Wind Turbine Installation Instructions

Welcome to your renewable energy system and many years of enjoyably producing your own electricity. These instructions should be read with the 'owner's manual' as a supplement to ensure the safe installation and operation of your Aero Generator.

Before starting

Your kit should contain the following items:

2 or 3 section tower, (3 section towers may be labelled upper, middle and lower);
Tilt-up baseplate for the tower, including securing bolt;
Wind turbine body including cabling and bolt for tail;
Blade hub with 6 bolts and restraining pieces;
3 blades;
Tail including 6 bolts for fin;
Fin;
A nose cone;
4 catenary wire pieces for stays (generally supplied as two uncut cables);
6 U bolts to secure catenary wire;
2 round spikes for securing footing;
4 guy anchors to secure catenary wire to ground;
4 turnbuckles with hook and eye ends;
A charge controller
An inverter

In addition to the above you will need to have suitable batteries, using 2,3 or 4 batteries depending on turbine voltage of around 100 Ah rating for each battery. You will also need an inter-continental plug adapter for use with the inverter, these are available from supermarkets and electrical stores for around £3 each. The system beyond the inverter is not included in the kit.

You will also need to mix up concrete for the base of the tower and for the guyline anchors. A trestle and various sizes of ratchet attachments and some other standard tools.

Wind Turbine Site

You should place the turbine in the windiest position with some restrictions:

The wind turbine should not be placed where children can meddle with it, it is not a toy. A falling tower is lethal.

The turbine should not be sited in a position where windspeeds are likely to exceed the survival speed of the turbine (see technical spec for details)

The guylines should not be in a location where people, vehicles or animals can walk/drive into them.

In case of catastrophic tower failure the turbine should not be within 10 metres of any building or structure likely to be damaged

No individual (or animal) should stand within a distance equivalent to the height of the tower when the wind turbine is turning, for safety reasons. Likewise, the turbine should be sited far enough from buildings and parked cars etc, so that damage to property is avoided if the tower should fail.

If the standard blades are fitted, the turbine does create some noise, in windy weather, therefore the turbine should be sited as far away from neighbours and homes as possible. You could also consider fitting the low-noise upgrades, which will significantly reduce the noise output.

You should attempt to estimate your prevailing wind direction and wind speed. Sometimes where there are buildings or trees nearby a small change in location may make a big difference to output. * The ground conditions should be taken into account as the stays need to be very secure. Level ground is preferred to keep the stays similar lengths.

Some consideration of storing the electronics should be given. It is better to make a small housing near to the turbine then have a long cable run to the electronics. It is more efficient to have a long cable run from the inverter to where the power is required, this is because at higher voltage less voltage drop occurs. However, the inverter will consume significant amounts of power when idling.

Installation

Your first consideration must be to position the tower correctly with the stays secured.

Dig the holes for foundations (for baseplate and guy anchors). Refer to a structural engineer for dimensions and spacing (Navitron publishes some guidelines on the website, but these are for guidance only - every site is different). Pegs should be angled away from the turbine to give extra strength. The base of the hole dug for the concrete should be wider than at ground level

Mix up the concrete and set the anchors and baseplate. The pegs should be inserted into the concrete at an angle for strength.

Allow the concrete to cure (at least 3days, but longer in wet or cold weather).

Lie the tower sections on the ground and fit together (do not install the turbine at this point). Attach tower to the baseplate.

Attach the two side guylines and rear guyline to the tower and to the anchors. Attach the front guyline to the tower only (it is too far from the anchor to attach to the anchor until erected). Thread each one through all three hooks on the top section of the tower (newer turbines now have a tube welded across the diameter of the tower, through which the guylines should be looped).

Use a U-bolt to secure a 'loop'. Tighten but be careful not to overtighten. We recommend using an extra U-bolt to double up at each end of each cable. The U of the bolt should always be fitted over the 'tail' of the cable.

The lower end of the catenary wire fits through the eye of the turnbuckle. Try to keep all stays roughly the same length. Ensure the turnbuckles are adjusted to around the mid point to give some leeway with peg positioning.

Fit the turnbuckle to the guy anchors

The two guylines to the side of the tower can be tensioned, which will help stabilise the tower during erection. The rear guyline should be shortened to similar length.

WARNING: A falling tower is lethal, always ensure you are out of its possible falling zone and take extreme caution, don't work on a turbine when you're tired or it's windy

Tower and Turbine Installation

Do not work on the turbine again until cement is fully cured.

Balance the Blades - there are various methods of balancing. First attach the blades to the hub using the bolts provided. Before tightening, whilst there is still some movement available, ensure that the tips of each blade is the same distance from the centre of the hub. Also ensure that the distance between each blade tip and the next is the same (This ensures that the blades are mounted at exactly 120degrees. Once the blades are aligned, tighten the bolts, taking care not to disturb the position of the blades whilst doing so. The blades can now be balanced by mounting the blades on the turbine in windless conditions (may need to be done indoors, if it is windy). Position one blade at the 3o'clock position. Hang a suitable weight (eg bent piece of lead or a weight attached to a large hook) over the blade close to the hub. Unless the weight is particularly heavy, it should not move. Gradually move the weight outwards, until the blade just starts to move. Mark the position on the blade. Repeat for the other two blades. If the positions are all the same, then the hub is in balance. If one blade mark is further out from the hub than the others, then this blade is lighter, and more weight needs to be added. You can adjust the balance either by adding weight to the hub (e.g. sections of lead or steel secured by the bolts). Alternatively, you can bore holes in the tip of the blades or bore holes, and epoxy small roles of lead into the holes. Ensure that holes are sealed after use, to prevent water ingress into blade (which will cause blade to become out-of-balance).

Once the concrete has cured, place the wind turbine body on the top tower section threading the electrical cable through the tower first. It is easiest to do this section by section, pulling the cable fully through the top section before threading it through the middle section. Secure the wind turbine body to the tower (6 bolts on larger models).

Once threaded, reassemble tower and use a support (e.g. a carpenter's trestle) to support the tower and turbine to give ground clearance.

Take the long tail and attach to the turbine using the bolt provided. It only fits one way.

Bolt on the fin to the tail, again it only fits one way.

If you have assistance to raise the tower you may also wish to add the hub and blades and the nosecone. Some people prefer to assemble the hub and blades then place on the turbine once it is up using a long properly secured ladder/step ladder/tower scaffolding.

The standard blades only fit one way on the hub (The convex side always is to the rear of the turbine). The low noise blades can be accidentally fitted the wrong way around - so ensure that they are correctly fitted, or the turbine will spin slowly and generate insignificant power. (If you are looking straight at the front of the turbine, at a blade sitting at 3 o'clock position, the upper edge will be the thinner edge of the blade). Be careful not to over tighten the bolts securing them.

Tie one blade (not too tight) to the tower to prevent the blades from turning until the electronics are complete.

Electronics Installation

SAFETY WARNING – Always remove all metallic jewellery before working on any electronics equipment, especially batteries. Short circuits of batteries to jewellery can lead to loss of a finger: you must take off jewellery and rings especially. # Wiring is straightforward if you follow the labels on the equipment.

The wind turbine and its electronics will be damaged (outside of warranty) if allowed to run without all connections being made and batteries in the circuit. Never run it any other way. Do not attempt to run any electrical equipment directly from the wind turbine without the batteries and charge controller being connected.

The cable from the turbine is 3 phase, this means all have the same output. They connect to the regulator where the three terminals are labelled 'to wind turbine'. Take off the outer sheathing of the cable to expose the 3 wires inside, cut the string, and remove the sheathing of these wires and attach.

For connection to battery follow the labels, ensure you have the correct polarity

Ensure the batteries are arranging in series correctly. Ensure that a battery fuse is used.To make 2 x 12 volt batteries into a 24 volt bank, one of the negative terminals must be connected to the other batteries positive (just like putting two batteries in a torch). This method extends to 3 or 4 batteries to make 36 or 48 volt banks. Test the voltage with a multimeter to check the bank voltage is correct (though please note 12 volt batteries should measure over 12.5 volts and can measure as much as 14 volts, this is normal).

The inverter should now be connected following the labels. The inverter does not have to be switched on constantly, you can keep it off to save power if not in use. Please ensure that there is no load connected to the inverter when it is switched on - this can cause inverter damage.

Please note, if you have connected batteries with a low state of charge the inverter may show a voltage error. Give your batteries time to charge if this is the case. The inverter will cut out when the voltage falls below a critical level to prevent battery damage and if the voltage rises above a critical level, to avoid damaging the inverter or equipment connected to it.

Batteries are critical to the system. Many types that look ok are in fact not suitable. Car batteries are not designed for lengthy usage and are not appropriate. Do not use gel cell batteries - these are designed for constant current charging through part of their charge cycle - you cannot do this with wind power! Instead, we recommend that you use deep cycle wet lead-acid batteries. We can supply these at competitive prices if required - please ask for details.

In most cases, you should also fit a diversion load controller to prevent overcharging of the batteries - we recommend using the Morning Star TRISTAR or similar. This will connect a load to the battery to soak up excess power if the turbine is still charging after the battery is fully charged. You will need to connect a dump load to the Morning Star controller rated at least as high as the turbine, and preferrably 50% higher. Please see Morning Star documentation for more details. Navitron can supply suitable dump loads, but you may need two or three depending on the power output of your turbine and the voltage.

Wind Conditions

our wind turbine is a low-wind speed model - this means that it is designed to provide decent amounts of power in low wind speeds when other wind turbines would be producing little or nothing. However, it is not designed to operate at high wind speeds - the maximum wind speed it can handle is 40m/s. If you expect winds above this speed, then the turbine should be immobilised - either by lowering to the ground, tying a blade to the tower. You can apply braking electrically by shorting out the turbine windings if the turbine is spinning slowly (to allow you to secure the blade).

Do not rely on electical braking in strong winds, and be aware that strong winds can overcome the electrical braking, causing high currents which can burn out windings. If you intend to use the turbine in an exposed site, where wind speeds or gusts regularly exceed this maximum, you can trim the blade length to improve the wind-resistance. In some cases, high resistance blades are available off-the-shelf. However, this will reduce the sensitivity and will reduce the output in low wind conditions.

Your Aero Generator will now give you many years of trouble free service. If you need any other equipment or need to have a larger machine in the future or perhaps have a local market and wish to purchase a number of turbines please get in contact with us.

Until then, happy wind turbining!

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