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Wind power recommendations

  • 03-07-2008 1:49pm
    Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭ mossieh

    Hi folks,

    I'm planning to build a house on top of a hill in west Limerick. There's an Eirtricity windfarm on the hill opposite and where we're planning to build would have very consistent windspeeds.

    What I want to do is to install a wind turbine and energy storage facility that would meet all of our energy needs(power + heating). I'm willing to spend up to 30/40k on this(could go somewhat higher if required).

    Two questions;
    1. Is my budget realistic? I want to eliminate electrical/heating bills completely, if possible in future, I'd like to sell any surplus to the ESB when they can facilitate that.

    2. Do any of you know who would be the best companies to talk to initially? I have contact details for a few but I'd like to get some personal experiences before contacting anyone.

    To be honest, I think that our site will be close to ideal for wind generation and I think it would be a shame to not make use of that. If anyone can offer any advice I'd be grateful. Do the companies who supply the equipment do surveys for free or would there be a charge for consulting them?

    Thanks in advance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,292 ✭✭✭ RKQ

    Very interesting question.

    I understand that wind turbines are expensive, the best coming from Austria.
    I also believe that the technology is not advanced enough yet to make it economically viable. (Solar is a lot more advanced, affordable and accessible at the moment.)

    I do think that wind power is pecfect for Ireland and I would also like to invest in it for the same reasons you have given.

    I think it is too primitive and expensive at the moment. Pay back is too long. The technology will certainly improve over the next 5 - 10 years making it more mainstream, efficient and affordable.

    I'm no expert but you might be best to wait afew years!

  • Registered Users Posts: 23 mossy74

    Hi, I don't have a wind turbine myself but have done some investigating. I understand that you can install up to a 5KW turbine without any special planning permission with certain restrictions such as the turbine must be at least the height of the mast from your neighbours boundary, it must be within the confines of your site etc. There are also the technical issues to be considered such as the placement away from structures etc to give the best performance. A 5KW turbine will set you back about 20K all inclusive of civils, grid connection etc.

    I was informed that as I'm on the east coast that there is less wind and the turbine will not be as efficient as a location like yours and I could expect to generate about 12,000 KW hours (these are what your ESB units equate to). I was told that on the west coast that the expected generation would be closer to 16,000 KWH. As I have a geothermal heat pump that eats electricity I use about 20,000 KWH per year.

    Given the cost, performance due to my location and the amount the ESB will pay for excess power which is less than you pay them.... It is not feasible for me at the moment but I'm still interested in keeping an eye on the technology as any improvement on the three issues I just mentioned would make it feasible.

    BTW, I'm not sure if the ESB pay at this moment in time for excess power generated my microgeneration? This was supposed to happen this year, does anyone know if they do pay people now? If they do, how much exactly do they pay?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 497 ✭✭ Musha

    Was looking into a wind turbine myself, again I'm am in Limerick and have the perfect site for wind generation no structures for approx 6 miles behind the house, we were recommended a 3/3.5 Kw turbine to run the house, not too worried about the buy back as long as it does our needs. quoted approx €20,000 including civils and install.
    We are also working on a cheap retrofit to run the current heating system (rads) to elimate the requirement for oil.

    try <SNIP> for information and quotes they vet the product and installers basiclly fixers for green energies. Good Reputation

    Mod edit: Please do not name businesses, individuals or provide links to web sites. Read the charter. PM the OP with the info please.

  • Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭ Doctor_L


    I have been doing some research on this and would recommend you measure your site for one year to determine if you have sufficient wind speeds. I am currently measuring wind speeds using a weather station that I bought for 118 Euros.

    Location is very important turbine should be 7m taller than any obstacle for at least 100 meters. i.e no obstructions from East to South to NorthEast. Obstructions cause turbulence which will reduce efficiency and cause wear and tear (yawing)

    There are some considerations you need to give to wind turbines for an irish climate which I outline in an article

    Finally unless we have net and smart metering it will be a waste of time due to the feast/famine nature of wind i.e. it is not constant in its supply.

    My research suggests that battery systems are not ideal as you tend to lose 30 - 40% of the power from the turbine between storage and retrieval and batteries only last so long. A gird tied system with net metering would allow you over a period of time to offset your ESB bill against your production. There are several 5 KW systems that are sub 20K.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 497 ✭✭ Musha

    Thanks for the info Liam, :D It will be invaluable when we come to make a purchase of the turbine, As far as installing one can an average spark do the job? I was thinking of importing one direct from manufactuer when the time comes it's just the installation. I intend this house to be 80% self sufficent by next year, i.e no oil, lower ESB bills etc and waiting for a good storm to blow down and old tree for the wood burning stove next winter :D
    I'm am trying to give my kids a good example of renewable, resuable and to conserve energy whereever possible

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  • Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭ Doctor_L

    Hi Musha,

    Grid tying a system requires an electrician etc as it has to be approved by the esb. Installation could be done yourself but there is a fair bit of work.

    There is a good video on youtube about the install of a well known windturbine.

    Servicing etc has to be considered I only know of 1 turbine that does not have to be lowered once a year and serviced.

    I would sooner buy from someone in Ireland and have them install it, I would have to see several of their installs firsts. Turbines distengrating in storms have happened therefore the heavier the turbine the better.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 497 ✭✭ Musha

    I know about the distengrating in storms it happened one about 2 miles down the road from me and this was a very heavy one rumours said that he paid 100k for it, it lay idle for about 18mth before they took it down, the blades folded inward like a petal.

    We will wait and see how the industry progresses over the next year and let the cream rise to the top :D