Wind Turbine Options

Icon of Wind Turbines
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It is not unusual for a homemade wind turbine system to have more than one wind turbine involved. Two small to medium-sized turbines are a common sight. There is good reasoning behind this. Having two or three turbines allows the use of turbines of a more manageable size and weight; the bigger the turbine the greater the weight, rotor diameter etc. – and therefore the logistics of installation. The biggest consideration in having multiple turbines is, of course that you always have a standby if one turbine fails or needs inspection. An added incentive is that ‘economy of scale’ losses, in wind turbine cost factors are not excessive.

Average manageable size turbines for home installation would be in the 100 – 1000 watt range. At the low end of the scale the ‘Air-Breeze’ is one of the most popular and efficient small turbines on the market to-day. First versions of it were produced in the early nineties and it has developed and progressed to become the most often sighted small turbine on land and sea. With a rotor diameter of four feet, it is rated at 160 watts at 28 mph, with an impressive start up speed of just 6 mph. It is an ideal start-up turbine for the small home and lends itself well to ‘modularity’ in that one or two others may be added with ease as need, time and funds allow. It is also an ideal turbine to combine with solar.

Marlec’s FM1803 turbine is also a good turbine example at the lower end of the scale. This six foot rotor diameter turbine is designed for small home and farm use. It’s a powerful machine for its size, well able for winter storms and like the ‘Air Breeze’ offers relative ease of installation in your own homemade wind turbine project. All in all, this wind turbine is a powerful battery charger and is perfect for small off-grid homes and the like.  Power production ranges from 250W to 340W at and above 22 mph and with its ‘state of the art’ three bladed design it is smooth and silent.

At the high end of the same scale we have the ‘Bergey XL.1, from a well established and highly experienced wind turbine manufacturer. With a rotor diameter of eight feet it is rated at 1,000 watts at a design speed of around 25 miles per hour. Weighing in at 104 pounds, assembly and installation is manageable but more manpower input and care is required .

All these turbines have a maximum design (survival) wind speed capability of 100-120 mph. This makes them ideal for a homemade wind turbine project.

All the above example turbines are in production for many years by very experienced specialist companies and without doubt their product reinforces the view that such turbines are in a class of their own and far outweigh their DIY rivals in terms of power, self protection and their ability to withstand very high maximum wind speeds

Turbines is this range all make noise in one form or another, be it a ‘swishing’ or a ‘slapping’ sound, especially at and above their design wind speed. If the turbines are installed a proper distance from a residence, this should not present any real problem.

Nonetheless all these turbines lend themselves perfectly to any homemade wind turbine project and installed in compliance with the manufacturers recommendations will give many years of consistent power output in all weathers.

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