Author Topic: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?  (Read 5939 times)

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Offline mtdoc

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #75 on: August 12, 2016, 02:23:54 PM »
Yes, it takes work to heat with wood. As the saying goes - the wood heats you twice. We partially heat with wood now but have heated here (at 1900 ft in WA) with wood only for up to a week at a time during winter power outages. Many of my neighbors heat with wood alone full time.  In the past i've heated a home with wood alone through a Northern Vermont Winter - the heat content of NE hardwoods was appreciated.

There are tricks to minimize the wood needed - a well insulated home, efficient stove, etc.

My understanding is that one advantage of the wood gasifiers is the ability to use small bore biomass - mill waste,  wood chips, walnut shells,etc.

But no matter what - fully off grid living is hard work - especially in a cold climate.  It's much easier to push a button on a thermostat.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 02:28:13 PM by mtdoc »
 

Offline uncle_bob

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #76 on: August 13, 2016, 12:02:50 AM »
Hi

When I add up all of the up front costs for the wood heat setup, payback might have been in the 20 year range. When you toss in the cost for aded inspections and back permits when we sold the house, take that out another few years. Toss in the "discount" on the house required to close the deal ... hmmmm .... yes, payback? I could heat your house, my house and his house for what it all cost.

At least in my experience, there is a hidden cost to this. An off grid setup actually is not a "normal thing". Like a swimming pool it is likely to subtract from rather than add to your home's value. 99% of the population is not very excited about all the work chopping and hauling tons of wood. It's far from carbon neutral (chop down a TREE and make CO2) so it down sells with part of the crowd that should be excited by it.

Bob
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #77 on: August 13, 2016, 12:07:35 PM »
Ran across this on youtube.

I want one!



You don't need a house, it can BE the house.   :o

I like how it's all modular, almost like it's just a kit you can buy at Ikea.  "some assembly required".
 

Offline uncle_bob

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #78 on: August 14, 2016, 06:40:05 AM »
Hi

No need for a vibrating lounger chair.... you can get a nice massage anywhere in the house just by leaning against a wall :)

Bob
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #79 on: August 14, 2016, 07:02:19 AM »
It certainly gives you a room with a view.  And built in exercise with the daily climb on the way home.
 

Offline ziplock9000

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #80 on: January 19, 2017, 05:41:45 PM »
If your in the UK like me your probably in trouble straight away due to the strict rules governing height vs distance from boundaries. I had a so called 500W unit up about 8 metres but it was nowhere near high enough to get into clean air, given it was only about 10M from the house I realized it didnt have a chance, spent most of its time turning around its axis confused as to where the wind was coming from and never generated more than 50W (in gusts), I would say urban is a nono unless you have a LOT of land!
Roger

PS try solar :)
Well that's cleared that up for me. I live in the North East and Solar definitely isn't an option either. Screwed both ways really :/
 

Offline grifftech

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #81 on: February 17, 2017, 03:00:35 AM »
use the grid as a "battery", it will never run out.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #82 on: February 17, 2017, 01:12:25 PM »
Idealy I'd like to go off grid as it's the delivery fee that costs the most, and not the usage.  But realistically given the small area of property I have to do anything off grid I think my best bet may indeed be to just go grid tied solar.  Even if solar won't always produce well such as winter if I'm grid tied that's less of an issue.

Solar panels themselves are becoming relatively cheap too.  If I can save up like 5-6 grand that would give me a bit under 5kw of solar.  Later on I can always add a charge controller and battery bank and go semi off grid.
 

Offline moz

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #83 on: February 24, 2017, 09:57:55 AM »
Ideally I'd like to go off grid as it's the delivery fee that costs the most, and not the usage.

:) Yep. If you have running water microhydro might also be an option, depending on just how ugly the freeze-thaw cycle is where you are. In Aotearoa I got lucky on my ~100 hectare block with a small catchment towards the top of a hill which gave me a reliable 10 litres/minute but at ~80m of head. Power = flow times head, and you ideally ant one number to be much bigger than the other. But if your "small semi rural" is 1000m2 that's unlikely to be an option.

Quote
Solar panels themselves are becoming relatively cheap too.

If you're willing to bodge it you can likely buy second hand systems for next to nothing. Just beware of the US "assemble your own panels by bedding cells in epoxy" things that are too horrible to discuss. You want proper glass-fronted, manufactured panels. But with those and a willingness to run several inverters you can end up with a local mains bus that you can use for whatever. Viz, buy several 1kW-3kW systems and combine them. But don't try combining random panels on one inverter, it's not going to work very well at all. The electronics is not too hard, it's getting that system certified to connect to the grid that is ugly.

But wind... just say hell no. I have a friend with an off-grid property and even with two little turbines ~100m from the house they're annoying. Worse, one is bolted to a corner of a big tin shed, so when that's running you get the full on "next to the speaker stack at an ACDC concert" effect. The turbine shakes the pole, the pole is bolted to big sheets of tin... YEEEEAAAAH THUNDER!!! Don't do that.

The other turbine is a tilt-up pole with a 2kW turbine, and it's better but sadly the pole is only 12m high, so with 5m high trees and sheds it's nowhere near clear air. In a good storm the flow stabilises and you get 3kW until the thing trips out. Or, at about 150kph wind speed, falls over. Then you get to buy everything all over again. You need to balance "good wind exposure" with "what do I do when there's a storm".

Overall, he gets 4-5 times as much annual power per kilowatt installed from PV, and the maintenance is zero for the PV. Also, you can guess PV output pretty well using online tools but wind is so sensitive to microscale variations that the only way to guess output is to put dataloggers at the height you want and analyse a couple of years.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #84 on: February 24, 2017, 02:09:37 PM »
Yeah if I was to go solar I'd buy panels premade, probably new.   I toyed with the idea of buying cells but even then they're not THAT cheap. By the time I buy all the materials to build panels I may as well just buy them premade, new.  I would maybe buy cells for a small project but not something big like a home solar system.

I've toyed with the idea of going DIY route for the batteries though, but even then probably best to buy premade than to try to cast my own lead plates etc...   The issue I ran into with my small battery bank for my UPS is that they stop making stuff after a while.  They make a batch of an item, then a few years later you can't get it anymore, this goes with batteries too.  So I had one battery go bad but I could not buy the same kind because they changed it.     Not a huge deal for my existing 12v system as they're all in paralell, but it would be a big deal for a 48v system as you need all the cells to match. So I'd have to figure something out for that if I went with a big system with bigger expensive batteries.  Duds happen, but I don't want it to write off an entire string because I can't buy the same cell anymore. I guess I could buy a few spares and keep them on a separate float charger.
 

Offline moz

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #85 on: February 25, 2017, 06:58:28 PM »
I think there's still some easy wins in DIY batteries (there are some youtube channels with guys buying thousands of 18650 LiIons), but if you can find them second hand traction batteries can be a really easy win if they're nearby. Back in the day I was paying a few hundred dollars delivery/pickup to swap batteries, and that was it once I'd bought the first "ready to recycle" battery. I'd bike over to the recycle depot and test the batteries they'd got in, then pick the best one. The downside was that it meant having a single 800kg battery in the garage, the upside was that for about $300/year I have 10kWh at 48V from a 25kWh battery that was past the end of its life. Desulfate them for a week (there goes 20kWh) and they'd usually come up from 30V to float charge and run quite happily for another year or two. Traction batteries often get binned when they won't do a full day in a forklift because half a day then 10 hours charging just doesn't work for a lot of people. But I fear that these days the hire companies swap those down to someone who only needs half a day, so by yhe time they get remanufactured they're possibly worthless. But it is worth looking into. Locally I can get 12kWh nominal for $1500 off eBay, for example (450kg ... lift with your knees, not your back!)

I know a couple of people here in Aus that have offgrid systems using strings of second hand panels, and they work pretty well. If you're capable of basic research and knowing that "this 12V charger will not work with a 24V battery" level of common sense it's pretty doable. Being willing to faff about with the system lets you trade your ongoing labour for a cheaper, less reliable system. Or in at least one case, $100 for a really nice 3kW inverter/charger that had let the smoke out, a $30 MOSFET and some soldering... made the nice man smile. Look for the idiots who buy "complete offgrid systems" on eBay and never manage to get them working.
 

Offline Dubbie

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #86 on: February 25, 2017, 07:31:13 PM »
A relative of mine built one about 10m high in a residential area. He ended up taking it down because maintenance was just too high and the wind was wildly variable in the built up area. The wind could flip 180 degrees within a minute.


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Offline ziplock9000

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Re: Anyone have a wind turbine in a residential area, how well does it work?
« Reply #87 on: February 25, 2017, 11:18:28 PM »
A relative of mine built one about 10m high in a residential area. He ended up taking it down because maintenance was just too high and the wind was wildly variable in the built up area. The wind could flip 180 degrees within a minute.


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This is the issue I've been hearing too in residential areas. Damn shame really
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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My biggest fear with a turbine is the bureaucracy otherwise I could just build super high.  Could double as a RF mast too if I want to get into ham radio. Needing permits, or neighbors complaining, having to take it down etc.   That and wind gusts.  We tend to get these weird storms now and then where we get huge "explosions" of wind, can feel the whole house shift and feels like roof is going to get ripped off.  It would probably rip the turbine apart and send lot of debris everywhere.  We had one earlier this winter and if it was not for the snow on the roof pretty sure lot of people would have lost shingles.   Even for solar panels I'm kind of worried these gusts would be an issue as it could catch the panels from under and rip them off the racks or rip the tracks out of the roof. 
 

Offline brucehoult

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Idealy I'd like to go off grid as it's the delivery fee that costs the most, and not the usage.  But realistically given the small area of property I have to do anything off grid I think my best bet may indeed be to just go grid tied solar.  Even if solar won't always produce well such as winter if I'm grid tied that's less of an issue.

Solar panels themselves are becoming relatively cheap too.  If I can save up like 5-6 grand that would give me a bit under 5kw of solar.  Later on I can always add a charge controller and battery bank and go semi off grid.

In NZ there is a thing, by law, that if you use less electricity than a certain amount (it was 8000 kWh/yr last time I looked) then you can switch to a "low user" tariff where you pay a lot more per kWh but much lower daily connection fee -- something like 30c/day instead of $1.80/day. It's figured so that if you used exactly 8000 kWh then you'd pay the same either way.

That makes it more reasonable to go partially off grid.

Other countries don't have this?

Edit: just checked current prices (I'm not living in NZ at the moment)

At my old home in Wellington, on Meridian Energy (single rate 24/365, controlled water heater):

Standard: $1.80/day plus $0.1618/kWh
Low User: $0.345/day plus $0.2282/kWh

Cost about $1951.50 for a year on ether plan for 8000 kWh.

If you only need 1000 kWh then it's $818 vs $354. Quite a difference, with $657 fixed annual charge on the "standard" plan before you use a unit of electricity.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 07:41:59 PM by brucehoult »
 

Offline tautech

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........That and wind gusts.  We tend to get these weird storms now and then where we get huge "explosions" of wind, can feel the whole house shift and feels like roof is going to get ripped off.  It would probably rip the turbine apart and send lot of debris everywhere.
A neighbour in our rural location needed power to charge batteries for a semi permanent electric fence that was installed in the head a funnel shaped gully that faced the prevailing winds and the location seemed just perfect for a small wind turbine that was supposed to be perfect for the job. It was quite small, 3 blade and ~500mm IIRC. There were no obstacles preventing clean airflow and as the installation was in the head of the gully AND atop a dividing range where the coast could be seen in both directions where in this part of NZ is only ~20 miles wide, it need only be installed on a pole high enough to keep anybody that came near safe.

I've lived here all my life and this is one of the windiest places I know, it fair howls up this gully and the poor little genset howled in protest from the day it was installed. In winter storms it could easily be heard ~2 miles away.......for a year or two then it self destructed.  :phew:
Back to the peaceful sounds of a rural setting.  :)
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