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Windpower Update November 08

 

So its now November and our turbine has survived some heavy winds but only after some serious modifications.

It blew down during a freak wind in March. And what a sight it was a total mess. The pole had snapped across about eight feet from the bottom, The blades were in pieces the turbine itself had hit the side of the shed housing the batteries.....it was a very trying time on us here. and we were heart broken at the sight of charlie..So we left it for a few days to consider what to do next. After all  the esb is 30 meters from the front door Should we get a connection? it would be the cheapest way out, but in what sense cheaper

 

 
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So anyway  after much thought i decided to see why it failed, and after a minute examination came to the following conclusion.

As the turbine had  diameter of 3 metere the pole was not strong enough, even with the four extra guywires we had on it.

 

After some conversation with others we founf that the hubs had an inbuilt fault , they were cast iron ok but the holes holding the blades on were too near the edge  as can be seen in the pic,

We alo discovered that the bolts supplied were not of proper strength  for the forces involved. Infact the whole thing was not up to winds here in yo.

 

 

 

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Now we have managed to get hold of an ex esb pole its almost  one foot across at the top and  7 meteres long, perfect for us there would be no bending of that ..but how to mount the turbine  hmmmm

Dinner time a delecious kenyan dango and there we staring at the gas bottle, imagine the strength in that i thought and soon enough i had removed the  valved washed it out  cut the ends off and sliced it down the middle. With a little help froma ratchet  sling i tightened it on the pole end and  spot welded it  This gave us the exact shape of the pole. So its off to the workshop to fabricate the  mounting assembly and this time we make sure of high tensile bolts..

We use half inch plate for the base after drilling out the flage holes,

Then we have it finished a quick coat of paint and...

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k so the nose and body panels which was damaged are  repaired by dave our fiberglass expert .

The scaffolding is erected around the new pole, which for good measure is stayed also, and soon charlie is flying again.

 

 

 

 

 

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Summary so farSO it has been running now since july without any hitch, and is supplying our modest power needs .But i would  say that it takes  a  bit of mechanical and electrical knowledge.  to keep this system working.it is certainly not  a put up and forget system. But its ok for us.

The pros are

  • No esb bills
  • The satisfaction of producing own power
  • The thrill of producing natural energy
  • The excitment of switching on a light knowing  it has been produced from our own efforts at no damage to the enviornment.

The downside

  • The battery costs also the battery bank at present will last for about two years if we are carefull not to over or undercharge
  • The fear of it blowing down, because of our past experiences, we keep it under constant observation
  • On still days we have to be very careful of consumption
  • We have to watch the weather very closely via internet windguru forecasts.

Improvements for the future

  • Install solar panels  ,these are at present  expensive but the costs should be coming down
  • The battery bank needs to be upgraded to improve  storage capacity
  • The dump load circuitry needs to be turned  productive.

So in general we are happy enough with our modest system. But it takes a good deal of time keeping it going, but thats down to us trying to do it as cheaply as possible. Is it worth the effort?....

What price do we put on the survival of the planet...

For a real insight into windpower for the home constructor visit  www scoraigwind com. It is the only site you'll ever need .

NEXT STAGE NOVEMBER 09

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