Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum

WIND TURBINES => Wind Turbines and associated systems => Topic started by: Ivan on December 17, 2009, 03:21:40 PM



Title: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ivan on December 17, 2009, 03:21:40 PM
This may be a little confusing, as we're picking up this correspondence in the middle. Stephen Tasker has written to Paul Rochdale of the DECC about the anti-competition nature of the MCS which is linked to FITs. The cost of approving equipment is astronomically high, and as far as we know no manufacturer (possibly with one exception) has registered a product. The testing process takes 12months, and of course, the DECC still have not announced their decision, so we still don't know if their proposals will be implemented. Any manufacturer wishing to be listed for MCS will need to carry out 12months testing, which means that manufacturers either gamble hundreds of thousands of pounds, or they wait until things are set in stone, in which case they spend hundreds of thousands of pounds and will have products registered in 1-2years time.....leaving customers unable to buy a turbine suitable for FITs.

The labour government in the UK clearly has no intention of promoting renewables in the UK. This unnecessary, unaffordable beaurocracy simply pours hard-earned money into quango coffers, pushing up the cost of renewables to a level where even with the FITs it will no longer be cost-effective. Clearly, they don't take their carbon emission reduction targets seriously.




Dear Paul

Thank you for your letter which I will make public on an open forum and invite comment from the industry

You will of course be welcome to join the Forum and reply

To reply to your specific comments

1)  We did provide clarification on a number of issues but unfortunately you do not appear to have taken some of these points on board.   

Will you please issue the minutes of the meeting at DECC
It is disappointing that these were not issued promptly for sign off
My position is that several things were said at the meeting which you actually find uncomfortable
I also note that at the end of the meeting you were threatening about "my saying things untrue"
In fact I have not said anything untrue - if I had you would have had a legal team on me

2) You have suggested that the majority of the UK small wind industry supports your views. However, this is not what we believe to be the case.

What efforts have you made to verify your view?
In our meeting I suggested that you engage a professional independent market research company to survey the market - you declined to do this

3) I note over the last few days that some stakeholders within the industry have emailed as part of what you call your MCS survey with a variety of concerns about feed-in-tariffs and MCS

To the best of my knowledge I have e mailed every stakeholder - a total of 1586 contacts on my database
If I have missed any stakeholder of who you are aware please forward my e mails and ask them to respond to me
I have referred to every response including 2 positive responses for installer accreditation
However, you point does reinforce my suggestion that the survey should have been done by an independent market research company commissioned by DECC

4) Your statements within the Survey were hardly unbiased and has lead to misleading information being sent to those you have surveyed, which is very unfortunate

Please reply stating clearly what I have said which is misleading and I will issue a correction

5) Your claim that BWEA has hardly any members from the small wind turbine industry  conflicts with what BWEA reports. The BWEA's small wind membership includes over 80 companies and is apparently growing every month. We understand that BWEA small wind group is the largest small wind trade association in Europe.

The BWEA has - by their own e mail

BWEA's small wind membership has grown from 30 companies in 2007 to over 80 companies in 2009 and includes the following (13) small wind manufacturers: Proven Energy (UK), Ampair (UK), Eclectic (UK), Marlec (UK), Evance/Iskra (UK), Renewable Devices (UK), Northern Power Systems (USA), Fortis (NL), SeaB (UK), Vertical Wind Energy (UK), Quietrevolution (UK), Nheolis (FR), Gendrive (UK);
Hence 13 small wind manufacturers of which 3 are overseas companies

There are more than 50 small wind manufacturers in the UK
The German Small Wind Association has more than 60 members
Can you please advise what initiatives you have taken to check the accuracy of BWEA information bearing in mind that the BWEA is a private commercial organisation

6) To suggest that we open the small wind market to manufactured products without proper verification that these products have at least met the standards set out in MCS would be a retrograde step for the small wind market

For you to write this demonstates that you have not understood my position
I repeat - my position is that every wind turbine product sold should be subject to conforming to a minimum safety standard
There is no logical reason for linking safety standards to FIT's
Nor is there any logical reason for allowing the sale of products not to a minimum safety standard

7) Turning to the testing process, you have suggested that predicting performance from the evidence of a single test site to a high degree of accuracy is fundamentally misleading to consumers and that all industry experts agree with that. Again, I do not understand how you can claim all industry experts have agreed that. It would be helpful if you provide evidence that can be considered by the MCS steering group and technical working groups on why you believe there to be a problem with predicting performance at a single site. This can then be discussed and commented on by people with! the relevant expertise. The Power Performance Standard is one that is used and recognised across the wind industry at large and I would therefore question whether all the multi-mega sized machines and their manufacturers are fundamentally wrong

Before a commercial wind farm is established there is always an in depth study of site conditions - which rather destroys your argument

 

8) I am not in a position to comment specifically on the Gorran School incident but I can assure you that any learning in relation to this incident will be considered by the MCS steering group and technical working group. You, like other stakeholders, will have the opportunity to contribute to development of those standards through the appropriate channels

I am not asking you to comment on this specific incident
The question I am asking is if, in consideration of this, there is a reasonable question as to whether the standard is fit for purpose
If there are reasonable grounds for questioning the standard then do you consider it correct to force manufacturers to commit to an £80,000 test program in advance of a professional review and report on the standards?

9) You should be aware that the MCS Standards are based on and reference international standards, where they exist, which all  IEC member countries have embraced

I am aware of international standards
What I do not understand is why the UK have decided to selectively apply additional standards
I remain of the opnion that this is anti competitive
If additional standards were such a good idea - perhaps justified on safety grounds - then they would be applied to all wind turbines sold - not just those on FIT's

10) . The fact that the UK only has one commercial test site is not because of the MCS standards neither is this an argument for changing the standards.

You do not address my concern that the effective UK monopoly supplier was at least partially involved in setting the standards
Wll you please comment on this

11) You should be aware that MCS does allow (under MCS 011) any individual to undertake testing with the caveat that the testing meets EN 17025 or equivalent

Procedures. This option is being exercised by a number of manufacturers.
You stated that this option is being exercised by a number of manufacturers in our meeting
I subsequently checked this with UKAS who have advised that no UK company have applied for certification to EN 17025 with them which would be required to do this

I have also addressed this to you by seperate e mail - your reply remains pending

Will you please clarify the cost and tmescale for certification to EN 17025
I have been advised this would normally take in excess of 12 months and cost in excess of £1million
If you provide clear evidence that my information is wrong and of the actual timescale and costs I will be pleased to publish this

 

12)  I hope that you will see that there is every opportunity for you and other companies outside of BWEA to get involved in MCS

Again I request that you issue the minutes of our meeting
David Sharman  (Chair of the Technical Committee advising DECC) clearly stated that participation at the higher levels of the Technical Committee was by invitation and was conditional upon joining the BWEA

 

Summary

Please provide full and detailed answers to the questions raised which will also address the points in your annex

Ivan -I hope you will publish all on the forum including Paul's reply

Regards

Stephen


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ivan on December 17, 2009, 03:41:56 PM
Full text of the letter received from the DECC is here:

Dear Stephen,


Thank you for email of 8 December 2009 to Charles Hendry copied to Ed Miliband about the micro wind industry and certification of micro wind turbines. I have been asked to reply as Head of the Microgeneration Policy and Standards.

I note that you have sent a number of emails raising concerns about the small wind industry in the UK and requirements for product testing and certification of micro wind turbines under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). We have also recently met to discuss at lengths these issues with representatives from the small wind industry and MCS. We did provide clarification on a number of issues but unfortunately you do not appear to have taken some of these points on board.   

I understand that you question, amongst other things, the MCS micro wind standards, testing and the associated costs, BWEA and the way it represents the industry and the appropriateness of TUV NEL’s test facilities.
I cannot comment specifically on your concerns about BWEA and TUV NEL but I understand that you have written separately to those organisations.  You have suggested that you may start an alternative trade association to BWEA to support small wind companies. As I have made clear, the Government works closely with all the trade associations and stakeholder groups in the microgeneration industry. Should you establish a new trade association, at that time, we will consider how best to work with the new organisation. 
 
You have suggested that the majority of the UK small wind industry supports your views. However, this is not what we believe to be the case. As far as we understand the majority of small wind manufacturers are supportive of MCS and have been actively involved in the development of the standards over the last three years. I note over the last few days that some stakeholders within the industry have emailed as part of what you call your MCS survey with a variety of concerns about feed-in-tariffs and MCS. Your statements within the Survey were hardly unbiased and has lead to misleading information being sent to those you have surveyed, which is very unfortunate.

 
Your claim that BWEA has hardly any members from the small wind turbine industry  conflicts with what BWEA reports. The BWEA's small wind membership includes over 80 companies and is apparently growing every month. We understand that BWEA small wind group is the largest small wind trade association in Europe.

To suggest that we open the small wind market to manufactured products without proper verification that these products have at least met the standards set out in MCS would be a retrograde step for the small wind market. We believe we need robust standards in place that are enforced through accredited test and certification bodies to protect consumers. In reference to MCS small wind standards applying to off grid products I can assure you that this is already the case.

Turning to the testing process, you have suggested that predicting performance from the evidence of a single test site to a high degree of accuracy is fundamentally misleading to consumers and that all industry experts agree with that. Again, I do not understand how you can claim all industry experts have agreed that. It would be helpful if you provide evidence that can be considered by the MCS steering group and technical working groups on why you believe there to be a problem with predicting performance at a single site. This can then be discussed and commented on by people with the relevant expertise. The Power Performance Standard is one that is used and recognised across the wind industry at large and I would therefore question whether all the multi-mega sized machines and their manufacturers are fundamentally wrong.

The UK small wind market is making good progress and I believe we are moving in the right direction. Others markets such as the US and Denmark are working towards similar levels of requirements to MCS. It would not therefore be wise to now dilute the standards and jeopardise the strong position the UK market is securing. We have always made clear that MCS standards will be kept under review and they will evolve over time in line with new innovations, changes to, or the adoption of, new European and international standards and, of course, changes to building regulations in the UK.

I am not in a position to comment specifically on the Gorran School incident but I can assure you that any learning in relation to this incident will be considered by the MCS steering group and technical working group. You, like other stakeholders, will have the opportunity to contribute to development of those standards through the appropriate channels. Contribution, however, should include sound technical arguments and, where possible, an evidential base. This has always been the case and will continue to be so. 

The cost of testing to the MCS wind standard will be challenging for some manufacturers. We are considering what more we can do to reduce these costs and the time it takes to complete testing without weakening the robustness of the MCS small wind standards. You should be aware that the MCS Standards are based on and reference international standards, where they exist, which all IEC member countries have embraced. The fact that the UK only has one commercial test site is not because of the MCS standards neither is this an argument for changing the standards. In fact, given your concerns about consumers’ safety, I would hope that you would support that position. You should be aware that MCS does allow (under MCS 011) any individual to undertake testing with the caveat that the testing meets EN 17025 or equivalent
Procedures. This option is being exercised by a number of manufacturers.

I have set out in Annex A some specific answers to issues you have raised. I hope that you will see that there is every opportunity for you and other companies outside of BWEA to get involved in MCS. I would ask that in future you provide specific questions and concerns about the MCS small wind standard to the MCS email link and these will be considered when the working group next meets in January 2010.


Yours sincerely



Paul Rochester
Head of Microgeneration Policy and Standards





















ANNEX A

1.Need for standard to accept multiple / independent braking systems:
As I understand there is not a small wind product standard in the world that currently requires multiple and independent brake mechanisms to shut turbines down. The current international standard does not make such a requirement, and the vast majority of all small wind systems manufactured today do not possess such engineering features. However, it is the stated intention of the MCS that standards are evolved and improved in the light of enlarged knowledge, new experiences, and any instance where the standards are demonstrated to be deficient. The incorporation of new requirements, for example that all certified product must possess multiple and independent braking mechanisms, is something that the MCS wind working group is always alert to and will consider on an ongoing basis. As international standards develop and change the MCS will look to incorporate their requirements.
  
2.BWEA membership fees providing a barrier to MCS decision making:
In contradiction to your previous suggestions, DECC notes that contribution to, and involvement with, the MCS Wind Working Group (the industry group responsible for agreeing MCS wind standards) is not constrained to BWEA members. Indeed some members of this group are outside BWEA membership but have the potential to contribute to the development of MCS Small wind standards. We have made this clear now on a number of occasions.
 
3.Power performance testing - use of single site/turbine
All UK industry experts support the MCS approach to testing wind turbine performance, which is based on the international wind product standard (IEC61400-12-1:2006) and has been peer reviewed by the international small wind community, as well as the large wind community. Evaluating a single unit is not fundamentally misleading. The turbine is production representative and its provenance is declared and recorded to ensure that this is the case. The approach to performance testing is appropriate, aligned with large wind best practice, and provides a level playing field. This approach also allows consumers to benchmark the claims made by the different companies as to the performance of their turbines.  MCS would welcome the provision of evidence supporting your views on power performance testing.
 
4.MCS accreditation is a barrier to product innovation and improvements in efficiency in a new emerging industry which is both characterised by and dependent upon product innovation for its future success.
MCS006 currently allows stated degrees of flexibility towards product innovation as stated within Section 8 of the BWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard,which is available for free download from the BWEA site for BWEA and Non-BWEA members . Additionally I believe that there exist avenues to those involved in product testing to contact the Certification Body to consider particular aspects of product innovation and whether changes can be absorbed within the current testing and certification regime. With regard to this point, I would suggest that you speak to a Certification Body to establish what is possible.
 
5.It is completely unacceptable that the rules for MCS accreditation have been defined in such a way as to effectively create a monopoly supplier of test services charging £80,000.
As we have discussed, anyone is able to setup a EN17025 test site. A stated above the testing on that site must meet EN17025 or equivalent procedures. Additionally anyone is able to request that an accredited Certification Body deem a test organisation equivalent to an EN17025 (as is the case with BRE and NaREC). I do not accept the suggestion that MCS has created a "monopoly of test services". The fact we have one EN17025 accredited test organisation in the UK is not because of MCS. I believe that going forward we may see more sites coming on stream.

For your information the MCS annual administration fee is £350 for a single technology.  Products that are already tested via a EN17025 test lab (or other route discussed above) do not need to go through the process again, as the Certification Body will be able to verify the test data, thereby reducing the costs of Certification dramatically.

 
6.MCS does not have the support of the majority of the British small wind turbine industry but rather is the product of a small sub interest group.
MCS has the support of the vast majority of the UK small wind industry as an essential component to building a long term sustainable market in which the consumer is provided with the necessary levels of performance and safety assurance. Hymoto, and any other organisations are more than welcome to express their views to the MCS wind working group. This has been the case throughout the last three and a half years where the overwhelming consensus within the UK small wind industry has been one of support for the development of MCS wind standards to support the UK market.

We have continually stated that we would prefer companies to be represented by their trade association wherever possible to ensure that the views were industry wide, this does not mean only one body can represent the Small Wind Industry and therefore it has been stated at meets that any credible representative body would be welcomed. 

 
7.MCS is anti competitive to both foreign manufacturers and to the majority of British manufacturers.
In order to provide UK consumers with the necessary levels of performance and safety assurance, it is absolutely proper that a robust and adequate suite of standards are made available to the common market for microgeneration products. MCS is open to and accepting of views from any organisation active in the UK microgeneration sector. Indeed, MCS accepts input from numerous UK and foreign manufacturers in the development of product and installer standards across a range of technologies, including small wind. The overwhelming majority of the manufacturers active in the UK small wind sector are supportive of MCS and do not recognise it as an unnecessary barrier to trade.
 
We would suggest from the consumers view, MCS provides a level playing field where all products and their installations, are clearly explained in terms of performance and installed appropriately.  If this is not the case please provide factual evidence of where this has not happened and MCS, UKAS or REAL will investigate and take action as appropriate.


8.MCS standards and compliance to them
 There are potentially two situations which you appear to confuse. 
The first issue is about whether the standards are “fit for purpose” and the Working Group who develop the standards and the MCS Steering Group believe they are; however, if we find that they need amending, as stated above, this will be carried out. 

The second is about compliance and verification and auditing to the standards.  Compliance to the standards is for the companies to achieve; verification and auditing are for the Certification Bodies to carry out.  If there is factual evidence that either of these situations is not being appropriately adhered to, the Certified Company in the first instance, followed by the Certification Bodies and finally UKAS should be contacted to go through their complaints procedure.   


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 17, 2009, 05:49:54 PM
linux:

I have also experienced this problem obtaining planning permission for my own non MCS approved Wind Turbine. I had pre-empted the request from Mr Tasker, by writing to my MP the Rt Honerable Oliver Letwin. He took the matter up very quickely and wrote to Ed Millband (Enviroment Secretary) the following day after I sent my letter to Oliver. I am attaching a copy of Oliver's letter bellow. Oliver Letwin is a very big supporter of Wind Power and I am sure any correspondance from other members of the Navitron Forums would be more than welcome if sent. Please write to Oliver at this Email adress: GRAYEJ@parliament.uk


Letter from Oliver Letwin to Ed Milband


Secretary of State
Department for Energy and Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place
London SW1A 2AW


27th November 2009


Dear Ed,

I attach a copy of an e-mail that I have received from my constituent, Mr R M Gale.

I think that the information provided in this e-mail raises very important issues about the certification of micro wind turbines.

As you will see, Mr Gale suggests that the requirement for MCS approval is in effect acting as a non-tariff barrier and is raising the price of small wind installations dramatically.

This is clearly a serious problem which may have a profound effect on the amount of micro wind generation available in the UK following the introduction of feed-in tariffs.

Do let me know what you think might be done to deal with this problem and to enable cheaper machines which actually have acceptable noise characteristics to be imported more easily.

Yours ever,



OLIVER LETWIN


Encl.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ted on December 17, 2009, 05:53:17 PM
Interesting.  Can you say what the dates of these letters were, Ivan?

I assume Stephen has been though the BWEA response to the FITs consultation?

Quote
(3) Despite standards being accepted as fit for purpose and sufficiently
robust, the cost of testing wind products to MCS remains prohibitively
high in the context of current market size. BWEA maintains that UK
should mimic US, Irish, Australian, Spanish and other national
Governments in financially supporting small wind testing processes in
the short term, in order to jump start responsible and sustainable
market growth;
(4) The availability of small wind testing facilities (recognised as
acceptable under MCS) has been, and continues to be, limited. Only in
Q3 2009 did a small wind testing laboratory achieve EN17025
accreditation status for the first time;
(5) Testing small wind turbines in line with MCS requirements can take a
long time, potential up to nine months for Class 2 turbines, and even
longer for Class 1 turbines. This results in a significant lead time for
products between entering testing processes and completing
certification.
(6) It is broadly acknowledged that MCS recognised test facilities have
capacity limits for the testing of turbines. The number of turbines that
can be tested at any one time, or over a set period, may limit the
potential of manufacturers to test and certify products within current
FIT scheme timescales.

From http://www.bwea.com/pdf/091014_BWEA_Financial_Incentives_consultation.pdf

Is there sufficient funding to set up a separate EN17025 turbine test facility?


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ivan on December 17, 2009, 09:10:20 PM
Ted,

Sorry, not sure of the dates - all I can say is that they are very recent.

I don't know of any funding available to set up an independent testing facility, but I guess that the BRE would want their cut to accept it (inspection fees, auditing etc) and from experience they are very much less than helpful - we've been waiting since October for a response on some essential questions relating to our application, but they still haven't bothered to reply despite many follow-ups.

I'd more than happily follow up the idea, but I guess it would take 2 years or more to gain acceptance, and by that time, things will have moved on. What Stephen has been told regarding wind turbine testing is contradictory to what we were told (ie we were told that we could test the turbines ourselves, as long as the BRE inspected the testing site/procedures and agreed them). This was conveyed to us in a meeting, but I've not managed to get them to provide it in writing, and the only person in the BRE who can provide me with details of their expectations is not prepared to speak to me. I've given up and filed a complaint....


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ted on December 17, 2009, 10:27:12 PM
I'm still a little confused.

ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is simply a special form of ISO 9001  - specialised, that is, for labs and test facilities whereas 9001 is for anyone. It has nothing to do with wind turbines per se. I can't see why BRE would be involved at all. It is up to UKAS to give the award as I understand it.  Maybe BRE are involved in the IEC 61400 testing that BWEA require?

On a separate matter, I wonder how much government money has gone into TUV NEL via the NMS (which is funded by Department for BIS).


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: KLD on December 17, 2009, 11:06:09 PM
Ted, Ivan, Re: dates of the correspondence, in the full letter you presented earlier it says: "Thank you for email of 8 December 2009 to Charles Hendry (...) "

Klaus  :D



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ted on December 18, 2009, 09:42:12 AM
Thanks Klaus, I had missed that.

The point I was thinking of re dates is that this correspondence came after the 15th October consultation cut-off date.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: madtom on December 18, 2009, 12:27:37 PM
I've come in half way through a conversation and am a bit lost.
I am a small designer and am finalising a design that should see 1KW for £200 and 2KW for £300 (DC)
This design will be released under Creative Commons so anyone can build it - including commercial interests
It will also be possible to use the design without planning permission!!
I am also designing a low cost grid connected inverter that should be around £150 plus  £50 per 0.5KW - this may be proprietary.


This should lead to power generation costs of around 3p/KWh  which will require no real financial incentive  for installation  but I don't want to be denied the market due to the blackmail outlined in the above posts.
Can someone enlighten me to the whereabouts of the consultation stuff is held so I can read it at source?
Tom


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ted on December 18, 2009, 01:39:33 PM
Tom, I'm not clear exactly what you mean by "use the design without planning permission".  If you are the designer then you can do what you want with the copyright to the design itself include putting it in the public domain for free use.

But the erection of a wind turbine, technically in law, still requires planning permission, at least until the current proposals from DCLG are passed into law (for England only, Wales is trailing behind, Scotland I don't know). Some local authority planning departments have issued notices that certain renewables may be installed without the need for formal planning approval, but this varies across the country.

The MCS accreditation requirements for FITs is encapsulated in the DECC FITs consultation documents which can be found here:
http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/elec_financial/elec_financial.aspx

This is the doc: http://www.decc.gov.uk/Media/viewfile.ashx?FilePath=Consultations\Renewable%20Electricity%20Financial%20Incentives\1_20090722165845_e_@@_ConsultationonRenewableElectricityFinancialIncentives2009.pdf&filetype=4

The proposal from DCLG for changes to permitted development to allow MCS accredited wind turbines without planning approval can be found here:
http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/microgenelectriccars

This is the doc: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/microgenelectriccars.pdf


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: notamemberoftheclub on December 18, 2009, 01:46:16 PM
Hi - Thanks to Navitron for allowing me to bring this subject to the attention of everyone interested on their forum. I am pleased to disclose my identity - Stephen Tasker of Hymoto and I declare an interest as a wind turbine manufacturer
My firm view is that there is a real opportunity for the industry to work together - it is government policy which is threatening to damage our industry and cost thousands of British jobs in this new industry
I have done a lot of work to ensure that the whole industry is aware of just what MCS means
My view
The UK small wind turbine industry is being asked to sign up to tests (the scope of which is not clearly defined and known), at an approximate cost of £80,000 (tests conducted by an effective monopoly supplier of testing services who was at least partially involved in setting the standards), testing to a standard which may not be fit for purpose and may need to be reviewed (UKAS asked to report and investigate) in order that the manufacturer's products may qualitfy for FIT's (not yet ratified)

( manufacturers required to sign up for a very expensive test program in advance of the confidence that FIT's will be ratified.)

If ok with Navitron I will use this Forum to post my correspondence
I have sent correspondence to the industry in general, to The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) . UKAS (approve the certification bodies), Ed Milbank (Energy Minister), Charles Hendry (Shaddow Energy Minister), The Prime Ministers Office and The Micro Generation web site
Much of this correspondence remains unanswered - my view is this is "the club" closing ranks and answering criticism with silence
I will also post communications to the industry from The British Wind Energy Association - I am completely in favour of an open debate
I welcome communication from anyone - whether you agree with me or not - and I will post all reasonable (non legal) comments
Regards
Stephen 07712 841089
stephen@hymoto.co.uk


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: notamemberoftheclub on December 18, 2009, 01:55:37 PM
The BWEA (British Wind Energy Association) are issuing a letter encouraging support for MCS

I have written to them offering to co operate - see below

LAST NIGHT
 Subject : Your Letter To The Industry
Date : Thu, 17 Dec 2009 20:32:00 +0000
Linked to : BWEA Alex Murley (Tim Yates)
From : Stephen Tasker <stephen@hymoto.co.uk>
To : BWEA Alex Murley <alex@bwea.com>
Cc : Adam Bruce <Adam.Bruce@mainstreamrp.com>; Adam Bruce <chairman@bwea.com>; Maria McCaffrey <maria@bwea.com>; Matt Partridge <Matt.Partridge@ecotricity.co.uk>; BWEA Chris Tomlinson <C.Tomlinson@bwea.com>; Rochester Paul \(DECC EEC\) <Paul.Rochester@decc.gsi.gov.uk>; Supria Daljit <Daljit.Supria@decc.gsi.gov.uk>; Ed Milband At DEC <ps.ed.miliband@decc.gsi.gov.uk>; Charles Hendry <hendryc@parliament.uk>

 
Dear Alex

I am disappointed that you have not copied me on your communication to the industry - you will agree that I have copied you and your collegues on every e mail I have sent out

However, regardless of this I would like to help you

Would you like me to send your letter to my entire database of small wind companies / installers and interested consumers (total 1586)

Please confirm if you would like me to do this

Also, for the record please advise the number of people on your database that you have sent this out to

Also for the record I note that my interest in MCS is only in relation to MCS accreditation for small wind turbines

I therefore suggest that soliciting the opinion of MCS certified installers and Clear Skies Companies who are not in the wind industry is completely irrelevant as due to the desperately poor communication they are unlikely to be aware of all facts - the typical first response "that can't be correct" - and then subsequent dismay to learn the true facts

Regards

Stephen

 

Good afternoon,

 

Please find attached a copy of a BWEA letter, detailing the support of the UK small wind sector for MCS.

 

Please urgently reply to this email providing the following:

 

(a) Your company's stated support for the letter (via email);

(b) Name, and business title of your company's identified representative (stated support of the CEO/Managing Director is preferable);

 

Please return your stated support as soon as possible. BWEA will be distributing this letter for wider support tomorrow afternoon, and likely to send to DECC early next week.

 

====================

BWEA intends to:

 

(1) Collect written support for co-signing the letter from BWEA members

(2) Collect written support for co-signing the letter from non-BWEA members (e.g. MCS Installers, Clearksies product companies)

(3) Openly send a finalised letter to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), containing the details (Name, Business title, Organisation) of all support.

(4) Publish a copy of the finalised letter on the BWEA small wind homepage.

====================

Background:

 

In recent weeks, a number of vocal criticisms have been made of the MCS. BWEA views that much of this criticism has been factually inaccurate, unsupported by evidence, and made without the best interest of the UK small wind sector at its centre. The BWEA small systems steering committee has considered the recent, ongoing and increasingly public criticism cannot continue without a public response, and now seeks to re-clarify the sector's overwealming support for MCS as a vehicle through the UK small wind market can grow in a sustainable and ethical fashion, where customer confidence, and industrial reputation, is upheld through the provision of consumer assurance on performance and safety.

 

BWEA invites you to offer your support to the attached letter - I look forward to hearing from you.

====================

 

Do call me if you would like to talk through this further.

 

Best regards,

 

Alex Murley

Head of Small-Systems | BWEA

AND AGAIN TODAY

Dear Alex

Further to my e mail of last night

I am very pleased that the BWEA (British Wind Energy Association) has decided to enter the MCS debate

I am also pleased to confirm that if you really can genuinely demonstrate the support of the majority of the small wind turbine industry (worldwide) for MCS then I will be pleased to back down

The hundreds of e mails which I have received over the last few days suggest a different opinion and I have found that many manufacturers of small wind turbines in the UK were not aware MCS at all

I have also found a significant discrepancy in the understanding of the scope of MCS testing between the information published on the Microgeneration web site and the information minuted at the meeting with DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) - attended by Paul Rochester (Minister), Alister MacKinnon (TUV NEL -the effective monopoly supplier of test services to the British Small Wind Turbine Industry) . Gideon Richards (Gemserv - administer MCS) and David Sharman (Chair of the Technical Committee). [I understand you were invited to attend this meeting]

At the meeting it was clearly minuted that the invertors were a part of the MCS testing but the Microgeneration web site states they are excluded

In your letter you state"In recent weeks, a number of vocal criticisms have been made of the MCS. BWEA views that much of this criticism has been factually inaccurate, unsupported by evidence, and made without the best interest of the UK small wind sector at its centre"

I would like to place on record that if any of the information I have distributed is factually incorrect then I will be pleased to issue a correction

I therefore invite you to supply me with a statement advising what is factually incorrect and I will be pleased to issue a correction

In your statement please detail very clearly what was incorrect and please explain in simple terms what the go forward position actually is

Please also detail in your statement why you think it it is a good idea linking a safety standard to FIT's (Feed in Tariff) rather than applying a safety standard to every wind turbine sold in the UK

For the record I remain of the opinion that the UK small wind turbine industry is being asked to sign up to tests (the scope of which is not clearly defined and known), at an approximate cost of £80,000 (tests conducted by an effective monopoly supplier of testing services who was at least partially involved in setting the standards), testing to a standard which may not be fit for purpose and may need to be reviewed (UKAS asked to report and investigate) in order that the manufacturer's products may qualitfy for FIT's (not yet ratified)

So manufacturers required to sign up for a very expensive test program in advance of the confidence that FIT's will be ratified.

As understood the MCS tests place additional requirements to agreed International Standards and therefore will exclude many European manufacturers whilst the high cost of the tests is a barrier to many small companies (both UK and overseas). From my own knowledge I am aware that some of these small companies are doing very innovative work which will increase power production and reduce costs so my opinion remains that by excluding these companies from the market the consumer is disadvantaged and also the government as it will make achieving the renewable energy target more unlikely

In Summary

I repeat my offer to correct any inaccurate information, to issue a clear simple statemement of the correct situation and to publish your alternative view explaining why, considering the facts as stated above, you remain of the opinion that MCS is in the best interests of the British Small wind industry

Regards

Stephen

BUT THE BWEA NEVER REPLY TO ME - BECAUSE "I'm Not A Member Of The Club"


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: rhys on December 18, 2009, 01:57:56 PM
It's not just Small Wind thats affected, the same applies to PV and it will to solar HW if there is a  FIT for that.
It's not only the requirement for MCS for Manufacturer's but even more outrageously for installers.
Building Control is all that is needed - part P all over again.  Gradually removing the Building Control option, as a way of ensuring quality.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 18, 2009, 02:01:12 PM
Hello and welcome Stephen! I'm really pleased that you've decided to join us on the forum, and I'm sure you'll find a lot of help and support from our members - I'm with you 100% on this, as are many others..... :garden


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: notamemberoftheclub on December 18, 2009, 02:16:13 PM
To everyone who has been following my daily bulletins I can no longer send these out because "they" keep shutting down my e mail account -allegedly because of spam but we have successfully sent more e mails to customers of our bike business before
It would be cynical to suggest that big brother is watching .....and freedom of speach being restricted because I'm making people aware of factually correct information which makes the Government uncomfortable


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: notamemberoftheclub on December 18, 2009, 02:20:34 PM
It may be of interest to note that the abreviated balance sheet of the British Wind Energy Association shows Capital and Reserves - general fund of £933,871 for 2008 - up from £586,051 in 2007



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: notamemberoftheclub on December 18, 2009, 02:46:57 PM
Gemserv (Licensee of MCS) show a Group Profit for 2009 of £899,000


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 18, 2009, 03:37:30 PM
Much of this correspondence remains unanswered - my view is this is "the club" closing ranks and answering criticism with silence
I will also post communications to the industry from The British Wind Energy Association - I am completely in favour of an open debate
I welcome communication from anyone - whether you agree with me or not - and I will post all reasonable (non legal) comments
Regards
Stephen 07712 841089
stephen@hymoto.co.uk



Stephen

As a small Manufacturer of Wind Turbines. Please could I ask that you write to the Conservative MP the Rt Honorable Oliver Letwin and explain your feelings regarding MCS and the FIT scheme. Oliver is a very supportive MP on the subject and even his party leader David Cameron has expressed a wish to install a Micro Wind Turbine at his own property. I believe if a debate on this issue is to take place in Parliament, then it is important to provide respected front bench MP's like Oliver Letwin with credible ammunition.



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 18, 2009, 03:45:10 PM
this is all interesting stuff,and I once again confirm my support for this campaign.However,(and moderators please move this thread elsewhere if you think it dilutes the main issue) there are some things within the wind turbine sphere that I think are providing ready made bullets for the opposition to fire:It has to be said that the wind turbine industry in general has been guilty of manufacturing equipment that,either by poor design or poor construction,leaves an awful lot to be desired;things that immediately spring to mind are substandard hubs,blades,and sliprings,with an alarming failure rate that leaves me ,as a turbine installer,unlikely to recommend to a prospective client any manufacturer/importer,except for one.Up until now I held in high esteem the somewhat high priced products of a company I shall refer to as'the Scottish manufacturer',only to find they were front page news after a school turbine shed some of its parts.Add to that the lawless attitude of diy or of cowboy installers,and there is little wonder that any government department wants to arrest such practices forthwith,and introduce their own agenda,with the attendant side issues.
Before there is a howl of 'freedom' and 'hands off' from the great unwashed,just stop to consider the consequences of a turbine disintegration involving loss of life.....(judge)and your design was carried out by? ...me sir,on a fag packet sir...and your electrical certification?....I dun it my self sir,helped by a bloke up the road and a library book...but surely your insurers will cover you?....aint got any sir.....hmmmmn,twelve years.
The alternative? well,turbines and matching blades manufactured to an approved safety standard would be a start;foundation drawings issued with every mast to be certified by the manufacturers competent person,and a system of building control checks that the actual foundations are in agreement with the specification,and electrical installation by approved contractors with the necessary experience.
Now ,of course this puts the price up,but these forum columns have many incidents of total,expensive and catastrophic failure,most of which could have been avoided by proper design and manufacture.

To sum up:if we are to avoid the oppressive and unfair regulation of wind turbine manufacture and installation,perhaps we should look in some detail at the way the industry is working now,and take drastic steps to put things right,quickly


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 18, 2009, 04:01:16 PM
Before there is a howl of 'freedom' and 'hands off' from the great unwashed,just stop to consider the consequences of a turbine disintegration involving loss of life.....(judge)and your design was carried out by? ...me sir,on a fag packet sir...and your electrical certification?....I dun it my self sir,helped by a bloke up the road and a library book...but surely your insurers will cover you?....aint got any sir.....hmmmmn,twelve years.



I think this is a bit of an exaggeration dont you ?...... The requierments for Domestic Electrical Instalations ensure that only a Competent Person can carry out the work. As for the instalation itself, well there are many things you could do at home which could cause loss of life to a bystander. Take mowing your lawn for example !.... What laws are in place to ensure you are a qualified lawn cutter trained on the use and maintenance of a  lawn mower. You may not have properly re-tightened the blade which could then spin off and go right through your neigbours head. What about if its petrol powered and you left the cap of the tank, it expoldes and sends burning fuel all over a child watching near the lawn edge.

We can all quote what if examples, but thats no excuse to make the instalation and sale of Wind Turbines a Closed Shop. However if installed by a non accredited installer. There should be a system in place whereby District Councils come to inspect the instalation, before it is commisioned for use. In this way the apropriate level of saftey is maintained.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 18, 2009, 06:19:59 PM
Sorry Rob,but as a manufacturer of small wind turbines,I thought you might have taken a more responsible view


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: noah on December 18, 2009, 07:39:07 PM
Just imagine if almost any person could take a simple test in their teens and then be allowed, without further interference  until the age of 70, to take control of a machine weighing up to 3.5 tons with a power of 50kw or more which moves around quite legally on unfenced areas upto a speed of 70mph.
Makes the odd faulty wind turbine look pretty safe by comparison.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 18, 2009, 08:36:49 PM
Sorry Rob,but as a manufacturer of small wind turbines,I thought you might have taken a more responsible view

Errmm... Im not a Manufacturer, im an end user. My veiw is that of the consumer who has to foot the bill for errecting a Wind Turbine. But asside from all that any Manufacturers out there absolutely must concider the repayment period for a particular Wind system. Generaly if its more than 5 years I doubt if it will sell in any great number. Also the initial instalation cost after any grants have been deducted is crucial. With the exeption of a few, wealthy people on the whole dont care so much about Renewable Energy Systems. Because they dont have a probelm paying for high Electricity and Gas bills. The main market for Renewable Energy are the Poor and Middle Class's and those people just cant afford to spend out many thousands of pounds with a 15 year return period. I am typical of a middle aged, Middle Class individual in my area on a lower income. The £1200.00 I paid out  for our Turbine and Grid Tie came at the cost my Wife not getting her new Kitchen for another two years. I anticipate a repayment time of 5 years, but it could be even longer.

Many manufacturers ignore the consumer point of veiw, concentrating on their greed for proffit, but in doing so they actualy cause the decline of their own sales. When a Manufacturer conciders his potential market. He should consider the number of individuals in each income bracket and decide which bracket is going to have the best uptake of his particular systems. If the purchace & instalation cost is always less than 10% of the annual gross income of the target market, then I would say the uptake stands a good chance of success. But then we get into how good the marketing is and thats another story.

In short your not going to sell a large 2.2 meter MCS aproved Turbine like the Swift, to someone who's job is a sales assistant in a Commet Store, or a Fork Lift Driver at a meat company. No matter how much he would like to be green !. Because even with all the MCS Grant and FIT incentives, he still cant afford the initial outlay. The only market for that turbine is the wealthy with plenty of land and those people generaly dont care about being green. They drive around in Range Rovers and have four large Blood Hound Dogs. Their biggest pleasure in life is the next Fox Hunt at which they can show off their £25,000.00 Arab.

Smaller 1Kw 1.8m, low cost and reliable turbines under £2000.00 fully installed is the answer !!..


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ted on December 18, 2009, 08:52:22 PM
Smaller 1Kw 1.8m, low cost and reliable turbines under £2000.00 fully installed is the answer !!..

We have already been there, done that. And all the dis-satisfied customers sent them back to B&Q for a refund because they didn't work.

But it really shouldn't be impossible.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 18, 2009, 09:48:44 PM
Smaller 1Kw 1.8m, low cost and reliable turbines under £2000.00 fully installed is the answer !!..

We have already been there, done that. And all the dis-satisfied customers sent them back to B&Q for a refund because they didn't work.

But it really shouldn't be impossible.


Thats because the B&Q ones were A.) Ugly - B.) way too expensive with professional instalation - C.) unreliable - D.) installed in poor wind positions, like just above the eaves of a house roof. The Windsave got the worst reports of all at the Warwick Wind Trials and I can easily see why.

But all that asside people generaly dont want to be told, you have to have an installer fit it !. What's needed is a system that allows any member of the general public to install his own Wind Turbine, but to do so in accordance with set guidelines. The instalation then being given a green light by a "Renewable Energy Instalation Inspector". If the instalation fails to meet those guidelines then the owner would be told to bring it up to the requierd standard, or remove it !. This system is already in place for other aspects of Building Regulations.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 18, 2009, 10:16:34 PM
I think you are taking an over idealistic viewpoint Rob;first,read my post properly;you will then realise my point is that the market has been inundated with cheap and exceptionally poor quality turbines,some of which are potentially dangerous;are you suggesting that this should continue,in some misguided way fostering your pinko lefty beliefs? You will find in many cases the poor working person struggling to do something about climate change,has inadvertantly filled the coffers of the greedy mr chang and all his middle men;and payback time? I think not,most of this badly designed,cobbled together rubbish is on its short count down to windmill armegeddon long before payback can ever be achieved.
The circumstances surrounding a possible fatal accident are not exaggerated;unfortunately its only a matter of time,but are you saying that the odd fatality is ok in the bigger picture of being green? Your comparisons with lawn mowing are fatuous at best,with windmills,we are talking about accidents caused by inadequate designs,and poor installation;your lawn mower scaremongering is concerned more with negligent operation,and is therefore totally irrelevant;However,if the lawnmower manufacturer sold a device in this country as defective in design and construction as the average cheapo windturbine and it caused a fatality,someone goes to jail!
Leaving that sort of argument to one side,my position is that I would like to see standards of design and construction applied to the turbines themselves,not expensive ,type approval performance testing,just a minimum standard of engineering that ensures said turbine is not going to chop off an innocent bystanders head;The tower designed to carry the turbine should carry some sort of structural certification,combined with a rigid specification for the required foundations;all this could be achieved easily and relatively cheaply by using in house self certification;That leaves erection,which can be covered by building control,or a certified body,just as buildings already are;and electrical installation,carried out by niceic or equal approved contractor(not signed off by 'me mate'). that way we get engineering specifications carried right through to final commissioning,and the equipment has a good chance of making it through to payback year.Anything else is a waste of time,money and resources.A final point of Robs was that there should be an alternative route for this via certification from building control;a total non starter,what you have to grasp is that building control have no expert knowledge of engineering ,civil engineering,or electrical engineering;they are responsible for implementing the building regulations,and can only do that if the equipment carries some sort of compliance certification,anything less ,they would quite rightly,back away from,as they would not be able to support a failure of non compliant equipment or installation in a lawsuit.
To sum up,much as we all love the hippy,greeny,wallace and grommit side of tinkering,this sort of thing has no place in equipment sold for operation in the public sphere,dont get me wrong,I am strongly opposed to the government proposals,but unless the industry can regulate itself in a fit and professional manner,I cannot see there being an alternative to the stalinist approach of brown and co.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 18, 2009, 10:40:46 PM
Whilst everyone's having their two penn'orth, I feel it apposite to point out that Swindlesaves, Swifts, and other roof-mounted chocolate teapots rather point out the total lack of understanding of "how wind works" amongst those who would purport to "represent the industry" - the moneygrubbing charlatans of the BWEA, and the government "bodies" that quite gleefully accepted fees, or cheerfully arranged for grants for machinery that cannot ever realistically pay back on 99.9% or more of UK rooves - none of them had the knowledge to know, or the humility to actually find out if the bally things worked in the first place. (In simple terms, to mount a turbine anywhere near a roof stuffs the performance stone dead due to low windspeeds and turbulence)
Two of the leading experts in wind (Hugh Piggott and Paul Gipe), who between them wrote most of the text books on wind have said from the outset that they are a heartless fraud, but the BWEA have been happy to take the fees from the fraudster companies, and EST and all the other "bodies" keen to earn green brownie points have fallen over themselves to tout technology that not only doesn't work, but does a grave disservice to the entire wind industry as it lends ready ammunition for the "antis" who can gleefully point at the damn things and sneer that they don't work..............
Need I point out that Swindlesave and Swift teapots are approved and accredited to the hilt?........ teensie problemette- they don't bloody well work!
 Only this week I had pointed out to me an even bigger farce - a TV programme sponsored company making the most ludicrous claims for a chimney-mounted teapot - yet again, would require a complete rewrite of several immutable laws of physics to work, and VERY likely to result in deaths when they bring chimneys down through rooves..........
But guess what? - the BWEA will accept them as fee-paying members (kerrrching), and EST, if left to their own devices would award grant-status for another total fraud.
I have no  confidence whatsoever in the BWEA or all of the so-called "responsible" bodies - a collection of blithering imbecilic incompetents who shouldn't be let loose with their own dinner money, let alone the future of the wind industry in the UK.......... whistle


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 18, 2009, 10:54:18 PM
Hi Northern

I bought my Turbine from a supplier in the USA. Its a Chinese make yes, but all I can say is I am very happy with the construction. The Reinforced Nylon self furling Blades and A2 Stainless construction are some of the best available today. Its a very solid unit built like a tank, yet light weight too. This is due in part to the Neodyneum Magnets inside which also provide a very high magnetic flux. Then there are the five blades instead of three, reducing the tip speed and reducing noise. Also giving far better energy production at lower wind speeds. Some people have said Chinese Turbines are poorly made and are unable to withstand an impact from a Goose or other large object. So the supplier in the US decided as a test to throw a Turkey at a 1Kw version operating at full capacity to see how the blades and bearings would hold up. The same Turbine is still operating to this day with no ill affects whatsoever !!.... How many UK made WindSave Generators could survive that I ask ?. Then compare the cost, mine cost me £1200.00 including Tower and Grid Tie..... How much was the wind save after instalation ?.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 18, 2009, 11:30:47 PM
Rob,I am genuinely pleased for you that your turbine is of such a good standard,and wish you well with its operation.It would be useful if you could show us pictures of it on here.  Perhaps if you compare it with a down market chinese example you will come around to my way of thinking,that engineering and design standards must be applied throughout the industry,but not by mcs and not with a sword of damocles 'no fits for you matey' dangling above our heads;industry self certification is the way to go.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 18, 2009, 11:53:10 PM
This is a link to a Youtube Video of an identical wind turbine to the one I have purchaced. Mine is still currently in its box, as i am still batteling with my local District Council. They have insisted that I provide a detailed Accoustic Noise report specific to my turbine at my location. They also do not recognise the reccomendation in the PPS22 doccument or the noise collection method sugested. They further have refused to accept the manufacturers report as they say there is no way to confirm background noise levels are of the same tonal type to that of my area. However they are also refusing to grant temporary permission to errect the turbine so that Noise data can be collected. So I am in a catch 22 situation right now.

Here is the Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eie1NF_p4gQ


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: notamemberoftheclub on December 19, 2009, 03:36:59 PM
The small wind turbine industry does not oppose the idea of reasonable standards

What is wrong with the MCS / FIT's proposals is that the standards apply only to those products for FIT's

Hence this will not stop the sale of dangerous wind turbines and is actually likely to increase the market for cheap, inferior quality product in the short term (low prices)

My proposal is that the standards should apply to every wind turbine sold with no link to FIT's



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: guydewdney on December 19, 2009, 06:09:44 PM
This is a link to a Youtube Video of an identical wind turbine to the one I have purchaced. Mine is still currently in its box, as i am still batteling with my local District Council. They have insisted that I provide a detailed Accoustic Noise report specific to my turbine at my location. They also do not recognise the reccomendation in the PPS22 doccument or the noise collection method sugested. They further have refused to accept the manufacturers report as they say there is no way to confirm background noise levels are of the same tonal type to that of my area. However they are also refusing to grant temporary permission to errect the turbine so that Noise data can be collected. So I am in a catch 22 situation right now.

Here is the Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eie1NF_p4gQ


Then bolt it to a trailer, and the guys to three other trailers / cars and erect it like that. Then its mobile, and up for a few days - all legal like. ish


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: notamemberoftheclub on December 19, 2009, 06:11:54 PM
I am very keen to present a reasonable and balanced opinion on the MCS debate even though the BWEA (British Wind Energy Association)  have not responded to my offer to help them send out their letter of support for MCS which they intend to send to Paul Rochester of the Department of Energy and Climate Change

I have posted the BWEA letter below

If you would like to offer your support you can write to Alex Murley   A.murley@bwea.com and to Paul Rochester Paul.Rochester@decc.gsi.gov.uk

Alternatively if you disagree with MCS please also write to Alex and Paul

THE MORE PEOPLE WHO GET INVOLVED THE BETTER but please identify if you are a business or private individual and provide contact details to verify your response

If you would like more information on MCS I will be pleased to send copies of the letters I have sent to the industry - mail stephen@hymoto.co.uk

It would be useful if you would copy me if you e mail Alex and Paul

In the BWEA letter below I have added a paragraph below shown in red - this paragraph taken from an e mail from Alex Murley of BWEA to myself

Mr. Paul Rochester
Head of Microgeneration and Standards
Department of Energy and Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place
London
SW1A 2AW




Dear Mr Paul Rochester,                        


The UK small wind sector fully supports MCS
 
BWEA is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with over 540 corporate members, BWEA is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. BWEA currently has over 80 small wind system members, including micro- and small-wind turbine manufacturers, installers, test laboratories, utilities, academic institutions and certification bodies.

•   Taken from a BWEA letter to myself BWEA's small wind membership has grown from 30 companies in 2007 to over 80 companies in 2009 and includes the following (13) small wind manufacturers: Proven Energy (UK), Ampair (UK), Eclectic (UK), Marlec (UK), Evance/Iskra (UK), Renewable Devices (UK), Northern Power Systems (USA), Fortis (NL), SeaB (UK), Vertical Wind Energy (UK), Quietrevolution (UK), Nheolis (FR), Gendrive (UK);


It is on behalf of BWEA membership, and those additionally listed within this letter, that we would like to provide clarity on the importance of industry standards for wind products, and the installation of wind products, in supporting the development of an ethical and sustainable UK market for small wind turbines:

(1) We fully support MCS as a means to support national policy development in the UK.

(2) We fully support the continuous improvement of MCS standards in light of enlarged knowledge, new experiences, and constructive, evidence based feedback from industry stakeholders.

(3) We are fully committed to the responsible and sustainable growth of the UK small wind market through the provision of consumer assurance on performance and safety.

Yours sincerely,

Alex Murley, Head of Small Systems, BWEA

List of BWEA members (Name, Business title, Organisation)
List of non-BWEA member (Name, Business title, Organisation)




Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: notamemberoftheclub on December 19, 2009, 06:19:01 PM
If anyone would like full copies of my correspondence with the BWEA and their replies please e mail stephen@hymoto.co.uk

This is long and detailed but you are welcome to it

Stephen


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 19, 2009, 07:00:54 PM
the last three "bullet points" are tantamount to an incredibly arrogant and patronising "we're in charge, pay us gazillions to become a member of our scurrilous and dishonest organisation, or you can go stuff yourself".......... now what's that old saying? - something about "pride goeth......." whistle


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Flamethrower_ on December 19, 2009, 08:46:16 PM
Martin,

All this reminds of a bunch of *ankers! (place a b or w as you see fit in place of the '*') if we can't rip you off one way  banghead: we will do it another way wackoold to any SME's who are trying thier hardest to survive at this minute in time ???


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Ted on December 19, 2009, 09:27:49 PM
Something to file in the 'you couldn't ******* make it up' category.   wackoold

Gemserv, the company selected by DECC to run the MCS, have a corporate charity - Tourettes Action.

http://www.tourettes-action.org.uk/news-page/2009/8/17/were-gemservs-charity-of-the-year.html


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 20, 2009, 11:38:57 AM
This MCS system is a FITup... yes. But its not just the small manufactures who are going to suffer its the consumer too, and ultimately the Climate !. The only real way to ensure turbines are available at low cost and installed safley is to allow full international trade without barriers or restrictions to planning permission placed on non MCS machines. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way the system works right now for ensuring a new building or building modification has been correctly done. I see no reason why a "Renewable Energy instalation Inspector" position could not be created. After all it realy does not matter if the turbine was installed by a 1 armed person with 3 brain cells. If the instalation complies with all relavent regualtions then it should be given a certificate of approval and be allowed to be switched on.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 21, 2009, 09:46:05 AM
Rob,again I would request you read my post in detail;building control deal only in implementing the building regulations;they cover 'specialist' areas,not with a friendly in house engineering team,but by referring to certificates provided by competent installers,agrement certification of materials and so on.There is no 'inspector of turbines' and most unlikely that the will ever be one,local authorities have neither the funding,nor infrastructure for such a venture.
To look at it another way,who,in their right mind,is going to come from a local authority, look at a turbine spinning merrily on its pole,but without any certification of manufacture or installation,put in by someone without relevant qualification,and then sign his/her name to some sort of certificate? which insurance company is going to provide his/her professional indemnity? who is going to pay his salary?if such people do exist,they probably work from the same office as the tooth fairy.
With regard to your turbine,the u tube vid looks very nice,but I would suggest you spend the time whilst waiting for planning stripping it down and looking for the following:lack of concentricity ,rotor/stator....  poor brush alignment.... brushes wrong size for housing.....tight bearings.....bearings end loaded without a spacer between....bearings welded into a poorly machined  housing (!!!)....inadequate/cracked/bodged housing....weakness around furling bracket....inadequate strength in pole...
all these and more have been found in the few turbines I have put up;and finally,beware of 'generic' designs,some turbines are quite well made,but others,obviously from the same drawings look the same but have appalling workmanship.Can you now see the need for industry wide certification?

edit;by this I do NOT mean certification by MCS!


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: biff on December 21, 2009, 09:13:46 PM
awwww good folk, bike:
                this thing has become tres serious.we need freedom of expression,,within a certain framework,if some inspector of turbines came at me with such questions of safety and reliability i would probely tell him i had just caught swine flu.
 may i also add that there is indeed such a person as the windturbine inspector.he is 84,alive and well and living on an island of donegal.i have to addmitt he is also the undertaker ,postman and piermaster and due to his busy schedule he is only available to inspect windturbines after 12midnight in nice weather and 8 pints of the blackstuff.i guess stephen tasker and northern installer would question his reliability but he has yet to say a bad word about a single windturbine.he did remark"dey are bloody hard to see without a lamp" after he walked into a tower horror: in the dark. stir:
                                 biff whistle


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 22, 2009, 10:09:28 AM
Biff,sounds wonderful,I think I could enjoy living where you are!


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 22, 2009, 11:05:24 AM
It is my view that a wind turbine  should be designed,constructed and installed in such a way that it will withstand any forseeable gale,without the need to be lowered or shut down in any way other than by its own inbuilt systems;it should have a design life of at least twenty years,with nothing more than a yearly service and inspection and three yearly overhaul by the manufactures designated engineers.I believe anything less than this specification to be utterly pointless.Comments invited.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: wigmyster on December 22, 2009, 05:39:42 PM
Yes that should definitely be a option if you want peace of mind & have the money. The question is should it be the only option that is what is being debated here. No matter how well you design a product sooner or later be it by design or use something will happen. When that does happen the objectors revel in it. I live in Cornwall near the site of the Scottish problem turbine & from the initial problem the wives tales & wind hate whispers have now escalated to the point where my Mother actually phoned me worried saying a piece fell off & took a child's eye out (Not true by the way). This is the problem we have as we all love a good "road crash". We also had a fool in the paper saying quoting the hourly output of a local small scale wind farm as the yearly output i.e a factor of 8760 out.

My point being that its even possible that having this extra so called blanket will make the PR worse as things will still go wrong from time to time as with all mechanical devices.

Its the link  between MCS & the FIT that is the bug bear & more to the point its the 80k to get MCS. As Ted has said if we have standards already why do we need more? If the MCS standard was grant funded would it be so much of a issue?
Also the price of a nice 11kW Danish & 50kW Canadian downwind has close to doubled in the last two years. Strange that! Wonder why? It must be the exchange rate is bad or could it possibly be anything to do with FIT?

RR or Lada there should be room for all with a MOT & that's includes the Alfa's if you know what I mean. As with all things in life you should be able to pay for what you get expecting to get a better product the more you pay. I am afraid from my side of the fence with very few exceptions you pay what the UK can afford linked to a perceived pay back period of 5-7 years & longer for smaller machines. This is the only reason some of us look at cheaper foreign machines as we can see the same turbine in the UK with a 5 year warranty for 500% less across the water.



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: brackwell on December 22, 2009, 05:40:09 PM
Northern installer,
Of course you need this standard in 2009. It is perhaps lack of standards that has allowed the pickle we are in regarding wind turbines. I am in favour of turbines but i would not want my neighbour to erect something which could fly apart for his sake as well as mine!  
That however is not the thread - it is broadly how bearocracy will add significant expense to certification.  Namely,
Theoretical stress analysis
 wind tunnel testing
Long term cyclic endurance testing
Noise assessment
How to recycle at end of life
and dont forget H&S where nobody will take responsibility for anything.

Sorry to say this will sink small wind turbines and i so much wanted one being a sailor.   Perhaps the only way is to put one up before April and forgo FITs

Ken


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: petertc on December 22, 2009, 06:49:38 PM

Theoretical stress analysis
 

If you want to learn some free software for stress analysis try CAE Linux might cut down some costs, most of this stuff is static analysis, if you have to get to dynamic analysis then the cost will jump dramatically.
I think that some commercial  software out there say the results are for a guide only !

You could go for destructive testing but again lots of costs setting things up.

The company i work for do a certain company that make things that fly that have rotors and some of the test rigs we make see some very serious forces  ;D ;D Can't say too much more  :police:


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: biff on December 22, 2009, 11:22:44 PM
hi northern installer,
                      thats a lovely thought,to have a wind turbine which runs for 20 years in all weather,needs just a yearly service and nuffin else.i have to say its possible,certainly. ;D
  the different countries have different ways of approaching engineering problems,its a bit like the motor industry.we would never have the reliability of the modern motorcar if it were not for the intervention of the japanese cars in europe.they made us pull our socks up.the germans make good but expensive cars,the french the most reliable diesels for the money,the italians good cheap small cars but at the end of the day,it has to be said that they do not make bad cars anymore.this was brought about by the m.o.t testing.any duds would soon show up and the company would get a bad name.
          so it stands to sense that sooner rather than later we will have wind turbine inspectors,fully qualified to look at your turbine and tell you if its structually safe and not an electronic hazzard.if you pass the test you get a certificate for a couple of years,like the irish car m.o.t.if not you get a few weeks to fix the problem.sure what could be wrong with that. bring it on.it would increase the value of your turbine for resale and you could wave the certificate over the fence at the worried neighbour.millions could be spent testing turbines fit for sale only to be errected by a complete ejit so someone should be able to say that the finished product is fit for human consumption.it would go a long way to eliminating some of the worry.
                      biff.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 23, 2009, 09:50:21 AM
I really think this issue will be driven along by insurance companies,rather than by being locked out of FITs;after one or two have died from having pieces of turbine blade embedded in the skull,I would imagine the usual witchhunt for liability will follow,with inevitable results.The question relavent to this thread is;do you want to see MCS handed all regulation,or can we make a big enough noise over the restrictive trading issue to prevent it happening? If the latter prevails,it is up to the industry as a whole to identify existing standards which can be (or even are being)applied,and show that the equipment is fit for purpose.
We have all had fun on this site laughing and commiserating as the case may be at other's misfortune with wind turbine disasters,but would you really want your children playing in the garden,while the neighbour's dodgy,amateur installed tubine shakes and rattles on a windy day? of course not,so some sort of standards need to be applied;as we are at the moment,MCS would neatly pigeonhole the problem as far as the government is concerned!
Going off at a tangent,has anyone tried asking for money back under the sale of goods act when faced with a wrecked turbine?


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 23, 2009, 12:19:38 PM
Rob,again I would request you read my post in detail;building control deal only in implementing the building regulations;they cover 'specialist' areas,not with a friendly in house engineering team,but by referring to certificates provided by competent installers,agrement certification of materials and so on.There is no 'inspector of turbines' and most unlikely that the will ever be one,local authorities have neither the funding,nor infrastructure for such a venture.
To look at it another way,who,in their right mind,is going to come from a local authority, look at a turbine spinning merrily on its pole,but without any certification of manufacture or installation,put in by someone without relevant qualification,and then sign his/her name to some sort of certificate? which insurance company is going to provide his/her professional indemnity? who is going to pay his salary?if such people do exist,they probably work from the same office as the tooth fairy.
With regard to your turbine,the u tube vid looks very nice,but I would suggest you spend the time whilst waiting for planning stripping it down and looking for the following:lack of concentricity ,rotor/stator....  poor brush alignment.... brushes wrong size for housing.....tight bearings.....bearings end loaded without a spacer between....bearings welded into a poorly machined  housing (!!!)....inadequate/cracked/bodged housing....weakness around furling bracket....inadequate strength in pole...
all these and more have been found in the few turbines I have put up;and finally,beware of 'generic' designs,some turbines are quite well made,but others,obviously from the same drawings look the same but have appalling workmanship.Can you now see the need for industry wide certification?

edit;by this I do NOT mean certification by MCS!


None of the problems you have mentioned have ever been reported for the make of Turbine I have purchaced. The US supplier has told me they will stand by the manufacturers warrantee 100% and should any parts fail they will send replacments free of charge. If the turbine failes beyond repair they will replace the entire turbine. However I am aware of many horror stories from people I have spoken with who told me all kinds of things about the UK made Windsave Turbines.... So at the end of the day the old saying stands, "Caviat Emptor"... and it has nothing whatsoever to do with where you make your purchace or how much you pay. It has more to do with the customer care policy at the managment end of the manufacturing company, some of which only care about proffits and not the customer.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 23, 2009, 12:58:49 PM
I would certainly agree with all of those posters who have suggested an MOT type inspection. The turbine should be able to be lowered to ground level for regular inspection by an official. All electrical systems should also be accessiable for inspection too. Although I think once a year is a little exessive. Perhaps once every three years would be better. However I do belive an initial inspection prior to the turbines commissioning is crucial. This would ensure that the instalation itself is properly carried out. Things such as mountings, guy lines, Electrical instalation, condition of bearings etc... these are all very important. However when you purchace a car from Japan you know its been manufactured to certain standards. The same needs to be true of Wind Turbines, which is why we have ISO9002, UL and G83 standards. The Chinese Turbine I purchaced complies with all of these. Plus as a qualified Electronics Engineer and 17th Ed Electrician with 25 years of Racing Car mechanics under my belt I can honestly say I am satisfied with its construction.

If companies like Ford and BMW were to devise testing standards with the UK goverment agreeing without question as with the MCS. Then smaller car companies such as TVR would never have been able to get off the ground in the first place. Im sure everyone remembers the first TVR's and what a pile of S**T they were too. But with a couple of deccades of competition in the market place, they have got better and are now very good quality cars. If the MCS systems or somthing similar had been aplied back to the early TVR's no doubt the company would have gone broke after just couple of years.

To all those who would say how can an inspector test the saftey of the turbine just by looking at it ?. My answer to you is "well how does an MOT inspector do it with a Car ??".... Would you have him strip down the Gearbox, or remove your wheel hubs to check for bearing damage and are you going to pay for that kind of an MOT ?.. I find it very interesting that a large number of those individuals posting here who are in support of an MCS 'type' approval system are themselves manufacturers or have some interest in the manufacturing aspect. But those people should also remember that without a consumer they would not exist !!... So ensuring the consumer is "satisfied" and not paying so much for the turbine that payback is impossible or that he just cant buy it in the first place, is crucial to the overall success of such an industry.

My Wife and I have an annual combined income of £10K and we have a home to run. How do you suppose I can afford to purchace some of these UK manufactured turbines ?... Would you suggest that I keep buying Electricity at 16p a unit generated from Coal powerstations instead ?. Im trying to do my part in reducing my CO2 emmissions even if its only by 500kg a year and save some cost on my electric bill in the process. Personaly I would have somthing larger than a 500w turbine if I could, but im getting serrious negativity from the council about the one I do have. At least its a start and perhaps in a few years the political climate will be better for me to upgrade.

Please stop condeming people on low incomes from trying to do thier part !!... We are not all wealthy and we cant all afford to pay thousands for our turbines. The Chinese are currently offering some good quality products along with some real mingers agreed. But an inteligent consumer can figure this out for himself and thats what market forces are all about !.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 23, 2009, 06:41:36 PM
Oh and for those people who keep having a go at me just because I decided to buy my turbine from the USA. At least I am trying to be pro-active to get somthing done about the poorly concieved MCS system. Ive already managed to pursuade the Rt Honerable Oliver Letwin to get involved. Also here is an Email I received just this morning from the Goverment themselves.


Our ref: JH/58/029630/09

Dear Mr Gale,

Thank you for your e-mail of 26 November to the Rt Hon John Healey regarding your wish to install a domestic wind turbine. I have been asked to reply.

The Government wishes to encourage the widest possible take-up of householder microgeneration equipment whilst ensuring that the reasonable interests of neighbours, the environment and the wider community are protected. We also want to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, particularly where it which can become a barrier to the development and uptake of new technologies.  

The Government is currently consulting on proposals to extend permitted development rights to various categories of renewable energy technology, including wind turbines.  Permitted development rights would remove the requirement to submit a planning application to the local planning authority.   Details about what is proposed can be found at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/microgenelectriccars.

The consultation is due to end on 9th February 2010 – you are welcome to submit comments before the end of the consultation period.

The very nature of “permitted development” means that establishing what the boundaries should be is not a simple task. There are particularly tricky challenges when they involve young and relatively unfamiliar technologies like microgeneration for which nationwide standards are not yet well-established.  Potential impacts like noise, vibration, appearance and public safety all need to be carefully addressed.  

Until permitted development rights for domestic wind turbines are introduced, I regret that there will be no other option for you but to apply to your local planning authority for planning consent to install your wind turbine.

I am also forwarding your comments on to colleagues the Department for Energy and Climate Change who have involvement in the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), for their information.

I hope this is helpful.

Geoff Garrett

Planning System Improvement Branch B
Zone 1/A1
Communities and Local Government
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London
SW1E 5DU

Tel 0303 444 1727



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 24, 2009, 10:23:38 AM


Please stop condeming people on low incomes from trying to do thier part !!... We are not all wealthy and we cant all afford to pay thousands for our turbines. The Chinese are currently offering some good quality products along with some real mingers agreed. But an inteligent consumer can figure this out for himself and thats what market forces are all about !.
I had thought that I had covered most of the issues that were relevant,however,in reply to the above:
There has been no intention of condemnation of people on low incomes on my part,if you read that in my posts then I apologise unreservedly.
The question of quality in design and manufacture in wind turbines should not be confused with the need for the lowest bottom line selling price;the minimum acceptable standard to sell at retail in this country is that the item should be fit for purpose,and of merchantable quality;anything less,quite rightly,is illegal under the sale of goods act as I read it.To take the motor car analogy,if a car was marketed on the internet,brand new,at ,say£1500,and subsequently crashed because the flimsy brakes could not possibly cope with stopping it, would the general feeling be 'never mind,we have to have cars like that for people on low incomes' ?
'The intelligent(note 2 Ls)consumer can figure this out for himself' not all wind turbine buyers have engineering experience,it needs a little more than 'intelligence'.
'that's what market forces are about'...you mean selling rubbish is to be encouraged as part of some sort of crusade for the less wealthy?
It has been said,the main reason for paying out good money for a wind turbine is to play a part in reducing ones carbon footprint,and helping,in a small way,to save the planet;that's good policy;But if said windturbine destroys itself into useless scrap within a matter of months,this is having the reverse effect,and,all in all could be regarded as a rather pointless and expensive exercise.
All this is getting away from the original topic about the proposed MCS approval system; I for one would be pleased to hear more about any letters sent,and even more interested in the replies but please,have some dignity,most of us on here ,I suspect, have little in the way of spare cash to throw around,but prefer to keep that to themselves.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 24, 2009, 11:19:11 AM


To take the motor car analogy,if a car was marketed on the internet,brand new,at ,say£1500,and subsequently crashed because the flimsy brakes could not possibly cope with stopping it, would the general feeling be 'never mind,we have to have cars like that for people on low incomes' ?
'The intelligent(note 2 Ls)consumer can figure this out for himself' not all wind turbine buyers have engineering experience,it needs a little more than 'intelligence'.



So are you suggesting that People in the UK are all dumb Lemmings, and that if a poor quality car for £1500.00 were to be marketed we would all buy it in droves ?.. I realy dont think so do you ?. Besides there is a hell of a lot more technology in even the most basic car than there is in a Micro wind turbine. What is absolutely wrong is that the current trend for UK manufacturers is to market Wind Turbines at such a price as to compleately negate the point of having them in the first place !. As I have said many times in this thread, the number one priority for a Manufacturer is to ensure that the Turbine being marketed is actualy within the price bracket of the consumer it is being marketed at. So people in Semi Detached Properties with small Gardens dont need massive 5Kw turbines on towers. They need small wall or roof mountable systems. The seccond most important point to concider is the Payback period after any aplicable grants have been taken off. There is little point marketing a Turbine with a Payback period greater than 5 years. As to the question of if it will generate sizable quantities of power or not is for this point irrelavent, Payback period is what is important here.

The Chinese already have conditions stacked against them, which favour UK manufacturers. These are in the form of exessive Import Duties currently applied. Yet its interesting to note that the UK manufacturers have kept their prices so high that many consumers would rather pay these exessive import duties than buy from a UK manufacturer. Additionaly the Chinese have been far more forthcomming with new technology and adaptation to the market place. I purchaced a 500w 'Highly Reliable' Wind Turbine with 5 reinforced Nylon blades and a 24v output. Its performance at low wind speeds between 5 and 8 m/s is exellent. It comes with a 15 yr Warrantee and 25 year design life. The Turbine including all Gride Tie equipment from Neatherlands is all ISO9002, UL and G83 approved. The turbine itself is made from A2 Stainless steel and Marine Grade Aluminium, with Neodynium Magnets (NO STEEL COMPONENTS TO GO RUSTY).

The complete Turbine and Grid Tied system including its wall mountings and 3" dia galvanised pole cost me a total of £1200.00. The Wall mounting system is designed to accept a turbine of up to 2.5kw on the side of a modern two story home without damage to the property in any way (I will post photo's of this when the instalation is completed). If anyone on here knows of a UK manufacturer that has a similar product at a similar price then please do tell me even if its just a bit more. !....

Oh! and PS early Datsun's were realy bad wernt they ?.... They fell apart, broke down and caused accidents. Same goes for the early Suzuki Jeep's, Some people even got killed in those... But market forces played their part and you dont see those vheicles any more. The same will be true for poorly designed Wind Turbines. Those that are well made and at a reasonable cost will survive, those that are not will fail and the companies will die.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 24, 2009, 04:11:47 PM
Wall mounting system? for ....s sake man dont you read the posts on here?    chocpot: merry christmas


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 24, 2009, 04:38:31 PM
"They need small wall or roof mountable systems. The seccond most important point to concider is the Payback period after any aplicable grants have been taken off. There is little point marketing a Turbine with a Payback period greater than 5 years. As to the question of if it will generate sizable quantities of power or not is for this point irrelavent, Payback period is what is important here"

 ....like a hole in the head they do............. as Northern Installer says, just go to the front page of the forum, and do a search for "chocolate teapot".......... in short, they do not, cannot ever pay back when building mounted (according to the sums we did, you're talking HUNDREDS of years for payback) - windspeed is a tiny fraction of what you'd get with the turbine up a pole - turbulence finally stuffs performance stone dead........... then there's the delights of the bearing noise transmitting into the building structure, and the likelihood that you'll wake up to find the whole shebang in the drive one morning, with a large chunk of wall attached................
Sorry, you were stitched up like a kipper - demand your money back pdq!

Here's the Managing Director of Swindlesave, admitting on camera to Newsnight that you'd be lucky to get £10-worth of electricity out of one per annum (take off the £6 or so to run the "box of tricks inverter", you're left with around £4 to help amortise it's cost, at £2,000, that's......... 500 years!)
http://www.youtube.com/v/WVo0WvuX7K0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&fs=1

This is one of the reasons I get SO cross with the regulatory bodies as they stand -  the now thankfully demised Swindlesave had every "approval" in the book, you could even get a grant on it, but noone in those bodies had the knowledge to know that no turbine has a snowball's chance in hell of EVER paying back when building or roof-mounted (it would have to break innumerable immutable laws of physics to do so)...... quite apart from the very real dangers and annoyances of having one mounted in such a stupid way.......... ::)


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: dhaslam on December 24, 2009, 09:45:13 PM
Most suppliers of wind turbines refer to wind speeds of 6ms as being "average".   In most places there won't be anything like that  and much less in built up areas.  Unfortunately what it means is  that if you cannot afford PV there isn't much alternative for home electricity generation.   Suitably designed vertical  axis wind turbines may have some  chance of working in urban settings.  They don't mind  variable wind direction and are fairly silent, slow moving and  easy to maintain but they do have to be big.       


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 24, 2009, 11:30:13 PM
-and just like any turbine in a town, up a tall free-standing pole to get it above the turbulence (100 foot plus!) - and as vertical axis turbines tend to need higher windspeeds, a taller tower than a horizontal axis job............ ;D


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: BengMech on December 26, 2009, 09:46:18 AM
Cost of regulation = Carbon

The Scottish Government has made the connection between the spending of money and Carbon generation

They say paying a salary yields around 0.35 kg CO2 for every £1 paid.
That’s because the employee spends at least some of his money on carbon generated energy.:Google “induced carbon” “Scottish Government “
www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/09/17102339/3
see point 35

However, this is for only one cycle of spending - it goes further (my thinking now):

Manufactured goods are partly materials (they need energy to make them) and partly labour. 
The labour is paid for, the worker spends his money on more energy and manufactured goods - more co2.
Services too - a haircut (no blow dry) indirectly costs carbon, when the barber spends the money you pay him on energy, manufactured goods and more services.

If you think it through, the total cost of the spending is 5kg CO2 for every £1 spent because you are effectively buying only energy at 10 kWh to the £. ( This has increasingly been the case ever since one man could dig enough coal to feed a machine to do the work of 100 men and the economy took off)

So anything which makes renewables more expensive is a bad thing.
A Proven 6kW at £27,000 x 5kg = 135000kg CO2, paying back 15,000 kwh x 0.5kg =7500 kg CO2 saved per year would take 18 years to pay back on a simple payback.
Realistically this is never – it has to pay back with “interest” because the CO2 was released at the beginning

Regarding the reliability of wind turbines and the potential injury to people and damage to property - I can see only a turbine which can be taken down easily when extreme wind is forecast to be the solution.
We can design for a 50 year or 100 year gust, but who’s to say a 1000 year storm won’t bow through tomorrow?

I say forget the FIT, inverters and regulations – put up whatever works and use the energy to supplement hot water and space heating - that is the simplest, cheapest and most carbon cost effective way of using the wind.
(It’s a flagpole, guv  – honest! Just an unusual flag, that’s all)

To reduce your carbon footprint - work less, earn less and buy less stuff. It’s that simple.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: biff on December 26, 2009, 10:43:04 AM
wishing everyone a happy new year,
          hi rob,
           early datsuns were not great bodywise, but mecanically they were exellent. they were so good that i used to sell a conversion kit that made it possible to plump a datsun 1200 engine and box into a m2 escort or an opel kadett.believe me, the results gave much happiness.
    one of the things that struck me about the early datsun or toyota was the attention to detail under the bonnet. their alternators and starters were a work of art.very good quality pipes and filters and fittings around the carbs, there was a very good reason why the bodies rusted and fell apart but if you wanted to clock up good hard driven miles you went datsun or toyota and could get 300,000 miles troublefree before they fell apart.
       i must apologise for getting sidetracked, whistle
                                                      biff,


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 27, 2009, 08:40:33 PM
-and just like any turbine in a town, up a tall free-standing pole to get it above the turbulence (100 foot plus!) - and as vertical axis turbines tend to need higher windspeeds, a taller tower than a horizontal axis job............ ;D

Who mentioned a Town ???


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 27, 2009, 09:06:26 PM
wishing everyone a happy new year,
          hi rob,
           early datsuns were not great bodywise, but mecanically they were exellent. they were so good that i used to sell a conversion kit that made it possible to plump a datsun 1200 engine and box into a m2 escort or an opel kadett.believe me, the results gave much happiness.
    one of the things that struck me about the early datsun or toyota was the attention to detail under the bonnet. their alternators and starters were a work of art.very good quality pipes and filters and fittings around the carbs, there was a very good reason why the bodies rusted and fell apart but if you wanted to clock up good hard driven miles you went datsun or toyota and could get 300,000 miles troublefree before they fell apart.
       i must apologise for getting sidetracked, whistle
                                                      biff,


Well Im glad you liked your Datsun and I liked my Lancia Beta too (First Car). We all have to start out at the bottom dont we ?...

I do not intend to post a whole lot on here about my own turbine as that would not be right !. This is about MCS and FIT's. But seeing as there has been so much 'Dissing' of imported equipment, which only suports the MCS philosophy !. I must stress that whilst such comments may have had some ground 10 years ago. I feel it necesary to show that such comments are unfounded in todays market place. I am doing this by posting evidence of my own Chinese Turbine and Grid Tie system from the Neatherlands. Both of which are exellent products made to standards superior to many UK manufacturers !.

Indeed I am very happy with my US sold, Chinese made 500w Wind Turbine. Its not MCS approved and im proud of it !. Its good n Solid and better perfoming at low wind speeds than some UK made 1Kw units. I will post photo's of the compleated instalation. But for now below is a photo of the almost complete Grid Tie Instalation. All tested and woking, just needs the SWA running to the turbine from the junction box in the attic now. The white cable hanging loose is where I fed it with a test input source. The main Wind and Solar feed comes via a 5 core 6mm2 HO7 cable entering through the celing. Note the two seperate consumer units to the right. One for incomming power via a three phase MCB (also providing isolation and negating the need for a DC Isolator). Then Grid Tie feed via the box next to my main Consumer Unit includes a 2A MCB and 6A RCD/MCB. Finaly a double pole isolator in the main consumer unit (red). I have also included input and output MCB's for a future solar system too. The two additional inverter spaces are to allow for upgrading to a 1Kw turbine as is the additional space where the dump load is mounted.



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 27, 2009, 09:21:26 PM
I was replying to my eminent friend DHaslam who specifically mentioned urban turbines - if you are fortunate enough to be in a rural position, it is still eminently potty to put a turbine anywhere near a roof, or to building mount it due to the turbulence induced by the building upon which it is mounted......... ::)
The difference in performance is colossal - if you have a building -mounted one, the actual windspeed will be circa 2m/s where a pole-mounted turbine will be enjoying a decent 6m/s, and pro rata (on the same site), as well as the comparative lack of turbulence for the properly mounted turbine. In practice, this means the building-mounted one will very seldom EVER "get out of bed and boogy", whereas the properly mounted one should produce meaningful amounts of power...... Then there's the not inconsiderable annoyance of the bearing noise transmitted into a structure by wall or roof mounting (one disgruntled Swindlesave owner complained of his "stair rods rattling") - despite claims to the contrary, there ain't no such thing as a "silent mount" ;)
Suggest  you have a good read here - http://guidedtour.windpower.org/en/tour/wres/index.htm (http://guidedtour.windpower.org/en/tour/wres/index.htm), particularly the parts about siting, "roughness", turbulence and obstacles - and for the "down and dirty" view  of roof-mounting from the writer of half the text books on wind - http://scoraigwind.com/ (http://scoraigwind.com/) starting at "rooftop madness continues" - (don't let the tatty website fool you, this chap probably knows more about wind than anyone else in these islands!)


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 27, 2009, 09:45:43 PM
Once the instalation is complete, I will be reccording the KWH and Average Wind. This will be shown in my signature below as total KWH produced and Average Wind Speed over the same time period. After one year of operation we will then see who is the smart one  ;D


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 27, 2009, 09:52:51 PM
if you really are intent on wall-mounting my money's on Hugh Piggott, sleepless nights, clutter all meaningful amounts of power, and the high likelihood of waking up one morning to find the mounting, turbine and chunk of gable-end in the drive! ;D
The Warwick wind trials did extensive tests on such things - you can download the results from here - http://www.warwickwindtrials.org.uk/2.html (http://www.warwickwindtrials.org.uk/2.html).........
snowballs and hell job! ;D


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 27, 2009, 10:38:00 PM
if you really are intent on wall-mounting my money's on Hugh Piggott, sleepless nights, clutter all meaningful amounts of power, and the high likelihood of waking up one morning to find the mounting, turbine and chunk of gable-end in the drive! ;D
The Warwick wind trials did extensive tests on such things - you can download the results from here - http://www.warwickwindtrials.org.uk/2.html (http://www.warwickwindtrials.org.uk/2.html).........
snowballs and hell job! ;D

The Wariwick Wind Trials didnt test my turbine or even one similar to it. Plus neither you or anyone else for that matter have any clue about how my turbine is mouted to my house, other than the fact that its on the side wall. Your certainly not in a position to comment on the standard of the mounting. However I would be happy to place a sizable bet that even a good Tug 'O' War team would fail to pull down my mounting pole or any of the gable end. So seeing that the manufacturers have stated the maximum lateral force is not likely to exeed 500N or approx 50Kg its unlikely the turbine will have any affect whatsoever on my wall (PS, dont try to quote me on turning moments and levers either !).


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 27, 2009, 11:29:37 PM
But you seem to be missing the point - even with a grossly overspecified wall-mount which may possibly "stay put", you will probably suffer from noise problems at night,  and every test ever done has failed to extract meaningful amounts of power from a turbine mounted on a wall -  due to a few immutable laws of physics!  ::)
Here's some more reading  from Paul Gipe, who wrote the other half of the text books, and amongst other things tests all types of turbines, and has done for a great many years....................
http://www.wind-works.org/articles/small_turbines.html#Inventions%20&%20Questionable%20Wind%20Turbines (http://www.wind-works.org/articles/small_turbines.html#Inventions%20&%20Questionable%20Wind%20Turbines)

from your earlier comments, you don't have a lot of money to waste - we're trying to help you not waste your money - I always try to put myself in the other bloke's shoes and say "what would I do?" - in this case I'd be demanding my money back from the charlatans who sold you a turbine and wall mount on the false premise that it has a snowball's chance of it EVER paying pack when so mounted, OR flogging it now before it's too visibly "second hand"......... ::)



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: guydewdney on December 27, 2009, 11:41:55 PM
One issue I have is with the noise issues of things bolted to houses...


I have eight tons of water wheel bolted to mine. Its noisy enough that you have to raise your voice (but not quite shout) when next to it.

My bedroom is one room along and one room up from the wheel - the southern face is the same as in my avatar. I sleep quite soundly, thankyou. I have two feet thick wall though. But its (almost) silent inside.




properly done - poles bolted to houses isnt an issue. Bolting turbines to thin newbuild brick chimneys is a different matter.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 28, 2009, 10:34:59 AM
But you seem to be missing the point - even with a grossly overspecified wall-mount which may possibly "stay put", you will probably suffer from noise problems at night,  and every test ever done has failed to extract meaningful amounts of power from a turbine mounted on a wall -  due to a few immutable laws of physics!  ::)
Here's some more reading  from Paul Gipe, who wrote the other half of the text books, and amongst other things tests all types of turbines, and has done for a great many years....................
http://www.wind-works.org/articles/small_turbines.html#Inventions%20&%20Questionable%20Wind%20Turbines (http://www.wind-works.org/articles/small_turbines.html#Inventions%20&%20Questionable%20Wind%20Turbines)

from your earlier comments, you don't have a lot of money to waste - we're trying to help you not waste your money - I always try to put myself in the other bloke's shoes and say "what would I do?" - in this case I'd be demanding my money back from the charlatans who sold you a turbine and wall mount on the false premise that it has a snowball's chance of it EVER paying pack when so mounted, OR flogging it now before it's too visibly "second hand"......... ::)




If you were just trying to give me advice, you would have quit with this argument a week ago. Offering advice is great, and I listen and take stock of advice that applies to my situation. But what your doing is trying to force your oppinion onto me. I do not agree with you and I have good reason for it. I am an educated person with several deccades of engineering experience under my belt, both in Electrical/Electronics and Mechanical. Plus I have the Qualifications to back it up. Your opinion is based on a few examples and trials that turned out to be failures, so what !. Have you measured the wind at the top of my house ?, did you design the anti vibration mounts and mounting system ?, Do you have actual experience of the turbine that I own ?. The answer to all of those things is a resounding NO, NO, NO !!. Please do not be so critical of things which you no nothing about.

Your comments are beginning to sound like a wierd form of jelousey. I dont know if you are involved in Wind Turbine Manufacture or not. But to me it sounds like you are jelous that I was able to purchace a high quality product at a very good price and it was not made in the UK.

I have said many times I will post the perfomance results when the system is fully operational. Why cant you just be happy for now that im trying to do my part in reducing CO2 consumption. Unless you are planning on funding the instalation of a UK manufactured system at my property yourself, I doubt it !. So ive bought what I can afford and im very happy with it, now please leave it alone !.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: petertc on December 28, 2009, 11:00:46 AM
I don't think people are criticising i think as Martin said trying to put them selves in your position.

May be they have more experience with wind turbine ( i don't know ).

I did think about a wind turbine on my house but decided against it ( long before i joined this forum).
we are in a built up area but are up quite high and it it normally windy, but it is a new house 2000 timber framed and looking at the quality of the house my guess is that any wind turbine would pull the end off of the house  ;D ;D

Did you get the wind turbine form the same people that made the inverters ?

i will be interested to see what production figures you get and also a picture of the final installation.

Don't take the post's to heart we are all passionate about what we do, we would not be doing it if we weren't  so some views are very strong and have been formed from experience


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 28, 2009, 11:11:06 AM


Did you get the wind turbine form the same people that made the inverters ?




The Wind Turbine was purchaced from the USA and is UL approved along with ISO9002 and G83. The Inverters have the same approvals are are manufactured by a company based in the Neatherlands called SWEA. Oddley enough SWEA also have the 1Kw big brother to the turbine which I bought. I only discoverd this after I bought mine. However their test results using the turbine mounted to the side of their factory have been very encouraging for me. My biggest problem at this time is taloring a suitable power curve for the turbine to be programmed into the inverters. SWEA have been providing a lot of assistance with this, however as their unit is the larger big brother its difficult to transpose the data for a smaller unit.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on December 28, 2009, 11:18:27 AM
I have sold wind turbines, erected them, "played with them", lived with three, been a main agent for a manufacturer, known a turbine designer well, and nowadays give talks on "how to avoid the pitfalls of renewable energy" warning people of the all-too prevalent scams........
I really don't "get" your problem - you are saying that you know more about wind than the blokes who write the text books, and that I'm wasting my time trying to save you from yourself in vain- I'm not in the least "jealous", but trying, obviously hopelessly, to point you to the vast body of evidence which says that roof/wall mounting is utterly daft!
I may yet prove to be  a fool, but at the height of the "roof mounted chocolate teapot scam" I was approached by a company with a "price no object" initial order for 500 teapots (supply and fit) - I sent them packing with a flea in their ears because I knew it to be a heartless scam in which I was not prepared to participate ::)
As you seem unable or unwilling to follow a link, here's a cut and paste from Paul Gipe

"Renewable Devices' Swift

Close up of tied off Swift. Copyright Azure magazine, May 2007.

Something never felt right about the Swift from the very beginning. The sales pitch is aggressive, not as over the top as some, but aggressive all the same.

For example, just look at these specs for a wind turbine with only a 2.1-meter diameter rotor (swept area of only 3.5 m2).

    * Rated power output: 1.5 kW
    * Annual Power Supplied: 2000 - 3000 kWh
    * Design enables use of turbine in turbulent air flows
    * Silent mast mounting technology eliminates unwanted vibration to building . . .

Whoa, "silent" mounting. That's a tip off all is not well in the land of Shakespeare. No wind turbine is silent or vibration proof.

from this article -
http://www.wind-works.org/articles/RoofTopOvertheTopinBritain.html (http://www.wind-works.org/articles/RoofTopOvertheTopinBritain.html)

as Paul says, there is nothing new, no breakthroughs, no miracles, but an awful lot of hype...........

I have banged my head against a brick wall, and won't continue, you're hell bent on proving all the experts wrong - who am I to stand in your way? ::)


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 28, 2009, 11:32:22 AM
you are saying that you know more about wind than the blokes who write the text books


I have never made any such claim in any posting on this site !!


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Antman on December 28, 2009, 11:35:36 AM
Rob

Might I suggest that if you have a new design of mounting method that could eliminate the known and well-publicised problems associated with wind turbines mounted directly on the house, it would be very helpful to all of us if you would post details and pictures....

Regards

Antman



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 28, 2009, 11:42:45 AM
Rob

Might I suggest that if you have a new design of mounting method that could eliminate the known and well-publicised problems associated with wind turbines mounted directly on the house, it would be very helpful to all of us if you would post details and pictures....

Regards

Antman




I will certainly post details and pictures once the system is fully installed. Right now most of the parts are in a box. The Mounting design is my own and is not purchaced. However seeing as the Turbine is to be mounted on the wall directly behind the head board of our bed, I think you can imagine vibration noise is a great concern of mine.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: northern installer on December 28, 2009, 11:46:39 AM
 However seeing as the Turbine is to be mounted on the wall directly behind the head board of our bed, I think you can imagine vibration noise is a great concern of mine.
[/quote]
Rob,if that is the case,my best advice would be to quit while you are ahead,sell this wonderful turbine kit on eBay at a profit,and invest the dosh on a solar voltaic system.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 28, 2009, 11:49:14 AM
Already looked at PV systems and decided it is not cost effective. Plus my DC claim the reflective angle on the glass pannels could dazzel hikers in the nearby countryside  facepalm. One DC employee even suggested that i could paint the Solar Pannels with a non reflective paint  banghead:


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: biff on December 28, 2009, 03:11:59 PM
new years greetings honorable rob, :angel:
                  turbine still in the box,solar dazzling the countryside,reflective paint on the panels, but i like your style.i am going to have a word with my friend pj because he was looking for someone to advise him on a roof mounted turbine for his bog hotel.noise is not a problem but pj would insist on  education,preferably dececades of learning and someone who can get by on not a lot of dosh.i am looking forward to seeing this american job on pj,s roof. stir:
           biff whistle


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Rob in Halstock on December 28, 2009, 05:22:54 PM
new years greetings honorable rob, :angel:
                  turbine still in the box,solar dazzling the countryside,reflective paint on the panels, but i like your style.i am going to have a word with my friend pj because he was looking for someone to advise him on a roof mounted turbine for his bog hotel.noise is not a problem but pj would insist on  education,preferably dececades of learning and someone who can get by on not a lot of dosh.i am looking forward to seeing this american job on pj,s roof. stir:
           biff whistle


Hi Biff

Your freind can certainly join this forum and I will answer any question about my own system. If he chooses to do somthing similar I would be honored to explain how I overcame certain problems. However I do not have sufficient experience in the field to be offering advice to anyone on such an instalation as you have mentioned above. Some of the other members on here who apparently have written many books on the subject would probably be better placed for such advice. I would reccomend your freind speaks to them first.

New years Greeting to you also  :garden
Rob


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: Hammer to fit on January 09, 2010, 09:15:35 PM
All,

Am I correct in believing the Bill can now only be amend? If so then would a credable solution be to allow the manufacturers to accredit their own product to appropriate standard(s).

This is in effect what the company I work for do, we are a (1st tier) supplier to the car manufacturers, we hold a TS16949 (TS= technical specfiication) which is ISO9000 with 'extra bits' specifically for the automotive industry. This gives our own measuring & test facilities the status of an accredited laboratory (ISO17025) for our product (we do need to traceable to national standards etc).

It does assume the turbine manufacturers do have measuring / test facilities, surely they have these to develop there own products in the 1st place? For the low volume / 1 off manufacturer (Fred in a Shed) the alternative for to this would be as mentioned above a single vehicle approval type test as undertaken on kit cars & the like when 1st registered?

IMHO the legislation is inevitable, the relevance we maybe able to have a say upon.

Dave
PS: I thought this also applied to PV installations or did I just dream that?


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: njord on April 26, 2011, 09:32:31 AM
All,

It's very simple, if you have a good quality product in which you have every confidence you step up to the plate, get it tested in accordance with the MCS and go sell wind turbines.

If you lack confidence in your product you kick off in the hope of creating smoke screens behind which you can hide.

Sorry to be contravertial but its as simple as that. We cannot expect the public to commit to spending tens of thousands of pounds based upon a licked finger held in the wind any more.

This is a perfect example of "if you can't stand the heat..........."


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on April 26, 2011, 09:40:29 AM
Ho hum - what it boils down to is that only the "really big boys" can afford the ludicrously expensive rigmarole to get their products "approved" -  sometimes these may be well established bits of machinery that have given sterling service for years, which must now jump through the hoops at vast expense to be "accepted" - small manufacturers often just can't afford it!
MCS/FIT was badly thought out and implemented from the start, and is really only a trade protection clique run by a bunch of moneygrabbing "suits" of the very worst sort that sends prices skywards*, and actually does bog all about real "quality" and service - if you've got the money, you're in! whistle

*in the case of some technologies, has actually doubled the price of an install, and precluded many from taking up renewables.........


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: njord on April 26, 2011, 09:51:56 AM
Ho hum - what it boils down to is that only the "really big boys" can afford the ludicrously expensive rigmarole to get their products "approved" -  sometimes these may be well established bits of machinery that have given sterling service for years, which must now jump through the hoops at vast expense to be "accepted" - small manufacturers often just can't afford it!
MCS/FIT was badly thought out and implemented from the start, and is really only a trade protection clique run by a bunch of moneygrabbing "suits" of the very worst sort that sends prices skywards*, and actually does bog all about real "quality" and service - if you've got the money, you're in! whistle

*in the case of some technologies, has actually doubled the price of an install, and precluded many from taking up renewables.........

One perfectly acceptable point of view Martin.

Another however is that our industry is riddled with equipment not living up to the manufacturers optimistic claims and it is about time something was done to separate the wheat from the chaff. Anybody actually going through the MCS process will be aware that it couldn't possibly double the cost of an install unless the original design was so poor it had to be completely re-designed to be up to scratch which is exactly what the MCS is designed to do and a good thing in my book.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: A.L. on April 26, 2011, 09:59:11 AM
hello njord,

I have heard that simple MCS wind testing costs £80,000. Wonder what that would do to install costs of a small wind turbine?


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: njord on April 26, 2011, 10:08:15 AM
hello njord,

I have heard that simple MCS wind testing costs £80,000. Wonder what that would do to install costs of a small wind turbine?

Thanks for your input A.L. I'd be grateful if you could provide any evidence to support that figure as it certainly doesn't match my experience.

Just so we are clear here folks we are all aware that the MCS is a one of cost to the turbine manufacturer not a project specific cost?



Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: A.L. on April 26, 2011, 10:16:03 AM
hi,

it is a figure I got unoficially from an employee of a testing site

of course it is a one-off fee, but what small company could afford it upfront before any sales?


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: njord on April 26, 2011, 10:39:03 AM
hi,

it is a figure I got unoficially from an employee of a testing site

of course it is a one-off fee, but what small company could afford it upfront before any sales?

I'm just awaiting confirmation of the cost from a reliable source and will let you know.

Question: Can any back street garage perform MOT's or do they have to invest in the right equipment and certification first to ensure the job is done correctly? It os of course the latter as it should be.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on April 26, 2011, 10:40:10 AM
When I first came into the business, Navitron pioneered good affordable domestic solar hot water systems, it is NOT rocket science to install, and this forum partly came about to help people do their own installs, or find competent installers who'd put in a good system affordably - there was perfectly good legislation regarding faulty/shoddy goods - since that time we've had the chocolate teapot fiasco, and a complete "big business take over" of renewables, often to their extreme detriment (particularly on affordability) - rather than buying a kit and "fitting themselves", people are now actively discouraged from that route, and instead encouraged to spend probably at least twice as much on an install from a company encumbered with all the "expensive bits of paper", often seeking handouts to help them pay.
I though it was pretty barmy when "grants" first became available - take £2,000 out of the system by taxation, remove collection costs, you have £1,000 for a grant, take out £600 from that for "admin" costs (giving otherwise unemployable f***wits a job), all to award a grant of £400, which could only be on an "approved" system - all the companies of course on the scheme having shot the price of an install skywards....... end result, LESS people taking up the technology because it's too pricey, or delaying time after time because the grants ran out.... (which from where I'm sitting is barking bonkers).
I don't envy small turbine companies in this country - thanks to government fuelled "teapot madness", a complete refusal by "the powers that be" to begin to understand the subject,  a self-proclaimed "voice of the industry" trade association that was (better not use the word that springs to mind) responsible for much of the low opinion in which "small wind" is held, thanks to their accepting money from, and backing the teapot manufacturers in their "king's new clothes" enterprise.
To saddle them with colossal "testing and approval" fees (kerrrching!) helps stop small companies from ever getting up and running, and is also detrimental to the small companies existing - we need renewables, not a bunch of leeches making money from extra layers of unnecessary and obstructive "red tape"....... whistle

Swindlesave teapots had every "bit of paper" going, and for all I know are still eligible for a grant - so much for the efficacy of the "system" which I suspect has a lot more to do with brown envelopes and handshakes  "undue influence" than any real attempt to get renewables taken up by the public at large......


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: njord on April 26, 2011, 11:32:52 AM
When I first came into the business, Navitron pioneered good affordable domestic solar hot water systems, it is NOT rocket science to install, and this forum partly came about to help people do their own installs, or find competent installers who'd put in a good system affordably - there was perfectly good legislation regarding faulty/shoddy goods - since that time we've had the chocolate teapot fiasco, and a complete "big business take over" of renewables, often to their extreme detriment (particularly on affordability) - rather than buying a kit and "fitting themselves", people are now actively discouraged from that route, and instead encouraged to spend probably at least twice as much on an install from a company encumbered with all the "expensive bits of paper", often seeking handouts to help them pay.
I though it was pretty barmy when "grants" first became available - take £2,000 out of the system by taxation, remove collection costs, you have £1,000 for a grant, take out £600 from that for "admin" costs (giving otherwise unemployable f***wits a job), all to award a grant of £400, which could only be on an "approved" system - all the companies of course on the scheme having shot the price of an install skywards....... end result, LESS people taking up the technology because it's too pricey, or delaying time after time because the grants ran out.... (which from where I'm sitting is barking bonkers).
I don't envy small turbine companies in this country - thanks to government fuelled "teapot madness", a complete refusal by "the powers that be" to begin to understand the subject,  a self-proclaimed "voice of the industry" trade association that was (better not use the word that springs to mind) responsible for much of the low opinion in which "small wind" is held, thanks to their accepting money from, and backing the teapot manufacturers in their "king's new clothes" enterprise.
To saddle them with colossal "testing and approval" fees (kerrrching!) helps stop small companies from ever getting up and running, and is also detrimental to the small companies existing - we need renewables, not a bunch of leeches making money from extra layers of unnecessary and obstructive "red tape"....... whistle

Swindlesave teapots had every "bit of paper" going, and for all I know are still eligible for a grant - so much for the efficacy of the "system" which I suspect has a lot more to do with brown envelopes and handshakes  "undue influence" than any real attempt to get renewables taken up by the public at large......

A heartfelt and eloquent argument Martin and all credit to you for standing by what you believe however whether we like it or not wind power, large small or otherwise is a business. People consider wind power in most cases to save or make money not because they are eco-warriors. All businesses need to be regulated whether we all like it or not and in my opinion the MCS is necessary.

May I ask, you aren't suggesting that there is corruption in our industry are you? I have never seen any evidence of it and to make a suggestion like that wihtout firm evidence is at best irresponsible.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: njord on April 26, 2011, 11:34:46 AM
hi,

it is a figure I got unoficially from an employee of a testing site

of course it is a one-off fee, but what small company could afford it upfront before any sales?

Hi A.L.

I stand corrected, we were both wrong it's more like £100k!


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: noah on April 26, 2011, 12:01:06 PM
My opinion is that good government should not only protect its citizens but seek to empower them as well.
Part of the rationale behind the `encouragement` of small renewables was to get said citizens
Quote
involved
and in fact what has happened has been to limit their participation to that of passive consumers.
This of course is, by accident or design, exactly what the commercial interests require.
Interesting how it is that the commercial sector, usually the first to complain about red tape, can be so supportive of RT in some forms- when it protects their market.


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: martin on April 26, 2011, 12:56:35 PM
"you aren't suggesting that there is corruption in our industry are you?" - excuse me while I crack a few ribs laughing - the Swindlesave fiddle illustrates exactly the rank corruption and stupidity rife all the way through the industry, through it's self-appointed "voice of the wind industry" right into the heart of successive ignorant and dishonest governments.......
In words of one syllable, the BWEA accepted funding from the teapoteers, and cheerfully represented their cause, when people who actually knew a bit about wind said at the time that they were wrong, and it would do the industry great damage (which it has) - now that may just be blithering incompetence, it may be dishonesty on a grand scale, I honestly don't know, but what I do know is that it has set the UK small wind industry back years - why should anyone ever trust them again?.... whistle

Let's face it, Tony's cronies set up these nice little "let's line our pocket" schemes for one purpose - make themselves a few bob whilst sheltering under a "green" smokescreen - these are avidly being carried on by Dave's Dullards cronies....... whistle

I'm all for the "Anderson shelter" approach - we face a far bigger threat now than the hun hordes, we need to empower people, and make the tools available so we can all have the modern equivalent of an Anderson shelter, rather than grubby schemes to "corporatise" renewables and "make jobs and vast profits for the boys" whilst actually delivering a tiny fraction of what we really need.........


Title: Re: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.
Post by: njord on April 26, 2011, 02:25:59 PM
"you aren't suggesting that there is corruption in our industry are you?" - excuse me while I crack a few ribs laughing - the Swindlesave fiddle illustrates exactly the rank corruption and stupidity rife all the way through the industry, through it's self-appointed "voice of the wind industry" right into the heart of successive ignorant and dishonest governments.......
In words of one syllable, the BWEA accepted funding from the teapoteers, and cheerfully represented their cause, when people who actually knew a bit about wind said at the time that they were wrong, and it would do the industry great damage (which it has) - now that may just be blithering incompetence, it may be dishonesty on a grand scale, I honestly don't know, but what I do know is that it has set the UK small wind industry back years - why should anyone ever trust them again?.... whistle

Let's face it, Tony's cronies set up these nice little "let's line our pocket" schemes for one purpose - make themselves a few bob whilst sheltering under a "green" smokescreen - these are avidly being carried on by Dave's Dullards cronies....... whistle

I'm all for the "Anderson shelter" approach - we face a far bigger threat now than the hun hordes, we need to empower people, and make the tools available so we can all have the modern equivalent of an Anderson shelter, rather than grubby schemes to "corporatise" renewables and "make jobs and vast profits for the boys" whilst actually delivering a tiny fraction of what we really need.........
Smashing piece of sabre rattling there Martin it warms the cockles to know there are people out there who are so passionate. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing and people ultimately have to agree to disagree in some cases and it looks very much like this may be one.

I applaud your passion and only time will really tell. In the mean time we all have to do what we believe to be right.