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B&Q pumps £150,000 into micro wind study

 
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Aurora



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 8502

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:15 am    Post subject: B&Q pumps £150,000 into micro wind study Reply with quote

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New Energy Focus - 16/02/09

Retailer B&Q is to invest £150,000 in the "first ever" comprehensive study of micro wind turbines in the UK, as the future of its own line of wind turbines hangs in the balance.

The news came as the company pulled the Windsave brand of micro wind turbines from its shelves after last month's report on trials by consultancy Encraft, which questioned the effectiveness of building-mounted wind turbines.

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JohnB



Joined: 22 May 2006
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Location: Beautiful sunny West Wales!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does it take £150k studies, and reports on trials of a product already on the market? Before Windsave was launched, the company I part owned at the time considered selling them, we had doubts about the product and whether roof mounted turbines were a good idea. It doesn't do much for the credibility of domestic wind turbines to find out whether they're crap or not once they're on the market.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree, wind turbines are a relativly mature technology.

Except in special cases, mounting on a roof is unwise for several reasons

1) Wind speed increases with height, and most roofs are not high enough
2) The air flow over a roof tends to be turbulent rather than steady, which can damage the turbine
3) The wind loading on the turbine may damage the roof
4) The noise and vibration although minimal could still be a nuisance especialy at night.

A possible exception is mounting a turbine above the roof of a non-habitable building such as a barn or workshop.
This may be done on a new build or refurb, by extending the roof structure a little past the end wall of the building.
A steel mast is then set in a concrete foundation, located such that the mast passes through the end of the roof structure, and continues upwards to a suitable height.
The mast is thus supported about half way up by the roof structure, this can reduce or eliminate the need for guy wires, and may be cheaper.

In general, wind power is unlikely to be economic in urban areas due to the generly lower windspeeds.
It might still be worth considering in case of TEOTWAWKI, or of course in very windy areas.

Even good wind turbines tend to require much more repair/maintenance the PV which is essientialy fit and forget.

The purchase of a Rutland battery charging turbine is worth considering as a disaster prep, to be stored away disasembled and erected after TEOTWAWKI.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now this is odd. Because the Warwick Wind Trials produced some pretty comprehensive results. While I apreciate (as I was once a researcher) that Further Research Is (always) Necessary, I wonder about the motives of this. Do they want to save their reputation? (*reads article...*) Erm, apparently yes Smile .
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Adam1



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
Now this is odd. Because the Warwick Wind Trials produced some pretty comprehensive results. While I apreciate (as I was once a researcher) that Further Research Is (always) Necessary, I wonder about the motives of this. Do they want to save their reputation? (*reads article...*) Erm, apparently yes Smile .


It's good PR for them too. And, from their point of view, if they think that there is still some uncertainty about the efficacy of most roof-top installations, they might be holding out some hope that the study will come up with pointers to a marketable product.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guy who did much of the work for the Encraft study used it as the basis of his MSc thesis at CAT. He found that, in general, wind turbines don't work well on buildings because, sensibly, we site most of our buildings in sheltered areas. Where buildings are in exposed areas and the turbines are high enough above the building they do work. High rise buildings are, for instance, generally a good site.
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