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Wind turbines
russbost - 5/10/21 at 02:27 PM

With fuel costs going thro' the roof & not wanting to be dependant on the grid more than I need to be, I was thinking about a couple of small wind turbines. I already have a 4kW grid tied solar array on the original max tariff, paid for itself long ago & now makes me around £2k a year in payments & savings getting bigger every year & am thinking of adding more PV off grid, but obviously in winter PV doesn't do much, hence why I wondered about wind

There is an amazing & confusing array of stuff around

Has anyone used one of these cheap £100ish Chinese things off Ebay? Will they genuinely generate 400W?

Further, there is stuff on Ebay that claims 8000W (yes, 8kW) from a small turbine - now that has to be ridiculous & quite surely, untrue, but what does the so called 8000W jobby actually produce & is it significantly more than the 400W ones - the price really isn't that much different, for instance if it made 800W instead of 400 then the difference in price would be well worth it

Any info welcome, thanks in advance


Mr Whippy - 5/10/21 at 03:21 PM

Stupid question but what happens when your not using the electricity? I too have been considering a wind turbine as my garden is very windy and almost always from the same direction. My concern would be getting replacement parts, it's bound to go through bearings, even blades in storms. If you bought a cheap one from China, would you be able to fix it if it broke??

Glad to hear you have started making money from your solar panels.


David Jenkins - 5/10/21 at 03:53 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
Glad to hear you have started making money from your solar panels.


I have solar panels - the income isn't as much as the salesman predicted (oh, what a surprise) but what I didn't comprehend at the time was that, most of the time, I'm not buying electricity off the grid so my expenses have reduced considerably.

As for surplus electricity from a wind turbine - you just export it to the grid and earn a bit of money.

[Edited on 5/10/21 by David Jenkins]


Sanzomat - 5/10/21 at 06:50 PM

I can't comment on the current stuff available but from a few years back when I was doing a lot of work on construction of new retail (mainly big food supermarkets) there was quite a bit of work done on add-ons that at least gave the impression that the brand was being eco friendly and wind turbines were one of the most obviously visible options as on most big shed retail units solar thermal or PV are out of sight. The conclusion we came too after lots of analysis by the designers and consultants was that anything smaller than 15m high would never pay back either in terms of its capital vs revenue costs or in terms of paying back its embodied CO2. i.e. the smaller ones were CO2 positive. Some of the retailers went ahead and fitted them anyway to give the greenwash impression and there are some that were wired up so the blades were being turned around by motors as some customers had said they had never seen them turning even on windy days...

A small town next to mine invested in two 10m high ones and found the same. Even though it was a windy location they were barely producing anything. 5 years later they quietly removed them.

Depending on location 15m tall just about works.

For any real benefit they need to be huge. Hence why offshore is the way forward and no complaints about the tip noise either.


bi22le - 5/10/21 at 11:07 PM

Kind of related but not, am I the only one that thinks wind turbines look amazing? They are such graceful giants and when they are spinning I just can't help watching them.


David Jenkins - 6/10/21 at 10:00 AM

quote:
Originally posted by bi22le
Kind of related but not, am I the only one that thinks wind turbines look amazing? They are such graceful giants and when they are spinning I just can't help watching them.


Absolutely! Occasionally I drive up the A140 to Norwich; near Eye there is an industrial area with 4 or 5 massive wind turbines. They look very graceful as they turn. I don't think they were installed by the owner of the industrial units - it's more likely that they leased the land to the electricity generating company.

I've been in Scotland over the past few weeks, and they're everywhere... it could be said that they disfigure the landscape - a valid point - but as a techie I'm impressed.


MikeR - 6/10/21 at 06:21 PM

I looked into this year's ago as I had a cunning idea for a new turbine design that would easily fit to houses. Turns out the earth has to much drag, you need as others have said to be 15m up. I did work with someone who has ground based turbines on his land. He said he made money, but he was also always right so doubt if he'd admit they didn't.


jacko - 6/10/21 at 06:34 PM

I have used narrow boats for about 12 years for the first few years lots of boats had wind turbines now you are lucky to see any most private narrow boats have solar panels now
Graham


Schrodinger - 6/10/21 at 07:52 PM

quote:


I've been in Scotland over the past few weeks, and they're everywhere... it could be said that they disfigure the landscape - a valid point - but as a techie I'm impressed.


I live in the highlands and they are all over the place, one problem with them is that they only have a 25 year life and the "towers" are made of "plastic" which as we know is made from oil so they are not really that green. There are already questions being asked about decommissioning them and the only suggestion I have seen so far is that they could be cut up and used in children's playgrounds as slides etc.


roadrunner - 7/10/21 at 08:57 AM

I've looked into DIY solar panels and just getting my Leccy mate to do the consumer unit bit.
I know I wont get the feed in tariff, but at £3600 for a 6kw kit plus I am a high user due to the wife's hot tub being switched on all year round I think it's a no brainer.


MikeR - 7/10/21 at 09:16 AM

Have you actually coated the hot tub? When we had it's I think I worked it out as 50 to 100 per month.


roadrunner - 7/10/21 at 12:10 PM

Ours is in a fully insulated summer house and works out at £25 to £30 a month.

What did you coat yours with


MikeR - 7/10/21 at 12:27 PM

Argh, predicted text. Coat/ cost.

Having it inside a building will make a massive difference, ours was outside. Inherited with the house. When I finally disposed of it I discovered the mice had taken a liking to ours. Guess it was warm and safe inside with walls with all that insulation even when turned off.


Dingz - 10/10/21 at 10:20 AM

Feed in tarrifs, now called Smart Export Guarantees are pretty poor these days, about 3p per kw. I think the whole system is a bit of a mess these days, Iíve spoken with someone who is a small? generator using methane from landfill sites. The price he gets paid continually varies according demand, sometimes being negative so it will cost him to put power into the grid.


mcerd1 - 11/10/21 at 11:01 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Schrodinger
quote:


I've been in Scotland over the past few weeks, and they're everywhere... it could be said that they disfigure the landscape - a valid point - but as a techie I'm impressed.


I live in the highlands and they are all over the place, one problem with them is that they only have a 25 year life and the "towers" are made of "plastic" which as we know is made from oil so they are not really that green. There are already questions being asked about decommissioning them and the only suggestion I have seen so far is that they could be cut up and used in children's playgrounds as slides etc.


It's worse than that in reality - most folk only look at the cost of the turbines and not the infrastructure it takes to build and connect them...



one other thing I've never seen considered is just how much extra filtering it takes to make the power from wind turbines connect to the grid - most folk know that you can't control the wind, but most folk probably don't realise the issues renewable power causes and how much infrastructure it takes to filter / correct the power being produced so you can actually use it!
Nearly every windfarm (onshore or offshore) needs a crap load of extra equipment to achive this (over and above whats needed for other types of power) - most often in the form of an SVC or STATCOM circuit (most often 2, 3 or 4 parrallel circuits) - each one uses huge volumnes of concrete, tons of steelwork never mind all the copper, alloy, plastic & porcelain - most of which only has a rated lifespan of 20 to 40 years....
none of this happens without some loss in efficency either....

basically its one bay like this per circuit: (min. 2 circuits per windfarm)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_VAR_compensator
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_synchronous_compensator