Plug in wind turbines...

New to renewable energy? Have questions? Here's a great place to ask them and view information about wind and solar power basics.

Plug in wind turbines...

Postby mungus » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:48 pm

First post, so hi to all.

Some time ago I remember seeing advertisements for small wind turbines that came with a small inverter, able to be simply plugged into a domestic power point. Modestly Chinese made from memory. There were even some on eBay... (quality?). Having just received a decent sized winter power bill I decided to look at adding a modest wind turbine to our existing grid tied 4.75 KW solar system.

Yes I know solar is now so cheap and good that wind turbines are taking a back seat, but we really don’t get much sun here for the winter months, so upgrading our array isn’t the solution. Plus we like the idea of a 2nd source of generation. Are these kind of things no longer available? I do recall some chat about them perhaps having Australian compliance issues due to an islanding requirement. Any ideas? They sure seem like a simple idea.

I am not looking for a monster system. Just something to increase our winter power production. 750 to 1000 watts will do. We live in central Victoria on a hobby farm that gets plenty of wind. We also have a 5-1/2 metre high barn with strong purlins onto which I can attach a well supported pole to get the unit up to say 7 or 8 metres on the windward side, with no obstructions to the predominant W and NW wind flow. Our smart meter is on that barn. So it makes sense to stick a wee turbine on that rather than go to the hassle and expense of a guyed pole, cabling etc.

If those little plug in type turbines are no longer available, I am wondering just how I can add a small wind turbine without having to buy a special large hybrid inverter, already having a German made Xantrex 5KW grid tie solar type inverter that’s working well. I would also prefer not to have a battery in between if someone sells a wind inverter that eliminates that I understand Sunny boy used to sell one (windy boy?) but that was a few years back. But if I do have to run a battery well that’s not a big deal. Are there kits available for this kind of thing? Or do you have to buy a turbine, (what voltage is best?) and a wind type inverter with a 220-240V AC output that you can plug into a power point. If that’s the case how do you deal with the islanding requirement?

One associated question I have on turbines is value. Whilst I am well aware of the variable nature of Chinese quality on eBay, I am amazed by how expensive locally sold turbines are. Literally 3 times the price!
Are the OZ ones actually just Chinese made and badged and boxed for the local resellers? Or are the Oz offerings really that much better? Certainly some of the Chinese made PV stuff has got some good reviews. What brands are the go?

Thanks in advance.
mungus
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:13 pm

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby conklinc » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:35 pm

Mungus,

I'm dissapointed u haven't had a response to ur question. Back in August I picked up a Nature Power branded 500w marine grade wind turbine from JayCar for $499, on sale from $750. It is Chinese, and I haven't set it up yet, but it does look like a piece of quality and comes with an MPPT inverter which looks to be genuine. I haven't set it up due to logistics. I have a 30m pole, but haven't figured out how to guy wire it, plus, I have Council owned mature gums right on the other side of the back fence which will surely affect wind quality. Sigh.

To ur issue. It seems to me ur 500w Xantrex would be able to handle another 500w coming from a wind turbine.
It seems to me that u could use a stand alone inverter and use it for 240v pwr directly. That will take some load off ur solar and reduce ur grid use during the day. I assume u have thought of this?

I've done this with my kitchen refrigerator between say 9 am an 11pm using a 120w suitcase solar panel, pwm controller, a 100ah lithium battery and a 3000w pure sine 12v DC to 240v AC inverter. Admittedly it is an expensive setup, but the suitcase panel and lithium battery I already had in my campervan. With the ridiculous cycling capabilities of lithium why not? It seems to work well, after the sun goes down there is still enough power in the battery to pwr the refrigerator until 11 pm when the offpeak tariff kicks in. At that point, I plug in a lithium battery charger which more than handles the fridge and recharges the battery. When I wake up, the charger light is green and it's little fan is off, the battery is fully charged and fridge is cold. As soon as the sun comes up I put out the panels and the cycle starts over.

As long as this setup is completely separate from mains power except to recharge the battery, it has to be legal. I'm on premium feed-in tariff, so the daytime pwr from the rooftop solar that used to go to pwring the fridge is now going upgrid, thus making me money. I'm looking at automating the system with timers on the battery charger and a 12v-240v pwr sensor which shuts off the battery and goes to 240v mains pwr once it detects a drop in voltage coming from the battery.

I'm probably not going to make $$ on this, I just like tinkering and trying to beat the rigged grid ripoff.

My own question is why don't the inverter manufacturers use a grid sensor to isolate itself from the grid when the grid power goes off, thus enabling us to continue generating pwr? Haven't figured that out yet.

U can email me offline if u'd like to discuss wind stand alone or whatever further.

Regards,

Curt Conklin
Langwarrin Vic/Provo UT USA
conklinc
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:30 pm

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby australsolarier » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:32 am

small turbines,
we had many threads about that. they are not worth their money. unless you are right at the coast or on top of a mountain. you are better off investing your money into solar panels. been there, done that.
australsolarier
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:27 am

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby mungus » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:05 am

Thanks for the dismissive response, which ignores the content of my initial post... :roll:

We KNOW wind turbines don’t match the economics of solar, you are not telling us anything. This topic was about product availability and installation issues.

In the intervening months I have done a lot of research and had a lot of contact with domestic / farm sized turbine manufacturers overseas.

In this case we happen to live on a windy, obstruction free farm which gets wind all year but poor sunshine hours over winter. We have been collecting data with a decent weather station for some time now, and from an engineering perspective a 1-2KW turbine is viable. The turbine is simply to complement our existing solar system and as a novelty project.

The junk turbines are not comparable to decent units, unfortunately they are seldom available in Australia but are easily obtained in the USA. Missouri Wind & Solar are a good start with plenty of educational content on their website.
The generation capacity of additional solar adds bugger all over winter and it’s winter that’s our issue.

Positive and informative responses welcome.
mungus
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:13 pm

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby conklinc » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:33 am

Mentioning dealer, brand and wattage available here in Australia is dismissive?

JayCar, Nature Power (Chinese but not junk) 500w. I'll do the math for ya: 3 would prolly suffice if all u want is 1kW or a bit more. I've I had known u were going to react so rudely I'd have not bothered.

Try to be a little more friendly mate!

Curt
conklinc
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:30 pm

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby mungus » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:43 am

conklinc wrote:Mungus,

I'm dissapointed u haven't had a response to ur question...

Curt Conklin
Langwarrin Vic/Provo UT USA


Thanks Curt, likewise.

But then the forums owners flog pretty much only solar these days so no big surprise! :lol:

To me its about not focusing soley on economics but also including system viability from an engineering perspective. If you live in a fairly windy place and have a seasonal climate (as we both do) where solar hours very greatly from summer to winter, then a right sized wind turbine(s) can fill the gap in generating capacity. A 2 KW system using for example, a Missouri Wind and Solar turbine would allow me to meet most of my average daily power needs with a moderate panel upgrade (from 4.75 to 6.6 KW using my existing ground mounted frame & 5KW inverter). Avoiding the need for a 13 KW PV system, that even then, would likely need a petrol generator boost over winter if off grid.

IMHO some folks have drunk a little too much of the solar religion kool-ade, and seem to forget some people need to either be off grid OR in my case, at least move that way capacity wise, when my power retailers dumps the VIC 66c per KWH premium feed in tariff in 2024.
Last edited by mungus on Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
mungus
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:13 pm

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby mungus » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:45 am

conklinc wrote:Mentioning dealer, brand and wattage available here in Australia is dismissive?

JayCar, Nature Power (Chinese but not junk) 500w. I'll do the math for ya: 3 would prolly suffice if all u want is 1kW or a bit more. I've I had known u were going to react so rudely I'd have not bothered.

Try to be a little more friendly mate!

Curt


Curt - If you check back you'll see I wasn't actually replying to you. :)
It was to another poster; "australsolarier" who was being completely dismissive of wind power. I very much appreciated your reply.
mungus
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:13 pm

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby conklinc » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:43 am

I had a look at the Missouri Wind and Solar website. There'll prolly be a 30% addon plus shipping. Are they available here in Australia, or will u have to order from America?

Curt
conklinc
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:30 pm

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby australsolarier » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:23 pm

mungus,
go for it and then report back how you are going.
australsolarier
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:27 am

Re: Plug in wind turbines...

Postby mungus » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:20 pm

conklinc wrote:I had a look at the Missouri Wind and Solar website. There'll prolly be a 30% addon plus shipping. Are they available here in Australia, or will u have to order from America?

Curt


I have had a few chats and emails with the guys at MW&S. Very informative and no pressure. The nice thing is these guys are also the techs, so its knowledge based info, not just sales baloney. They have a few YouTube videos if interested. They do it all, Hydro, Wind & Solar and many off grid add ons such as septic pond aerators, solar pumps etc. Not just another Chinese eBay store or an Ozzie high street shop with a spotty kid who has no idea what he/shes selling you. I like that their turbines are solidly engineered, have a good parts supply and are made to be repaired and upgraded. Anyway:

- You have to order from the USA.
- There is no add on to the webstore USD prices.
- Shipping for a complete kit with controller, slip rings, pole mounts, cut off switch etc was $306 USD with USPS. Price varies a bit depending on if you intend grid tie or off grid.

A 1600W turbine with all the extras came in at around $2K AUD. From experience I'd estimate 2 weeks for transit with USPS First Class INTL. The 2KW turbine has far better mid velocity specs and from memory was about $500 more? (will have to check). Its the same sized unit physically speaking so a good option. All $$$ of course.

I do all my own engineering so a "winch up" 1-58" (STD scaffold size) pole attached to the windward side of my barn would be around $200-300 AUD. (9M AGL to the hub, with nil obstructions). Not ideal but reduces engineering issues.
mungus
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:13 pm

Next

Return to Q&A - wind and solar power basics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

new solar power specials