Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Small Grid attached wind turbine?

  • 15-05-2021 9:16pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,585 ✭✭✭ Deagol


    Hi all, since there's some wonderfully clever and experienced people on this forum I'm wondering if anyone can help me figure this out. I can see you can buy small 'off grid' wind turbines ( https://www.windandsun.ie/product/800-wind-power-turbines/ like this.

    I was trying to figure out is there any way to use one of them to supplement my existing solar PV system? I was thinking that most of the time I only need a small bit extra power from wind to supplement the PV / battery system during darkness hours.

    I actually even have an old inverter from previous PV and was half wondering could you do something like put a DC-DC converter between it and the wind turbine to get the DC voltage up to the minimum required for the inverter? I'm guessing though that I'm massively over simplifying how that could work?!

    Anyone with any advise etc, I'd be most grateful.

    I'd ask humbly though, I'm only interested in the technicalities of how to do it, no interest in debating if I should do it - it's purely a technical understanding of how one could go do it or if it's possible. Thanks for any help!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,752 ✭✭✭ graememk


    Connect it to two 12v batteries and a 24 v grid tied inverter should work.

    Or. Could it be connected to a 24v grid tied inverter directly..

    Something along the lines of this
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inverter-Stackable-DC22-60V-AC230V-Battery/dp/B083S6ZZQ9/


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭ air


    First of all micro wind turbines make no economic sense if you're on grid.
    You are highly unlikely (in general) to have a good site for one and a decent tower and associated civil works are likely to be reasonably expensive.
    They also require significant ongoing maintenance and there are safety concerns around their operation.

    That aside, if you're insistent on going ahead, you should look for one with a higher output voltage that can be coupled to a grid tied inverter. This would be a simpler and more efficient solution.

    What you have proposed could be done but you'd need an intermediate battery bank operating at the grid turbine voltage, and a dump load which is just adding more complication, cost and potential points of failure.

    All told you'd probably be better off putting any money towards a bigger battery bank and / or additional PV.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,752 ✭✭✭ graememk


    air wrote: »
    All told you'd probably be better off putting any money towards a bigger battery bank and / or additional PV.

    No disagreement there.

    But to continue with the discussion, and I'd still say it's financially unfeasible.

    I do have a good location, that could be literally bolted onto a corner of a shed, it's about 7-8 m high, and clear all around. A few miles from the coast.

    Taking the one linked as an example.

    Could that be connected to one of them 24 v mini grid inverters?

    I dare say I could install one for under 1000.

    But to make that back it would need to generate 8000-9000kwh - say 8500

    If it could average 200wh/h - chatting about an 5 yr payback.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭ air


    Unfortunately "Bolted to a shed" by definition is not a good location, the turbulence caused by buildings and other obstructions kills output and puts huge stresses on the turbine itself as it will be constantly yawing and speeding up and down.
    You also run the real risk of structural issues within the shed, or at the very least the mounting pole working its way loose.

    You ideally want your tower in an area clear of all obstructions in every direction.

    The turbine linked is designed for a 12 or 24V battery system, you'd still need an inverter then to generate 230V.
    You'd be better off binning the included charge controller and using a grid tied wind inverter with a programmable power curve, however I don't know of any that operate on a voltage that low.

    You also need to factor in your own time and money for maintenance within any payback window.
    I've direct experience in the operation of a number of far bigger and higher quality turbines than the one linked, mounted at a far greater height than you describe.
    I would never contemplate installing any small wind turbine grid tied with the expectation of any kind of reasonable economic payback.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,030 ✭✭✭ OmegaRed


    air wrote: »
    Unfortunately "Bolted to a shed" by definition is not a good location, the turbulence caused by buildings and other obstructions kills output and puts huge stresses on the turbine itself as it will be constantly yawing and speeding up and down.
    You also run the real risk of structural issues within the shed, or at the very least the mounting pole working its way loose.

    You ideally want your tower in an area clear of all obstructions in every direction.

    The turbine linked is designed for a 12 or 24V battery system, you'd still need an inverter then to generate 230V.
    You'd be better off binning the included charge controller and using a grid tied wind inverter with a programmable power curve, however I don't know of any that operate on a voltage that low.

    You also need to factor in your own time and money for maintenance within any payback window.
    I've direct experience in the operation of a number of far bigger and higher quality turbines than the one linked, mounted at a far greater height than you describe.
    I would never contemplate installing any small wind turbine grid tied with the expectation of any kind of reasonable economic payback.

    I came on to ask the same question as the OP so I'm glad to see some feedback already. This comment alone is making me fully rethink wind as a viable option.

    I'm in an estate but my back garden is pretty secluded and because I'm on top of a hill, I get pretty decent wind, especially during the winter months. I was looking at something more lime this one instead
    https://www.tesup.ie/product-page/atlas20-48v-2kw-wind-turbine-IE

    Looks like a great bit of kit in theory but I can't find a huge amount of detail / reviews in it.

    Is the general consensus to stay away from wind and stick to solar instead?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,752 ✭✭✭ graememk


    The one linked originally, it uses a 3phase Mppt to DC and I did say to then connect a 24v inverter to that.


    If I ever did mount it, I wouldn't be worried about it coming loose/damaging the structure of what I had in mind.
    Id be more concerned about the turbine itself, As it would be near my panels.

    Something often overlooked in these, is that you need a decent windspeed, Today seems like a decent and breezy day. I dont have an ammeter but according to met.ie, Its 13km/h which is only 3.6m/s

    Sure the turbine will spin at 1.3m/s but it needs about 5 to even generate 100w.


    The Vertical ones seem to be able to handle the less than clean air a bit better and the Tesup one is interesting, - although for the same price i could get another 10kwh of storage.

    For me, Expanding either my solar or storage wouldn't be feasible as the only thing that really uses grid power is the car, and thats on night rate. (since april anyway!)

    any wind option would only really come into its own in Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb

    If your trying to choose between wind and solar, Solar is the first port of call. Love the idea of wind/micro hydro but that is very location dependant (my solar installer, showed me photos of a micro hydro he done for a customer, but his location was perfect, with a mountain behind him and a great source of water - it generates a constant 600w.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭ air


    OmegaRed wrote: »
    I came on to ask the same question as the OP so I'm glad to see some feedback already. This comment alone is making me fully rethink wind as a viable option.

    I'm in an estate but my back garden is pretty secluded and because I'm on top of a hill, I get pretty decent wind, especially during the winter months. I was looking at something more lime this one instead
    https://www.tesup.ie/product-page/atlas20-48v-2kw-wind-turbine-IE

    Looks like a great bit of kit in theory but I can't find a huge amount of detail / reviews in it.

    Is the general consensus to stay away from wind and stick to solar instead?

    Yes, PV dropped very rapidly to near enough today's prices around 2013/2014 (which was when I bought my first panels) and this pretty much killed of small wind at that point. Kingspan and several other companies from the UK, Ireland & mainland Europe that were in the business up until that point are no longer in it.

    Again "I'm in an estate" is enough to knock the idea on its head really, you could well have complaints about noise from neighbours on top of the issues already outlined.

    As far as I'm aware vertical axis wind turbines are a waste of time, this probably explains why there are no large scale ones in use commercially (as far as I know).

    Wind is a great hobby if you have a suitable site and time on your hands to watch and tune the turbine. The only people I know that have success with it are hands on and keep on top of maintenance.
    They're all off grid though so makes a lot more sense for them as it displaces generator diesel in winter.

    An additional steeply sloped South facing PV array is a good alternative for the rest of us and is a lot less hassle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭ SD_DRACULA


    I was thinking about this myself as I was researching solar and having something that can generate at night sounds good, however I think I saw somewhere that the Solis hybrid inverters need to be the only inverted installed on the premise so not sure if that would work unless it's an inverter without batteries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,585 ✭✭✭ Deagol


    graememk wrote: »
    The one linked originally, it uses a 3phase Mppt to DC and I did say to then connect a 24v inverter to that.


    If I ever did mount it, I wouldn't be worried about it coming loose/damaging the structure of what I had in mind.
    Id be more concerned about the turbine itself, As it would be near my panels.

    Something often overlooked in these, is that you need a decent windspeed, Today seems like a decent and breezy day. I dont have an ammeter but according to met.ie, Its 13km/h which is only 3.6m/s

    Sure the turbine will spin at 1.3m/s but it needs about 5 to even generate 100w.


    The Vertical ones seem to be able to handle the less than clean air a bit better and the Tesup one is interesting, - although for the same price i could get another 10kwh of storage.

    For me, Expanding either my solar or storage wouldn't be feasible as the only thing that really uses grid power is the car, and thats on night rate. (since april anyway!)

    any wind option would only really come into its own in Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb

    If your trying to choose between wind and solar, Solar is the first port of call. Love the idea of wind/micro hydro but that is very location dependant (my solar installer, showed me photos of a micro hydro he done for a customer, but his location was perfect, with a mountain behind him and a great source of water - it generates a constant 600w.)

    Yeah, I'd love to go for the hydro but the nearest source of water is not on my land and I'd say the man that does own it would be quick enough to figure out how much I'd be saving / making.. plus it's always touchy having equipment on someone elses land.

    My thinking for the wind is that during Nov-Mar my panels really don't do a huge amount. I'm 100mts up near the west coast so I get decent wind and since wind is 24hrs a day thing, I was considering it as a supplemental technology to the solar. The location I'm thinking of is north east corner of my site - I need it there to stop shadowing of my solar plus I have a line of trees on the west side. They are only about 4 metres high so I don't need to go to much higher to get away from them.

    Anything to be said for putting up a weather station in the location and doing some information gathering before going for it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,247 ✭✭✭ dathi




  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,585 ✭✭✭ Deagol


    dathi wrote: »

    Why is it people feel the need to answer a question that wasn’t asked? It derails so many threads...

    Thanks to those who tried to answer the question, much appreciated.

    /unfollow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,247 ✭✭✭ dathi


    Deagol wrote: »
    Why is it people feel the need to answer a question that wasn’t asked? It derails so many threads...

    Thanks to those who tried to answer the question, much appreciated.

    /unfollow.

    sharing a link to planning exemptions for wind turbines is hardly derailing the thread besides it was for omegared benefit who said they were in a housing estate


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,793 ✭✭✭ irishchris


    SD_DRACULA wrote: »
    I was thinking about this myself as I was researching solar and having something that can generate at night sounds good, however I think I saw somewhere that the Solis hybrid inverters need to be the only inverted installed on the premise so not sure if that would work unless it's an inverter without batteries.

    Not wanting to sidetrack this thread but just wondering where you read that about not having another inverter in same premises as Solis hybrid. I have goodwe 2.5kw and a hybrid Solis in mine so would be interested to read that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭ SD_DRACULA


    In some of the Solis pdf files, can't remember where exactly.
    But maybe you can't have more than one Solis hybrid in the same circuit since you have one and another type already?


Advertisement