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Author Topic: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.  (Read 88643 times)
notamemberoftheclub
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« Reply #15 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

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notamemberoftheclub
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2009, 02:46:57 PM »

Gemserv (Licensee of MCS) show a Group Profit for 2009 of 899,000
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #17 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
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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.

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northern installer
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« Reply #18 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
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 06:54:32 PM by northern installer » Logged

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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #19 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.
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northern installer
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« Reply #20 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
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noah
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« Reply #21 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.
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #22 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 !!..
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Ted
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« Reply #23 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.
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #24 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.
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northern installer
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« Reply #25 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.
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« Reply #26 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.......... whistlie
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #27 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 ?.
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northern installer
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« Reply #28 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.
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #29 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

« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 11:55:23 PM by Rob in Halstock » Logged
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