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Author Topic: What have I forgotten or done wrong?  (Read 3017 times)
damnager
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« on: August 08, 2006, 07:00:03 PM »

Hi Guys,
           Complete newbie here, found the forum by accident (though I had been using the Navitron site  Sad ).

I'm building in France and hope to start very soon (fingers crossed), liked the idea of solar and then got to thinking about wind, (not the self inflicted kind) and have come up with the following configuration;

Navitrom 1kW turbine, 12 x 110Ah batteries, 3kW Pure sine wave inverter, Xantrex C60, bits of wire string and chewing gum. 6mm cable from the inverter to the house (about 30m) so that I get a reasonable amount of joltage at the end of it.

I'm hoping to run a Genvex water heater and MVHR system and would expect max 24hr to be 6kW hence full batteries I could go without wind for 3 days and then have to go back to grid supply. Reason for using pure sine rather than modified is the compressor/fan as I have heard that motors don't like modified (i.e. square) output. Again I have sized the inverter to take into account inrush current (the inverter will handle 6kW for 30 seconds as an inrush).

All of the above is a bit academic as I have to check the available wind on site but it is 300m in the air but surrounded by forests, I hope to be out there next month so have will rig up an anonometer to see where the best location for the turbine would be (OK, it's not really cupson a pole more like a mini semi prof weather station with recording facility and I can connect it to my laptop to graph the outputs).

I'm sure that there must be something that I have not considered as the above seems way to simple. Any comments or laughs greatly accepted but I would like to give this a try (the house is SIPS with rain water harvesting, Bio digesting tank and the French think I am mad) just to prove to the French that I am not just crazy.

Regards

Keith
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Ian
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2006, 09:29:13 PM »

Keith - First thoughts only - I am sure others will comment further too...

One of the first things I would do is install thermal solar.

I think France runs a pretty tasty incentive scheme with regard to subsidies. You may be able to get a lot of rebates (but not with the Navitron kit unless the installers are happy to use it).

I also think the French have a good energy buy-back scheme. Think about selling any power you make to the grid and forget about batteries.

Forget the standard Navitron towers if you are putting a turbine up in a forest. You need to get at least 30 - 50 feet above the tallest trees (even after they have grown) so you need a tall tower to avoid turbulance.

I automatically derate the rated value of a system to 20% and assume I will see this on average. Others use 30%. What I am pretty sure about is that you will not see 1 kW from your turbine - on average. If you do not know how windy it is (I am assuming you have been there) - then it is not very windy! You would know if it was.

Think about how you will charge your batteries if they are depleted and the wind is still not blowing.

How will you switch over between the grid and your inverter system ? Every time you switch over, all your clocks will be reset.

Your thoughts on how to go about it look sound.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Ian
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damnager
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2006, 10:37:17 PM »

Ian,
      having (secretly) read posts on here I thank you for your reply, you have given lots of advice which as a complete novice has at least made sense to me.

The reason for going with wind rather than solar; when i last visited there was a constant (rather than swirling) wind down what appeared to be a natural valley created by the tree line(could be katabatic or anabatic can't remember which it is). this got me thinking about wind instead of solar. yes the French do give good incentives but it is niegh on impossible to get the grants. It's all to do with the amount of money that the comune has and you also need to be tax resident in France to get any of them. For the first year I will probably be "officially" resident in the UK with a, "maison secondaire".

It's nice to see that you don't think my scheme is totally out of order. I would hope that I could produce the required 6kW/day from the turbine (on average) as i did use 25% (close to your 20%) as an average. Thats why I thought I would build batteries for 3 days.

Electricity in France is much cheaper then the UK (4pence/kW) if you are on the right tarrif. Buying it back they do not give much incentive, plus you have to abide by the "Norme Francais" totally (whatever happened to harmonisation).

To give an example; all cables are now harmonised across Europe, in France you have to have the same cross sectional area for the earth as the live and neutral and it has to be insulated along its length and it has to be in conduit (gaine  =conduit, forget twin and earth from the UK). The price of electrical goods (not white goods) is also about 30-50% more than the UK.

To switch between grid and batteries I would be using an X10 circuit (designed and developed in the UK but now in the USA, but european components made in Holland) configured into the battery voltage circuit.

Once again thank you for your input, I expect others will have their views and I expect to learn a lot from this.

Regards

Keith
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Adam
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2006, 11:19:27 PM »

Hi kieth
      I have installed a navitron 1kw turbine at my home in northumberland, iam 900ft above sea level and the turbine is at the top of a long sloping hill perfect for a turbine, the only problem bieng, so is my house!  The turbine works perfectley with good perfomance unless it is blowing from the west (passed the house before it gets to the turbine) then swing about like a merry-go round with poor performance. Turbine must be a lot higher than any of the structures that surround it.

I run the turbine along side the mains in the house all i have done is used the 1000w inverter supplied and connected it to both the upstairs and downstairs 5amp lighting curcit. i have also ran sockets off the lighting curcit for low concumption appliences like tv's, vidieos, computer, clocks, table lamps ect.  I can change between mains & turbine via a changeover switch off an old generator (the one that changes between 110 & 240) this is instant & dose not reset any of the clocks.

I have only had the turbine running for a few months and the performance has been good (when the wind was blowing) concidering there is only 4 110 amp batteries at the moment (will be increacing in the future) however there has been little, if any wind for the last month and it was struggling to run the lights.

I do agree with ian and try to sell the power directly to the grid (with a larger turbine to make it worthwhile) as batteries are an inefficent way of storing your power, i have gone with batteries because i live in a remote area and power cuts are very frequent.

I will know better on the performance after the winter with an extra 4 or even 8 batteries, however on a windy day it will take 4-6 hours to charge 4 110amp batteries and once the dump load cuts (navitron) in it glows bright red & throws alot of heat off.
This probably is'nt alot of help but it may guide you!

Thanks adam
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damnager
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 11:02:40 AM »

Hi Adam,
            Thanks for the input. It would seem from your comments that you are wasting a lot of the power produced from the turbine so the sooner you get your additional batteries the better your installation will work.

Apart from the house do you have any other obstructions around the turbine? The comment about the wind from the west causing your turbine to act like a merry go round is worth bearing in mind. I will have to install in a field with about 100m from the nearest tree and I would hope that the turbulenece would not be to bad (from flying I used a strip that had a 500 acre forest to the south and when the wind was blowing from there it was hectic on landing but if you moved 50m north it would be much calmer).

Maybe I will install a small 200w machine first and see how it performs and then upgrade to a larger if it works. We will also suffer from power cuts (it's the norm in the French countryside) and lightening strikes are commonplace as well so would need surge/UPS for the electronics in the house which I have already (5kVA UPS that I aquired from a customer of mine). With this smaller setup I could then run on wind for a day and then recharge over a period. The met stats for my area make me believe that wind would work but I will have to "suck it and see".

I suppose the good part is that this will probably go up by the end of the year and will therefore have lots of wind to play/measure with. I will be connected to the grid so the wind part of it is purely me trying to be eco (and hopefully save some money) and I can always use the batteries and other parts for this project on something else if I needed to.

Regards

Keith
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Adam
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2006, 09:53:51 PM »

Hi keth,
Depends what you call waste! my dump load is installed in my bathroom (smallest, coldest room in the house) and it heats the room nicley on a cold windy day i have tried to connect the dump load to the hot water tank but i cannot find a 48volt immersion heater that will easily fit into the tank.

I take it chopping the trees down and using the wood to heat your house is out of the question!

Installing a 200watt turbine is a good idea but you still have the time and expence of installing it just to take it down and erect a larger one, from what you are saying you have the wind it's just about having a method of harvesting it.

If i was you i would buy the large turbine and place it on top mast as high as possible (higher than the trees will ever be).
the navitron 6m mast will pobably be to low, i am fairly confident that this will work.
 
If for some reason the system was a failure you could sell it e-bay and probably get your money back. 

Hope this is of some help. Adam
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