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Author Topic: Correspondence re anti-competition aspects of the MCS/FITs tie-up.  (Read 90566 times)
biff
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« Reply #45 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. Grin
  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.
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« Reply #46 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?
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #47 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.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 09:50:33 PM by Rob in Halstock » Logged
Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #48 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 !.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 09:59:30 PM by Rob in Halstock » Logged
Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #49 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

« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 10:06:28 PM by Rob in Halstock » Logged
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« Reply #50 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.
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #51 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.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 11:21:51 AM by Rob in Halstock » Logged
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« Reply #52 on: December 24, 2009, 04:11:47 PM »

Wall mounting system? for ....s sake man dont you read the posts on here?    chocolateteapot merry christmas
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« Reply #53 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!)
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/WVo0WvuX7K0&amp;color1=0xb1b1b1&amp;color2=0xcfcfcf&amp;fs=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/WVo0WvuX7K0&amp;color1=0xb1b1b1&amp;color2=0xcfcfcf&amp;fs=1</a>

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.......... Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 04:44:11 PM by martin » Logged

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« Reply #54 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.       
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« Reply #55 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............ Grin
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« Reply #56 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.
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« Reply #57 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, whistlie
                                                      biff,
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #58 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............ Grin

Who mentioned a Town Huh
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Rob in Halstock
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« Reply #59 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, whistlie
                                                      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.



* IMAGE_456.jpg (110.26 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 422 times.)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 09:32:16 PM by Rob in Halstock » Logged
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