend on it for steady power. If it's overcast all day at a typical windy location a rated 5kW PV (the panels now are cheaper than labor, permits, wiring and controllers in a total system cost) system might generate 20% of normal instead of 4kW actual at the inverter but a roof mounted 5kW wind generator on it's best day will only get a small fraction of rated output unless the unit is near it's cutout speed for most of the day and you would be in a storm shelter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  14. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    850
    215
    Very much interested in wind-gen, and have a small DC PWM 3-phase wired motor from a fancy gas furnace that died for other reasons...
    It puts up over 250 volts, with a 2" pully on the shaft crudely driven by a wire wheel... never been able to continue testing to see how much current that will parlay into

    Wish I could get more time to mess with it... Unfortunately also, I don't get a whole lot of reliable wind here...
     
  15. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,126
    3,048
    I spent a lot of time looking into "small wind", but came to the same conclusions that everyone has just listed. You're always going to want higher and larger. To make that worthwhile you end up taking it to the practical limits, which is the giant white windmills we see scattered around. These are not really competitive even at that scale and anything less is much less economical.

    If you have a junkyard for parts and steel, and have DIY machining and welding that you don't mind spending time on, you can have some fun throwing up a windmill. Just don't expect to make a business out of beating the grid.

    There is a market for people that want to show off their windmills, no matter the cost.
     
    PackratKing likes this.
Loading...