Wind Turbines

Discussion in 'UK Home Improvement' started by Graham Brooker, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Does anyone have any real experience of a wind turbine at home. Do you get
    any real savings on your electricity. The B&Q one looks rather expensive as
    it is not sold for DIY fit. Are you selling electricity back to the
    supplier (mine is Powergen) or does it just top and reduce your own domestic
    use. Is there a realistic domestic non-means tested grant towards the
    installation. Is there a DIY alternative that is available.

    Any comments appreciated

    Graham Brooker
    Graham Brooker, Oct 20, 2006
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  2. from what I have read there's a minimum 10-yr payback period for these
    things; the 'green' credentials are what motivates people to buy them.
    personally I'm waiting until the price comes down a lot - possibly with govt
    subsidy if they are serious about encouraging energy from sustainable / free
    Quercus-Robur, Oct 20, 2006
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  3. Graham Brooker

    EricP Guest

    Total waste of time and effort.

    This may be of use to you.
    EricP, Oct 20, 2006
  4. Graham Brooker

    Gio Guest

    We were looking at wind power last year and considered the B+Q machine,
    although at the time it was only sold by its manufacturer
    Remember it is only rated at 1kw max under ideal constant wind (not gusts)
    of 12 m/sec. We live by the sea with no buildings between the sea / beach
    and our home yet we only average 4.5 m/s so it would not even power a 1 bar
    electric fire.
    see for your areas wind speed then do
    the sums. If considering selling back your electricity consider the 3
    p/unit max payment and off set the switchgear/ extra meter etc.
    We could not make it pay even with 30% grant and no maintenance costs for
    its expected life.
    If someone can prove me wrong it might rekindle the interest.
    Gio, Oct 20, 2006
  5. one interesting comment on that page

    <quote>Making the arch makes me think that if people are serious about
    switching to renewable energy, almost all electrical products will have to
    be redesigned from scratch.</quote>

    This reminded me of a friend who's tv went on the blink he figured out it
    was the main transformer which lowered the 240vac to 12vdc so he just used
    his cb radio power supply to power the tv. Now I know that not all
    electronic devices are run from 12vdc after the transformers but the ones
    that do could easily add an extra power connecter to allow it to be run from
    a 12vdc supply, this I think would make the greener options more viable.
    Dwayne & Angela, Oct 20, 2006
  6. Graham Brooker

    EricP Guest

    And putting a car alternator/generator with a propellor on a pole at
    almost no cost, *should* be cost effective, and within the scope of
    any DIYer.
    EricP, Oct 20, 2006
  7. Graham Brooker

    malc Guest

    Actually I thought the B&Q one wasn't a bad price as it comes with
    installation for £1500. Although I agree you can get turbines for £500 but
    then you've got these blessed Part P regs which would probably stop you
    wiring it into the lighting ring (Coff coff, it's always been there guv,
    honest). And then we get onto the quality of B&Q electricians who didn't do
    an exemplary job on my neighbours house. I had to go round at least 5 times
    to get their electricity working.


    "AFB Mr Tracey."
    "Underbirths are og"

    Les Barker - Irrational Neutscene
    malc, Oct 20, 2006
  8. one interesting comment on that page
    This could work with some regulating you could even use something like this
    to charge a heavy duty battery which would in turn run things like stereo,
    pc and a number of other electronic devices. you would of course need some
    kind of charging from the mains in the event that you didnt get enough wind
    to keep the battery topped up.
    Taking it a step further a wind powered alternater running a motor for a
    ground loop heating system, free heating and hot water, the fuel industry
    would hate it LOL. If anyone on this newsgroup works out a system I would
    expect a free setup ;0).
    Dwayne & Angela, Oct 21, 2006
  9. Graham Brooker

    Codswallop Guest

    True, at the moment planning permission is required:
    Starts at £200, which is no problem for David Cameron MP.

    How long would it take to recoup £200?
    Codswallop, Oct 23, 2006
  10. Graham Brooker

    EricP Guest

    EricP, Oct 23, 2006
  11. Graham Brooker

    Codswallop Guest

    As far as I can tell, you don't save anything. The estimated time taken to
    recoup the installation costs is between 8 and 11 years. But the lifespan of
    these windmills is about ten years, less in coastal areas due to salt
    corrosion. So it would just about have paid for itself and then need to be
    replaced, effectively cancelling out any savings. Only certain properties
    are suitable. The B & Q Windsave is mounted on a 6ft pole which needs to be
    attached to the gable end of the property so that the blades are at least
    30ft high. The blades also need to be out of the wind shadow of any tall
    buildings. The Windsave stars to generate electricity at 9mph, but the
    average wind speed across the UK is 12.5mph at 33ft above the ground. So
    apart from on very windy days the amount of electricity generated will be
    limited, and none at all when the wind sped falls below 9mph.When the wind
    speed is 28mph the Windsave will generate 1 kilowatt of power, enough to run
    a TV, DVD player, computer, fridge freezer and several lights. B & Q expects
    to sell between 20,000 and 50,000 a year and believes they will be a common
    feature of the skyline within 5 years. It reminds me of Sir Clive Sinclair's
    Codswallop, Oct 28, 2006
  12. The one aspect of all this that hasn't been really considered is the
    environmental impact of manufacture, transport, installation and
    ultimately disposal, all these things require energy. My feeling about
    this turbine is that it is highly unlikely to pay for itself in energy
    savings for the consumer and may well, if all the other aspects are
    included, ultimately do more harm to the environment than good. I
    admit I don't have any figures for this, it is just my gut feeling and
    I am ready to be persuaded otherwise.
    Adrian Chapman, Oct 29, 2006
  13. Graham Brooker

    Codswallop Guest

    I really do wonder about domestic rubbish recycling. I needed a respirator
    the other day when the chap in front of me at the bottle bank set off in his
    diesel Range Rover, pumping black smoke from the exhaust, after he put a few
    newspapers and bottles in the bins. In my area we used to have a once weekly
    collection of our domestic rubbish. Then the council introduced boxes for
    recycling paper, cans and bottles, but that needs a separate lorry to
    collect these. Then the council introduced bags for garden waste, but that
    needs a separate lorry to collect these. My understanding is that 3 massive
    diesel-engined lorries are 3 times more
    environmentally damaging than one. They certainly make 3 times more noise.
    The logic of this escapes me. Is there really any net gain with recycling?
    Is anyone measuring all the extra petrol, diesel and other non-renewable
    resources being used?
    Codswallop, Oct 29, 2006
  14. Graham Brooker

    Innovate808 Guest

    Yes, I have a 1KW grid-tied, tower mounted domestic wind turbine at
    home. It produces at best 6kWh of power on a good windy day, and 0 on a
    bad one. The average power produced on my site is 1.67kWh per day,
    based on a 12 month window since last October. There's no substitute
    for mounting a domestic turbine on a tower, away from any buildings and
    trees, on a tower at least 10m tall. Mounting on your house is scary,
    since the "humming" noise would drive you nuts!!1 and you're shi**ing
    yourself when it's blowing a howler at night, just in case you end up
    wearing your turbine in bed.

    There's a lot of sense being discussed on these groups, and hopefully
    not too many people will fall for the building-mounted solution before
    the truth about their poor performance comes to light. Anyone wanting
    to know the hard facts about what it's really like to live with a 1KW
    wind turbine in your garden, please ask...
    Innovate808, Nov 27, 2006
  15. Graham Brooker

    Gio Guest

    Just curious how a 1KW turbine produces more power than its rated hourly
    performance. From what I have read in manufacturers data sheets they tend
    to state the maximum produced with ideal non gusting wind and before
    regulation cuts in through feathering or braking etc.

    Gio, Nov 27, 2006
  16. Graham Brooker

    tinnews Guest

    It produces power of up to 1kw. If run continuously for 24 hours at
    1kw it would produce 24kwh of energy. Since the best was 6kwh in a
    day then it's only managing 25% of it's ideal maximum output even on a
    windy day.
    tinnews, Nov 28, 2006
  17. Graham Brooker

    tinnews Guest

    Oops, remove that apostrophe! :)
    tinnews, Nov 28, 2006
  18. Graham Brooker

    wind nut Guest

    My household consumption is 8kWh per day, so I'm saving 1.67kWh of that
    per day on average over the year. This translates to a saving of 20% on
    my bill, on my site, with my wind conditions. The results would be
    better in some more exposed sites, and considerably worse in others.
    The reality of wind power is that the wind doesn't blow for a whole day
    at the same speed, and so the peak output of the turbine shoots up and
    down like crazy, with only the larger wind turbines having enough
    inertia to smooth out most of these fluctuations in the wind gusts.

    Despite what everyone seems to think, the UK's wind resources are not
    ideal for wind turbines. You really do need a good smooth laminar
    airfolw to make the most of wind power, and we simply don't get that
    here. Gusty winds play havoc with small turbines especially, where they
    will flip round on the tower with irregular gusts, which can be quite
    frightening in really high winds. If anyone posts wind turbine views on
    these groups, and bases their ideas on what they think they know about
    turbines, then this isn't realy all that useful to those who want to
    hear from those who live with wind power on a dailly basis. I've got
    really quite used to using wind turbines now, and would not hesitate to
    advise others, on good exposed sites only, to use it. For urban and
    other buit-up areas, spend your money on solar water heaters, or
    something else, since wind power won't do you any favours.
    wind nut, Nov 28, 2006
  19. Graham Brooker

    Handy Guest

    My household consumption is 8kWh per day, so I'm saving 1.67kWh of that
    per day on average over the year. This translates to a saving of 20% on
    my bill, on my site, with my wind conditions.

    Does that take into account capital cost and replacement? My understanding
    of the B & Q Windsave is that it takes about 10 years to recover the initial
    cost but the lifespan of the unit is said to be 10 years. If that is true,
    then the savings are nil.
    Handy, Nov 28, 2006
  20. Graham Brooker

    Gio Guest

    Thanks Sue and Chris for the explanation. I have a better grasp of the
    ratio now.

    Gio, Nov 28, 2006
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