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Small wind turbine useful in urban area ?
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Joules



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 255
Location: Canterbury, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:


Another approach would be use an inverter to supply the lighting circuits, thus permitting use of standard 240 volt lamps, and any bell transformers, boiler controls, fans etc. that may connected to the lighting circuit.
It would be possible to have manuall or automatic changeover between grid and inverter power.
Use the wind turbine/inverter supply whenever the battery is nearly full, selecting grid power when the battery drops below say 75%.
This would ensure that maximum use of the wind power is made, but also that at least 75% of the battery capacity is available for blackouts.

Dependant on the load, amount of wind, and the battery size, this would give a few days unlimited use of lighting, and more restricted use indefinatly.


This is the sort of thing I've had in mind for some time now Adam, especially since I live beside the site of a one-time wind mill, so i reckon there might be a decent amount of wind for it! Can you suggest one or two makes of inverter, batteries and changeover switches that might be suitable for the job? I'll have to get an electrician in to do it but I wouldn't necessarily want to have to take his recommendations... or PM me if you fancy a weekend in the countryside Wink

Joules.
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corktree



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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I'm new here and I'm looking at switching to wind. There is excellent wind here even on a relatively calm day. We are in an urban setting but there is almost a wind tunnel between the houses leading to our garden. Are there planning restrictions on erecting these in an urban setting?
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:

Another approach would be use an inverter to supply the lighting circuits, thus permitting use of standard 240 volt lamps, and any bell transformers, boiler controls, fans etc.


If you were to use the circuit to make the central heating function, the circulating pump takes around 65W and the boiler could have a demand up to around 90W.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
adam2 wrote:

Another approach would be use an inverter to supply the lighting circuits, thus permitting use of standard 240 volt lamps, and any bell transformers, boiler controls, fans etc.


If you were to use the circuit to make the central heating function, the circulating pump takes around 65W and the boiler could have a demand up to around 90W.


True, I consider it poor practice to put the central heating on a lighting circuit, but this is often done.
If the lighting circuit is to be supplied from an inverter, then this would also supply the central heating which could be very useful, but the load may be excessive leading to running down of the battery.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
If you were to use the circuit to make the central heating function, the circulating pump takes around 65W and the boiler could have a demand up to around 90W.


wb, do mind clarifying something for me? What kind of a boiler only consumes 90W? 'scuse me for being thick!
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joules wrote:
[
This is the sort of thing I've had in mind for some time now Adam, especially since I live beside the site of a one-time wind mill, so i reckon there might be a decent amount of wind for it! Can you suggest one or two makes of inverter, batteries and changeover switches that might be suitable for the job? I'll have to get an electrician in to do it but I wouldn't necessarily want to have to take his recommendations... or PM me if you fancy a weekend in the countryside Wink

Joules.


Xantrax (formerly trace engineering) have a good reputation for inverters.

Any type of battery suitable for deep cycling can be used. For least first cost consider the leisure batteries as sold for use in boats and caravans.
Trojan batteries have a good reputation, and may be obtained from any reputable RE dealer.

The changeover switch that you require is called a 2 pole, 2 way, break before make, switch, can be obtained from any good wholesaler.

Many inverters have provision for a mains or generator input, which may avoid the need for a changeover switch.
The drawback of such an arrangement is that when mains is supplied to the inverter, this not only supplies the load, but also charges the battery using grid power. This might mean that some wind input is wasted, if the battery is already fully charged from the grid.

A manuall changeover switch might be better, such that the load may be transfered to grid power when the battery is low, but not useing grid power for battery charging, let the wind turbine do that.

I would suggest wiring as follows

1) wind turbine charges battery via a suitable controller. Provision for solar charging as well.

2) the lighting circuits and perhaps other loads are connected to a changeover switch, wired to permit of these loads being supplied by either the grid or the inverter.

3) If the inverter has a mains/generator input then dont use this normally, but have it wired to a male inlet plug*. Store a suitable lead with a standard mains plug on one end, and a trailing socket on the other end.
In emergency, this may be used to charge the battery from the grid, or from a portable generator.

4) If the inverter is big enough, then consider a 13 amp socket wired to the inverter output, in order to permit of VERY LIMITED use of large loading appliances. It is most unlikely that sufficient wind generated power will be available for regular use of such.

* IT IS VITAL THAT THE CORRECT CONNECTOR IS USED HERE it must be a male inlet connector, sometimes called an appliance inlet, or a caravan inlet.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES must a standard socket be used, since this would require the connecting lead to have a male plug on each end, with consequent risk of fatal electric shock.
Such male to male leads are known with good reason as suicide leads, and should never be used.
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Last edited by adam2 on Thu May 28, 2009 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
woodburner wrote:
If you were to use the circuit to make the central heating function, the circulating pump takes around 65W and the boiler could have a demand up to around 90W.


wb, do mind clarifying something for me? What kind of a boiler only consumes 90W? 'scuse me for being thick!


An electric boiler would normally use at least 8,000 watts, and often more.

But here we are talking about a gas, or perhaps oil, burning boiler in which the principle energy input is from burning gas or oil.
Electricity is only required for controls, ignition, circulation pump, and sometimes a flue fan.
The consumption of these varies somwhat but is typicly in the range of 60 watts to 200 watts in total. When the boiler cycles off because the required temperature has been reached, then the load is very much less, perhaps a few watts.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aah, yes, of course. Sorry.
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Joules



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 255
Location: Canterbury, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
Joules wrote:
[
This is the sort of thing I've had in mind for some time now Adam, especially since I live beside the site of a one-time wind mill, so i reckon there might be a decent amount of wind for it! Can you suggest one or two makes of inverter, batteries and changeover switches that might be suitable for the job? I'll have to get an electrician in to do it but I wouldn't necessarily want to have to take his recommendations... or PM me if you fancy a weekend in the countryside Wink

Joules.


Xantrax (formerly trace engineering) have a good reputation for inverters.

Any type of battery suitable for deep cycling can be used. For least first cost consider the leisure batteries as sold for use in boats and caravans.
Trojan batteries have a good reputation, and may be obtained from any reputable RE dealer.

The changeover switch that you require is called a 2 pole, 2 way, break before make, switch, can be obtained from any good wholesaler.

Many inverters have provision for a mains or generator input, which may avoid the need for a changeover switch.
The drawback of such an arrangement is that when mains is supplied to the inverter, this not only supplies the load, but also charges the battery using grid power. This might mean that some wind input is wasted, if the battery is already fully charged from the grid.

A manuall changeover switch might be better, such that the load may be transfered to grid power when the battery is low, but not useing grid power for battery charging, let the wind turbine do that.

I would suggest wiring as follows

1) wind turbine charges battery via a suitable controller. Provision for solar charging as well.

2) the lighting circuits and perhaps other loads are connected to a changeover switch, wired to permit of these loads being supplied by either the grid or the inverter.

3) If the inverter has a mains/generator input then dont use this normally, but have it wired to a male inlet plug*. Store a suitable lead with a standard mains plug on one end, and a trailing socket on the other end.
In emergency, this may be used to charge the battery from the grid, or from a portable generator.

4) If the inverter is big enough, then consider a 13 amp socket wired to the inverter output, in order to permit of VERY LIMITED use of large loading appliances. It is most unlikely that sufficient wind generated power will be available for regular use of such.

* IT IS VITAL THAT THE CORRECT CONNECTOR IS USED HERE it must be a male inlet connector, sometimes called an appliance inlet, or a caravan inlet.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES must a standard socket be used, since this would require the connecting lead to have a male plug on each end, with consequent risk of fatal electric shock.
Such male to male leads are known with good reason as suicide leads, and should never be used.


Fantastic. Thanks Adam!

Joules.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:

* IT IS VITAL THAT THE CORRECT CONNECTOR IS USED HERE it must be a male inlet connector, sometimes called an appliance inlet, or a caravan inlet.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES must a standard socket be used, since this would require the connecting lead to have a male plug on each end, with consequent risk of fatal electric shock.
Such male to male leads are known with good reason as suicide leads, and should never be used.



Eee.. that takes me back. My parents bought a caravan with a mains lead like that. I soon found out it was not a good idea Very Happy
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JohnB



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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
* IT IS VITAL THAT THE CORRECT CONNECTOR IS USED HERE it must be a male inlet connector, sometimes called an appliance inlet, or a caravan inlet.

As my lead and camera were in reach from my computer (the advantage of living in a small space Very Happy), here's a picture of one to help avoid any deaths!

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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The blue connector pictured above appears to be a trailing socket, and is NOT what is required to be fitted to an inverter for generator or grid input.

To safely feed mains voltage into an inverter, the inverter must be fitted with a plug, not with a socket.
A trailing plug could be used, but a better and neater job would be to use a fixed, panel mounted plug, as should be fitted to a caravan.

The blue trailing socket pictured above, is what should be connected to the mains or generator, and used to feed power into the inverter from the mains or from a generator.

To safely supply power into an inverter, is very similar to supplying power into a caravan.
The caravan or inverter should be fitted with a fixed plug, sometimes called an appliance inlet, or a caravan inlet.
The source of power such as a generator or a mains supply to a camping pitch should be fitted with a 16 amp socket
The owner of the caravan or inverter should be equiped with a suitable length of cable, one end has a trailing plug to be inserted into the socket that is wired to the mains or generator. The other end has a trailing socket, to be coupled with the fixed plug attached to the inverter or caravan.
If the available supply is a 13 amp domestic type, then a short lead with a 13 amp plug and a 16 amp trailing socket should be used, as pictured.
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