The Wind Turbine
Before diving into the fine details of the Wind Turbine Spec , let us have a look over the big picture. The following paragraph is a short check sheet to see whether a small wind turbine is feasible on your site. If the answer is positive, what would be the right size for your specific micro wind turbine?
The Small Wind Turbine Check Sheet
- The wind conditions of the site (information available from the Department of Energy data base)
- Can you obtain the approval from the local authorities to install the small wind turbine? (Towers can be considered for rural sites with enough real estate around the building, urban/suburban areas can consider roof mounted turbines)
- Are you going to have a tall mast or do you plan to have a roof mounted turbine?
- Is it going to be an off-grid small wind generator or a grid-tie (on grid) small wind turbine?
- What are the physical constraints (size, weight)?
Assuming the small wind turbine is feasible, you need to look into the mechanical specs and the electrical specs
The Mechanical Wind Turbine Specs
- HAWT (horizontal axis wind turbine) or VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine); most wind turbines are HAWT, some roof mounted turbines are VAWT
- Does the turbine turn to the downwind direction? (Relevant to HAWT)
- What is the start-up wind speed (bellow that wind velocity, the turbine will not generate power at all, for many commercially available small turbines it is 8 mph or 13 kmph)
- What is the rotor's blades diameter (or span)
- What is the weight?
- What is the RPM rating (revolutions per minute, it is depending on wind velocity)?
- Survivability under severe storm conditions (the maximum wind speed the turbine will survive)
Small Wind Turbine Electrical Specs
- For on grid connection: a grid tie inverter is needed, is it an integral part of the turbine or a separate item? what are the inverter specs? Note: it is usually not feasible to erect a tall tower in urban and sub-urban regions
- For off-grid turbine you need to know the DC output from the turbine. You will need an off grid inverter, charge controller and deep charge batteries
- What is the output power (Watts or KW) at a given wind speed (e.g. at 12mph, or 20 kmph)
- What is the expected energy output in one year of operation in KWh (it is based on number crunching that takes into account the wind speed distribution)
Shopping for a Small Wind Turbine
Call a certified contractor to see your site and ask for a price proposal and for a technical proposal based on a site survey and your needs. Run the numbers and see how much time it will take you to return the investment. If the turbine is mast mounted – don't underestimate the cost of the mast. Get a price proposal for the wind turbine kit from a reliable store, and see whether you want to build it yourself (DIY)
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