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Vertical Axis Wind Turbines


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Hi,

I've been in Hobart (Australia's southern-most state capital) for most of this week.

Aside from being arguably Australia's most picturesque harbour, another of its features is a building occupied by the Marine Board of Tasmania - that just happens to be sporting four vertical axis wind turbines on its roof.

I'd love one of these little puppies on my place. No more electricity company.

Gary

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Hi Helomech,

Just takes money.

....and given the size of these units, plenty of money at that.

I did some reading up on these units and they've had a checkered history, it seems. The four original units were replaced due to component failure in winds far less than those at which the turbines were rated. I haven't seen a cost on them but they are designed to meet 10 - 15% of the energy requirement of the building.

Gary

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They do look good,however good luck in oz getting council/ building approval.

In SA there are too many cases of low freq. noise complaints snd health risks. Personaly I have always liked the look of them.

I have seen recently a few experimental horizontal turbines that are attached to the top ridge line of a standard house. The turbine looks only like a slightly taller ridge. The deign is ment to catch wind turbulance created by convection off of the roof heating from uv sunlight as well as intermitant wind.

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I have trialled a few home versions from china, don't waste your money. What they rate them at and what they deliver are two far different values.

The standard type windmill style work like a dream. Only problem is the noise. There is a house that I pass at seacliff SA that has a large one, not sure how he gets away with it in a residential area.

We put a little 300w one on my mates workshop, you can here it over 100m away.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reading through some of the comments, there seems to be some argument about the claimed outputs.

Gary

Yep you have to love when people get all...well about this and about that. Dont forget though that the new mexico area where the Earthsips are located are super windy....way higher and more regular than most places in Australia.

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Hi Dean,

Yep you have to love when people get all...well about this and about that. Dont forget though that the new mexico area where the Earthsips are located are super windy....way higher and more regular than most places in Australia.

Yeah.....I'm with you. But even if they didn't crank out quite what is claimed for them, I love the idea of things just pumping out electricity for nothing more than the cost of their construction.

The other thing is that wind-powered devices are good for things other than generating electricity.....including pumping water, aerating water, milling grain, etc.

Gary

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Hi,

It's the stuff of human nature that even something as benign as wind power should have downsides. It's the nature of wind power that it works best where there are (not coincidentally) the fewest people....like windswept coastlines, unprofitable farms and seascapes.

I'm sure that they do make some noise in certain circumstances.....and that they do snot the occasional rare pink-toed, big-eared ball-bearer as it makes its annual migration to its breeding ground. Both issues pale into insignificance when you consider the environmental costs of the energy sources for which wind power is an alternative.

Regards.....Gary

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Hi,

It's the stuff of human nature that even something as benign as wind power should have downsides. It's the nature of wind power that it works best where there are (not coincidentally) the fewest people....like windswept coastlines, unprofitable farms and seascapes.

I'm sure that they do make some noise in certain circumstances.....and that they do snot the occasional rare pink-toed, big-eared ball-bearer as it makes its annual migration to its breeding ground. Both issues pale into insignificance when you consider the environmental costs of the energy sources for which wind power is an alternative.

Regards.....Gary

Well said Gary. Once I get my aquaculture and aquaponics systems going the way I want them (all on airlifts) and my coldwater fish inside a building in a partial recirc powered by air, my next goal is to power the systems on a combination of DIY wind and solar. I'd like to eventually power the entire home but first things first.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)
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I'd be even happier if I was in the position of the Freshwater Institute in West Virginia. I was reading about their aquaponics trial and found that they used an old gas well to power a generator and provide heat. Free heat and electricity! Imagine how many things are profitable with free heat and power. 

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I've built hundreds of wind generators, both vertical and horizontal axis.  Horizontal are more efficient, though a bit harder to make, especially the blades.  Here's our small design, just to get your feet wet, it's made mostly from junk: http://velacreations.com/energy/electrical-sources/wind-power/77-chispito-how-to.html

 

We currently have a vertical machine for our house.  We get big gusts here in the mountains, well over 50 mph (80 kph).  Those gusts will destroy a horizontal machine, because the blades are only supported on one end.  We went through several smaller ones before building the big one.  It has survived winds over 70 mph (110 kph).  We built the whole thing from scratch: http://velacreations.com/blog/356-gordo.html

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For building one from scratch, you can get 500-1000 watts for under $2,000.  This one cost us around $600, but we bought enough parts to make 10 of them several years ago.

 

The core of these machines is the axial flux alternator  It's basically 2 metal discs with magnets, and those turn around a disc of copper coils and resin.  We used a trailer hub for the main bearing assembly.  There are several books on the subject (google Hugh Piggot), but you can find builds online here: http://otherpower.com/otherpower_wind.html Check out their 10 ft builds, that's about 800 watts or so. They even have kits and books you can order.

 

These bigger machines are quiet.  The little machines, especially horizontals can get kinda loud, but the bigger you go, the slower the blades move, and the quieter they get.  I can hardly hear ours, even in major winds.  I don't recommend building a vertical unless you live in an area with crazy winds, like we do.  The horizontal will outperform the vertical, and you get more bang for your buck.

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Cool! Gonna have to check out your links when I have time. Need to get some house cleaning done before the wife gets home from her German exchange trip! LOL

Sometime if you don't mind I'd like to know how you ended up in Mexico and what kind if exoeriences you've had. I know there are a fair number of Americans retiring there.

Speaking of crazy mountain winds my dad and I had an interesting experience on a mountain pond in Maine. We were drifting with the wind in a canoe for brook trout from one end of the pond to another. The pond as probably about 35 acres. Anyway not long after we drifted to one end of the pond the wind would change 180 degrees and blow us back to where we started. Then back again and so on. It sure beat paddling and boy did we connect with brook trout drifting a panfish jig just off the bottom.

On another pond we got nailed by a whirlwind that spun our canoe around like a top.

The pond we drifted on was known as Rainbow Deadwaters and we did see a gorgeous rainbow that appeared to span the pond from one side to another.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)
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