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Author Topic: BE SAFE!!!  (Read 3991 times)
Adam
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« on: December 14, 2006, 12:12:13 AM »

Hi,
    Just a couple of tips for all of you that have installed or going to be installing a turbine.

When i was erecting my 1 kw turbine about four months ago i noticed a couple of weak points that can be very easly be rectified with little cost and they are both to do with the guy ropes.
In my kit i was supplied with 8 U bolts, one for each end of each wire, if you give this some thought in a strong wind ALL of the force of the wind can be placed upon one wire and both U bolt's (each end), there is a lot of pressure on this bolt and everything relying on it, i tightned mine up as tight as i dare without stripping the threads.

I do a lot of repair and maintance on agricultural machinery and this type of cable is widley used on trailer brakes and on every connection the manufactures use at least two U bolts so i decided to purchase some more bolts to double up the existing ones, but i never got a chance to fit them......TOO LATE, today 13/12/06 in gale force 70mph winds my worst fear happened i found my turbine on the ground with the guy ropes pulled through the u bolts, all the blades riped out of the hub, and a bent vertical shaft (turbine landed on its tail) one of the blades is in a field over 1/2 mile away, dont know were the other two are.

The other potential problem which im sure all of you are aware of is the turnbuckles, these turnbuckles can easly work louse and should be fixed in position. 
If you have some wire left over don't cut it off, simply feed this through the turnbuckle in a way that the turnbucke cannot rotate and attach it to the groundanchor with a couple of U bolts, if you plenty wire left thread it back up through the turnbuckle (making sure it is attached to the ground anchor) and attach it back onto itself, this serves TWO purposes, firstly prevents the turnbuckle from undoing and secondly acts as a fail safe to the turnbuckle failing by supporting the tower.

Dont underestimate the power of wind!!!!!

By leaving this post i just hope some good can come out of this situation and prevent any more bieng blow over!

Adam
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welshphil
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2006, 08:50:58 AM »

Adam,

Using 2 wire rope grips on catenary wire is standard engineering practice.
Somebody is going to get killed sooner or later by this poor Navi-con attitude!

Phil
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peter999
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 04:39:42 PM »

Phil i think that is a bit harsh!! (Navi con)

I'm sure navitron are not purposely witholding parts!! but i have only recently posted a thread asking Ivan and any one else if they have had any problems just like these you mention but no one replied!!!

This is the type of information we require!! not to have ago at navitron or ivan but to stop somone being killed or somones property being damaged.

I have purposely taking my time to erect my 1KW turbine and over engineering EVERY aspect to stop some thing like what has happen to adam from happening to my instalation.

So please if people have or are having problems erecting their own turbines due to lack of kit or faulty workmanship Please Please share them!!

Peter
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stephen
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 04:58:26 PM »

Would lock nuts on the turn buckles also help stop it turning. I have a large flue stack on my boiler and had to tighten the buckles 2 days ago and thought of adding the nuts to prevent it from turning.
If your blade landed ˝ mile away what do you think may happen to the urban turbines hitting the next street.
Isn’t hind sight a wonderful thing.

Stephen
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odbob
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 05:15:51 PM »

I must admit that this is one of the reasons that is delaying my purchase of a wind turbine, I am carrying out more research on this matter of safety amongst other things. I live in typical suberbia and if this were to happen it could land in the street with possibly lethal consequences, wonder what my house hold insurance would say.

I  promote DIY but allways add a note of caution, if you cannot work and install safely then leave it to the proffesionals, I am pretty sure that very soon wind turbines will have to pass an M.O.T. equivalent test to ensure continuing safety
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Adam
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2006, 10:06:29 PM »

Navi-con is abit harsh, were else do you buy a proper heavy duty DIY turbine at this price? The turbine itself is over enginered and more than capable of withstanding these winds, there is just a couple of weak points that can easly be sorted out.

How many companys do you know have a forum like this where all the customers can easly chat about a companys product where any problems WILL be dicussed openly among prospective customers, there is a lot of companys out there selling poor quality goods with very unhappy customers that you will be buying products from, that you will absolutley know nothing about.

Five miles up the road a lorry overturned on top of a car by the wind (dont think anyone was seriously hurt) both the car and the wagon had a valid MOT, sometimes these things happen, all you can do is try your best to prevent them.

ANOTHER COUPLE OF TIP'S

When i checked my wires i noticed that the wire rope was rubbing were it joined the mast and the turnbuckle, not serious though, but in time this could be a potential problem, wire ropes on telegraph poles have some sort of steel ring in the eye of the rope to prevent this, does someone know what they are called and where you can get them from?

Put a good heap of topsoil over top of the anchor foundations and seed it, when the grass grows the root structure along with the extra weight of the soil make's the foundation much more difficult to pull out.

When i rebuild the turbine i will be using stronger steel ropes just to be extra safe.
Periodic maintance is very important, allthough i look at the turbine every day, it must have been three months since i checked it.
If you dont think you are competent enough to build one of these turbines but you really want to have ago get someone that is to help you or guide you or just to overlook the work, any doubt just ask someone! The last thing we want is to be surrounded by red tape!
Adam
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Bargeman
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2006, 10:59:48 PM »

Hello,

I do think that basic H&S would require the wire ropes to be properly made up. For boat rigging you wouldn't use a soft eye or bulldog grips (the name by which I refer to the U-bolts), except as a temporary measure. The wire is always made up around a (usually galvinised) steel eye and either spliced or more likely seized with a ferrule. I would suggest doing the same with these. Any boat chandlery should be able to make up these up for you. Treat yourself to a trip to the seaside.

regards
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ajstoneservices
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2006, 11:03:38 PM »

welshphil
Adams lucky that he bought from navitron and not from a firm in Newark Notts, because if he had, then he would have been conned,  they have taken peoples money on ebay and not delivered the goods paid for. that's being conned!!!!!.

Tony  
« Last Edit: December 14, 2006, 11:07:32 PM by ajstoneservices » Logged
stephen
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 08:48:24 AM »

Adam,
The item you are looking for is called a steel Thimble Eye. Most marine or wire rope companies will sell these.
The wire should be tight around this to gain the strengh of the wire rope otherwise it will kink and frey causing a failure.
An easy way to fix these is to fit a u bolt down the wire and tighten.
Put the other one above it and tighten take the bottom one off and put it above the second one.
keep repeating till the wire is tight around the thimble.


Regards

Stephen
 

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Paulh_Boats
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 09:23:54 AM »

The item you are looking for is called a steel Thimble Eye. Most marine or wire rope companies will sell these.
The wire should be tight around this to gain the strengh of the wire rope otherwise it will kink and frey causing a failure.
An easy way to fix these is to fit a u bolt down the wire and tighten.
Put the other one above it and tighten take the bottom one off and put it above the second one.
keep repeating till the wire is tight around the thimble.

Use 2 or 3 U-Bolts for safety, but it will look a bit ugly and you will have sharp ends to avoid. If you want it to to be smooth and pretty like boat rigging try the Ormiston hand splicer.

Everything you ever wanted to know about wire:
http://www.ormiston-wire.co.uk/

cheers
-Paul
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DiarmuidWrenne
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 01:09:16 PM »

Adam et al,

What is the tower setup like for the 1 KW turbine. I have a site  and am thinking a 1 or 2 kw turbine, but can't get info on the plan for the base or ground anchors. Do the anchors work on raw wieght or are  they piled or augered into the  ground. What is the design load?

Also how loud are the turbines. The site would be 20 or 30 meters from my house  and the neighbours. Would you hear the turbines at that distance?

Cheers

Diarmuid
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 06:39:28 PM by DiarmuidWrenne » Logged
Adam
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2006, 09:09:31 PM »

Hi, Diarmuid
Im sure i got my plans fron the navitron website for the base & ground anchors.
However i own 4 excavators and a JCB as part of my business but i still dug the ground anchors by hand.  I simply dug a hole 18inches square and about 2feet deep, but what i had done is to increase the size of the hole as i got deeper, so once i got to about 2 foot down the hole was about 2foot square this gave the concrete a good hold.

I have allready tried to lift one of these anchors out of the ground with a loading shovel with a 2.5tonne lift, it would not budge, it just lifted the back wheels off the ground.  These anchors are in heavy clay, for sandy soils i would increase the size of the anchors considrably.

The steel rod you insert in to the concrete has an eye at each end, one end you obviously attach the turbine to, the other, which is submerged into the concrete i placed some steel scaffold pipe through to simply increse the steel to concrete contact.

My turbine is 30 meters away, yes you would hear the turbine, you get used to it (if you are benifiting from it) however you could barely hear through double glazing, when my turbine goes back up i an going to use the silent blades.

All this may not be very technical but you can't beat a bit of experence.
Adam
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