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Forum Index : Windmills : Long Distance Wind Turbine

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00fGrid
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Joined: 25/07/2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
Posted: 11:05am 25 Jul 2021
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Hi All,
I'm after input on options when the turbine is a fair distance from the battery pack and what people do regarding lightning. Yep, we get a good lightning storm about 1 or 2 times a year.

In my case, i'm looking at 3KW turbine and i run 48v 800Ah pack. I'm currently on solar but looking at alternative inputs/ energy types. I figure that i need about 200 - 300W to get this working in a normal days breeze. I'm completely off grid so i protect the main pack, as I will have no power if i loose it.

It's about 100-140m ( maybe 200m would be optimal position) from the pack to the base of the tower( yet to be erected). I am not courage to have such long lines and low voltages for this.

So, at the base of the tower I was thinking of having the controller, ( which would handle things as normal) coupled to a staging battery pack, this then would feed an Inverter(240VAC), bring that down to the main pack and use a standard charger.

This would isolate, twice, the line between the turbine and the pack. Once at the inverter and once at the charger. And I could use standard lightning arresters on the 240VAC line.  

So, when the main pack is full, the chargers turn off, the inverter input rises, the turbine controller brakes.

Questions i have,
1/ given the staging pack, is going to cycle alot, do i even need it?
2/ Do i use a rather large Capacitor at the input of the inverter to allow it to cycle slower ( on/off/ etc )? I was thinking of getting 1000 caps, remembering i'm looking at 48 - 60V at the input of the inverter.
3/ thoughts on if need some smarts at each end that detects rpm, and use this to drive a variable load/ charger ? this is an attempt to keep the blades spinning at a constant rate.

Seeking some old hands input on this. New ideas always welcome as well.

cheers
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1512
Posted: 06:05am 26 Jul 2021
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Hello Cheers,  

A 3 Kw wind genie is a big fella ??  Mine is 1 Kw and weighs in at approx 100Kg . But mine is on a 60 foot tower ,and not Hugh pipe , just 3.5 by 3.5 heavy angle, but thats another story.

I run 16mm 3 phase down the tower, all big external cable .  then across some 60 mtrs to the controller,allbig cables.

I've been hit with lightning , blew up my inverter.  Had to dig up the cable ,in plastic conduit, and it had also fried between phases, but that was because of water corrosion.

I'd run 3 phases all the way ,with disconnect fuses ,but I'm thinking ,,, how you going to control the rpm ,with no load ?.

remember 3 Kw , must be nearly 3 Mtr dia blades , they are going to scream ,before destruction ,,,,been there,, done that, LOL.

I wasn't going to write this for fear of criticism ,  but really, she's a big unit to play with, especially in strong winds.

I've all but given up on wind generation , still love it ,but solar is cheap as chips nowadays , and safe.

I wish you lots of satisfaction, but please remember at all times to work around this monster with utmost care .You have lethal power, uncontrollable blades screaming at the darkest time ,night, and possibly lightning.( how were you going to control this) ,We have been known to frequently get 100Kph or close to it ,NOTHING can control that energy.

Stay Safe,  Bruce
Bushboy
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 1274
Posted: 06:45am 26 Jul 2021
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I know beans about turbines but 3 Kw struck me as a big setup from what vids I have seen.  

I'll be interested to read of the suggestions for the Lightening protection.
Far as I'm aware It's extremely difficult if not impossible to 100% protect your equipment from strikes.  I thought the energy is just too great but I look forward to what the knowledgeable people say.

Sounds like a large and big $$ project.
 
Clockmanfr

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Joined: 23/10/2015
Location: France
Posts: 361
Posted: 07:40am 26 Jul 2021
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Hi  OOfgrid,

I have 3off Hugh Piggott design 3.7m diameter Wind Turbines, had them up 16 years now.
We have wound the 3 phase coils for DC battery charging at between 46v and 61v and are directly clamped/connected to the 48v battery. Any excess electricity is diverted by controllers to dump load heaters. .

The design of the blade and the PMG permanent magnet generator, are very well matched together for optimal output.  The tail design has the ability to pull the wind turbine out of the wind direction if the wind increases to dangerous and excessive levels.

But before i give you how they work etc, my main advice is DONT do domestic wind turbines, as the PV prices are really good todate, and a static array has no moving parts.

Next in real life we rate a 3.7m diameter turbine at 1kW, but the unscrupulous Chinese would call that a 3kW output, yes i have seen 3kW on one of mine just for a second before it self furls out of the wind.

I can write pages on this and controls and differing designs, but i say again honestly PV is far more productive.

I am on some Wind Turbine Forums around the World, and me saying DONT, does not always go down so well with the Armchair wafflers. But hell after 16 years flying mine. ??

I still fly mine, as its a physical visual statement but every year each need a service and re-balancing the blades and servicing 3off can take up to 2 weeks of my time. So PV every time now. At present only one is working as another needs balancing again and the other has a broken blade. Hopefully by September i will have all three up and generating again. Water ingress into the blades and hub is always the main problem.

Hugh Piggott's design is one of the best, and he publishes a small book ON HOW TO BUILD, and explains installation, materials, site, and everything.
http://scoraigwind.co.uk/


A few photos for you, Ist is Mrs in 2007 with the blades following Hughs design.









Edited 2021-07-26 17:56 by Clockmanfr
Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (14 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (10 yrs). 12kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
brucedownunder2
Guru

Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1512
Posted: 11:08pm 26 Jul 2021
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yes,,  Clockman and "the backshed" go back a long way . Remember his great work ,and his travels,Hello there ,mate.

Anyhow, we're on the same page, when it comes to whats worthwhile and whats sort of best for todays situations.

Look at it this way , these days, most on here live in suburbia, where neighbour considerations come into play.

So , unless you are on acerage , you only have a few mtrs of yard ,,really not enough to stand a wind-genie.


Take a look at Clockman,s three wind gennies,  they are away from the house and have their own paddock ,plenty of room for guy wires and height.

Solar , from my observations, is much more suitable , even though I enjoy the construction and workings of a wind genie,

I'll leave it alone at that, as I'm not contributing any more good feelings, I suppose, but wish you well.

Bruce
Bushboy
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 4200
Posted: 02:56am 27 Jul 2021
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How about erecting one or more plain steel water pipe masts near your turbine, but taller.  
Give the lightning a nicer target ?
Cheers,  Tony.
 
00fGrid
Newbie

Joined: 25/07/2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
Posted: 11:04pm 27 Jul 2021
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Thanks All.

The input is great.

I have plenty of room and completely off grid. Our own power, rain water, and we recycle via AWTS for waste water. Been this way for years now.
While solar is certainly the way to go for city folk, for those with some room other options are certainly there.
The object is to have a different type of power source. In this case one that works at night, or when ever the wind blows. I'd like to get a balance between winter energy and summer energy sources.

On the lightning protection side of things, it sounds like I need to get the inverter at the base of the tower idea running and be prepared for it to be blasted every now and again. This idea also takes care of the distance issue and also the charger isolates the line again.

If I get to a stage of excess energy, which i do, I have floor to concrete floor to heat, a pump on the river to turn on (its currently on a solar tracker, and i need to run a cable down there, but that is another story).

I currently have a 300W wind turbine I am playing with before getting the 3KW. It does make a difference, just not enough. and as predicted on average it generates about 10% of the rated power due to wind condition. The last few days its been cranking out the 300W, but it will only do that regularly this time of year.

Regarding the RPM of the turbine with NO load on it....The turbine controller is located at the base of the tower, that then feeds into the inverter which send the power on it way. If the inverter has no load, the controller will see a rise in voltage and brake the turbine. This is the question around the around the staging packing. Just on that, I'm leaning toward the big capacitor just as this is going to cycle a lot. The only way I can see it minimize the cycling is to vary the charger load/current on the main pack by measuring the output of the turbine controller at the base of the tower, and this will require some data comms.

Still interested in more ideas. keep'em coming

cheers
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1512
Posted: 11:48pm 27 Jul 2021
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Hello OffGrid,  

Reading your last post puts a different slant  on my previous comments-I must have not read it slowly enough..

So ,you seem to be fairly if not very experienced ,having got a existing wind genie ,so know all about the pitfalls that I just wished to warn newcomers about.

I've got a fairly big surge protector that I've had ,but never connected . It's supposed to direct lightning and surges to earth. I'll drag it out one day , take pic and post it --it might be just the thing you are requiring.

So, sorry about the first rave, it does not apply to you.

Oh, by the way , I got my 200 watt solar panels in good apparent condition, for $20 each, just took what I wanted ,put them in my trailer and installed them on my patio trellis things.

I'm on average and also have a tracker , but have not engineered the steelwork for the actuators,(heavy duty gate closes), and sensor to it --have you any experience with those cheap trackers on e bay ,like ,are they fairly accurate, reliable, ??.

Thanks

Bruce
Bushboy
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 1274
Posted: 01:44am 28 Jul 2021
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  00fGrid said  
The object is to have a different type of power source. In this case one that works at night, or when ever the wind blows. I'd like to get a balance between winter energy and summer energy sources.


I suspected this was your motivation.

From the little I know and everything I have read, I still think you would be better to go with solar.

You have already suggested that the wind in your location is not constant so upping the turbine size is still going to give the 10% Result, just a bit bigger one at greatly increased cost.

Panels fall off in crappy weather and obviously don't work at night but it does not take that much to Generate a Kw of power even on the crappy days.
Given the price panels can be had for and the much lower risk From lightening strikes, I think they would be worth just adding to your array.

I would suggest the best calculation would be to work out the all up cost of the turbine.... Machine, mast, controllers, whatever. Then use your existing Data for a year or however and calculate what your likely power returns are going to be.

Do the same for a Solar array and calculate the costs to generate the same power as a turbine.  Over the course of a year would not surprise me if you could get the same returns from just 1-4 Panels.

I have looked at many wind and Micro hydro  setups where people extoll the virtues of 24/7 Power but then do a quick calc as to how many panels that would equate to.
Given all these setups have batteries anyway, they would in a great many cases simply be better off with panels.  Yes, some people have great flowing water due to frequent rain that would kill panels and they may be different.

Certainly different things have to be taken into account and that's the point. Everyone needs to Crunch the numbers on THEIR specific circumstances.

If you are doing this as a serious power supply you  depend on then crunching the numbers for returns in power and investment is important. If you just want to play around for the fun of it and have a Turbine, something different again.

I can get a 10% return on my solar on the very worst of days.  5 Kw of panels will give .5Kwh of power.  Where I am that is EXTREMELY rare. I think I'm hard done by with a 3:1 return, 15 Kwh a day on a bad day.  Panels always generate something.   Average is 4-5x year round for me, Summer  I can do over 10x on inverter rating with over clocking of panels.  IE, 10 Kw of panels on a 5 Kw inverter.

From what you are saying, see that another array would give you far better returns than a turbine.  Not into wind so not aware if there are any calculators for different areas  where you can look up returns but for solar I use the PV Watt solar calculator and have found it to be uncannily accurate overall.  It's simple to use and gives the info you need without going stupid like a lot of others do. Easy to see your expected annual return ratio, just put in 1 KW and see what the radiation number comes back at.


I would presume there is something like this for wind so would be easy to punch in a 3 Kw turbine ( or whatever the true output is) and the same amount of panels and see what you get. I'd be surprised if the solar didn't come out better especially as you live in a place that already makes it effective.


Clockman literally wrote the book, several I think, on wind power so his advise would be about as qualified and experienced as it comes if you are serious about  this and not looking at it just for fun. If that's the case, well you can do what you want and enjoy.
Edited 2021-07-28 11:47 by Davo99
 
Clockmanfr

Guru

Joined: 23/10/2015
Location: France
Posts: 361
Posted: 08:39am 28 Jul 2021
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OOfgrid,

Okay you have a notion to increase your wind turbines.

As brucedownunder has mentioned when the Wind Turbine gets bigger, and yes my PMG and assembly are easily 100kg also, so equipment/anciilaries and tower arrangements becomes BIG time, what i mean is, stuff becomes unmanagable on your own.  
Even getting the 100kg PMG of the mast mount needs me to set up trailer with a Engine lifting hoist on it.

3kW Generator, i have some Chinese ones that once assembled come into the 200kg weight, but all these fell apart within 6 months, and the importer had no choice but to scrap the whole expensive order, and i had the choice of recuperating the Neo magnets.

Lightening strikes, never had one as i am on the side of a gentle sloping mountain.

Mine have seen an official rated Hurricane winds, but Hughs Specs on size and materials got me through, although the mast top tube 100mm dia 5 mm wall actually bent slightly.

There are very few Domestic, under 6kW, commercially made wind turbines that are still running anywhere in France or the UK.  Although the original PROVEN, not the newer ones, commercial products and BERGY are a good design, but again all need constant maintenance. The Old Proven has self adjusting blades and is a good design and well tested.   But these i have mentioned tend to be wound for Utilities Grid connection.

http://scoraigwind.co.uk/    Is the man to watch as he had a hand in the Proven design and has been doing domestic wind turbines all over the world and in windy Scotland for over 40 years, and has many DIY publications.    His stuff is simple and Robust, but nowadays just not cost effective against PV.

As i get older i sigh at lowering and maintenance on my GIRLS as its physical hard work.   If i knew what i know now, i would have probably have gone for smaller wind turbines, ie, 300w but put lots of them up and got a few spares for parts in the future.   But hay hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Do you intend to buy a ready made Turbine.?

What controls will you use? High voltage AC coupling through a SMA Windy Boy?

Or to DC charging and using the battery as a Clamp?

And control chargers like the cheap but good Morningstar Tristar that divert excess voltage and keep your battery correctly charged, ie i have 4off and dump up to 8kW into other loads that are permanent connected as dump loads.

Remember without a load the turbine will go supersonic, and then its just bits. And just turning out of the wind is not fast enough.

In all options the Wind Turbine MUST HAVE A LOAD.  Its a living thing when it gets above 1kW like a horse kicking merry hell up in the air on a mast.

There is the short out electronic system that is supposed to control the Turbine like the US SKYSTREAM, but again i have not seen the short out system controllers survive more than a few years.

If i wish to stop mine i short out the 3 phase windings in the PMG at the turbines base, with a short out plug or at the short out control board.

No3 Control board box.  After a year i fitted large heat sinks and better quality ac to DC rectifiers that were double the ratings.









Edited 2021-07-28 18:40 by Clockmanfr
Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (14 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (10 yrs). 12kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
Clockmanfr

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Joined: 23/10/2015
Location: France
Posts: 361
Posted: 08:50am 28 Jul 2021
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Hughs Design for the PMG, permanent Magnet Generator, for DC charging a 48v battery bank, and yes for my 3 girls, i would recommend 800ah as a minimum.
































Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (14 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (10 yrs). 12kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
Clockmanfr

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Joined: 23/10/2015
Location: France
Posts: 361
Posted: 09:04am 28 Jul 2021
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Then there is the blades.

But that is another story, again never seen any Chinese manufactured blades at 3.7m diameter survive more than a few years.

Hugh suggests Cedar wood blades hand carved to a good TSR design that he helps to show and instruct on how to carve the correct form.

My No1 was wood blades but after 4 years the water got in and these need balancing every year.

My No2 had a new design of Fiberglass blades to Hughs design, these were experimental and water got in them real quick. I will replace these with Cedar wood this year.

My No3 has my perfected fiberglass blades, and these work well but again they need balancing every year, and they are 3 times as heavy as the cedar wood blades, so balancing is critical. And yes i did discus these fiberglass blades with Hugh.

















Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (14 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (10 yrs). 12kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
00fGrid
Newbie

Joined: 25/07/2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
Posted: 11:02am 29 Jul 2021
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  brucedownunder2 said  Hello OffGrid,  


I'm on average and also have a tracker , but have not engineered the steelwork for the actuators,(heavy duty gate closes), and sensor to it --have you any experience with those cheap trackers on e bay ,like ,are they fairly accurate, reliable, ??.

Thanks

Bruce


Hi Bruce AKA Bush Boy,

Ah, I have been discovered. Yep, you could say i have a wee bit of experience with electronics. Its great to see raw meaning of electricity in action in these forums.

Yep, i have had some experience with eBay, if you know what you are looking for its a good place to start. There is a guy Cowra, maybe Young, that builds them. I had a look at this and you can build your own pretty simply. My actuators where a "little" bigger than these unit were designed for so i built my own. I used the 5v solar panels x4 for the sensor, you mount them at 45degrees to the target (N,E,S,W) and then in code you just a balancing act, moving the panels to suit. The frame is steel post in the ground with Azimuth (N,S) being a single trailer stub and hub( its amazing what you think of in SuperCheap), then bolted to the hub is a full trailer axel ( E,W). A couple of satellite actuators later and your done.  1.5 KW full solar tracker, could probably hold more panels.
 
00fGrid
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Joined: 25/07/2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
Posted: 11:46am 29 Jul 2021
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Hi Clockman and Davo99 and all,

We generally get a couple real beaut storms every year with sustained gale forced winds. We also get cracker lightning storms, hence my resistance of putting up a rotating magnetic field in the sky on a hill. Its at 800m. Had, past tense, a rather large tree with no branches to the south west. It got struck by lightning last year which blew the trunk out at the top where all the branches come together.

Yep, I had been thinking that maybe having a few 500w turbine would be easier to control and build too. I could also get a few different designs happening.

On the $$$ front, ebay turbine 6000W = $200...but you got to check the blade lengths to get the true wattage. so, i recon these are only about 300-500W.

PV maybe cheaper but you got to include the battery bank to go with that. But there is a point there. But still its not something that works at night.

The ebay product come with controllers, so as a package its pretty good. Either way, the controller side of things is not an issue for me. As mentioned above, you can't have rotating magnetic fields with open connections, its just never ends without tears.

So, it sounds like the way to go is to get my 300W turbine up permanently using the method i outlined above. See how it goes and if I want to expand just get a few more in parallel. Wind Mill alley...here we come.

thanks everyone
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 1274
Posted: 01:51pm 29 Jul 2021
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  00fGrid said  

On the $$$ front, ebay turbine 6000W = $200...but you got to check the blade lengths to get the true wattage. so, i recon these are only about 300-500W.


Have a look on YT at these turbines. They are Universally Crap and lucky to do 10 % of their output.  Guys have tested them with drills and proper alternator testers and can't get more than a fraction of their rating even when driven to Impractical speeds beyond where the controller would have cut in.... which seems they do NOT brake the Turbine at all , just stop overcharge to the battery.

Panels may not work at night but unless you have a 24/7 Gale, you are going to greatly struggle to get any useful power out of these Turdbines.
You could buy a KW of panels that will give 4-6 Kwh a day of power on average bery reliably and constantly.... unlike the Turbines.

When you set the one you have up, be sire to put a meter on it so you can see how much power it's made for the day. I'm sure you are going to be very disappointed.

If you really do want a good Turbine, you would be better to either build one or NOT buy an ebay model without through research. The Chinese ones are like much everything else, Just Clones with the only difference being the amount of BS they are sold with their Fictional ratings.
 
Technophiliac

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Joined: 18/12/2020
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 58
Posted: 11:52am 31 Jul 2021
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REVISED with ADDENDUM:
Re the lightning strike issue its something I've been pondering. The standard approach to lightning protection is the have a conductor at the highest point. It seems to me one might re-design the horizontal plane swivel bearing to surround a conductor rod that is connected to the tower metalwork, ascends through the bearing and continues up to finish somewhat higher than the tip of the spinning blades. A bit like a unicorn spike right up the centre of the bearing axis. That way any lightning is conducted straight down the conductor rod into the tower itself, and down to ground. The main current will go through the conductor through the centre of the bearing, instead of through the bearing balls, (otherwise frying them) and the slip rings would also surround the conductor and hopefully avoid most of the current as well. Having a central conductor like this might allow two bearings top and bottom which might last better than one large bearing as they would reduce the torsional forces on the single bearing and share the load over a little distance, say 6 inches or so. Alternatively the conductor could be connected (below the swivel bearings and slip rings) to a lightning copper conductor running down (say) the opposite side of the tower to the cables, and direct to ground. Anyone else see merit in this approach?

Hmmm. Nothing like committing thought to writing to advance thinking on a subject! Since writing I've considered the matter some more. My idea is merely an idea, I now consider it should not be tried. Why not? Lightning strikes are considered to be measured in the KV ranges 40 or 100 KV or much more. While they are brief, they are high current, high energy, with high potential to damage anything in its path. Inviting a lightning strike through a wind turbine tower by design would need to have a free path for the lightning independent of the sensitive componentry and relatively low voltage paths and connections, no doubt onto buildings containing people. That is the insulation present would need to work for voltages over 100KV..... IMO that ain't going to happen. So a share of the lightning will inevitably be routed through turbine bearings and wiring with consequent damage to be expected. Not a good idea to invite lightning near sensitive systems. This is a bad idea. Do not do it on my account.

Conclusion: the idea of an independent Lightning rod / tower near close by at the highest point would provide safer protection against lightning.
Edited 2021-08-01 09:35 by Technophiliac
Davo, Wellington. You can have it perfect, on time, and at the best price. Choose any two.
 
Muits
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Joined: 16/07/2021
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Posted: 05:18am 02 Sep 2021
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  Clockmanfr said  Hi  OOfgrid,

I have 3off Hugh Piggott design 3.7m diameter Wind Turbines, had them up 16 years now.
We have wound the 3 phase coils for DC battery charging at between 46v and 61v and are directly clamped/connected to the 48v battery. Any excess electricity is diverted by controllers to dump load heaters. .

The design of the blade and the PMG permanent magnet generator, are very well matched together for optimal output.  The tail design has the ability to pull the wind turbine out of the wind direction if the wind increases to dangerous and excessive levels.

But before i give you how they work etc, my main advice is DONT do domestic wind turbines, as the PV prices are really good todate, and a static array has no moving parts.

Next in real life we rate a 3.7m diameter turbine at 1kW, but the unscrupulous Chinese would call that a 3kW output, yes i have seen 3kW on one of mine just for a second before it self furls out of the wind.

I can write pages on this and controls and differing designs, but i say again honestly PV is far more productive.

I am on some Wind Turbine Forums around the World, and me saying DONT, does not always go down so well with the Armchair wafflers. But hell after 16 years flying mine. ??

I still fly mine, as its a physical visual statement but every year each need a service and re-balancing the blades and servicing 3off can take up to 2 weeks of my time. So PV every time now. At present only one is working as another needs balancing again and the other has a broken blade. Hopefully by September i will have all three up and generating again. Water ingress into the blades and hub is always the main problem.

Hugh Piggott's design is one of the best, and he publishes a small book ON HOW TO BUILD, and explains installation, materials, site, and everything.
http://scoraigwind.co.uk/


A few photos for you, Ist is Mrs in 2007 with the blades following Hughs design.











Impressive setup!
Well spent time gives more output,
I really appreciate with your ideas and work
 
Clockmanfr

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Joined: 23/10/2015
Location: France
Posts: 361
Posted: 08:49am 02 Sep 2021
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Hi Muits,

Welcome to this forum.

No problems with info.

There are some good folk on here, they showed me, and hopefully i can show others.
Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (14 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (10 yrs). 12kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
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