Saturday 24 January 2009

Small Wind Turbine installation

Early in 2008, too late to take advantage of the Spring gales, we installed a small 1kW Futurenergy wind turbine with a grid connection.

Well... when I say we, it was a collaboration between the customer who made the tilt over tower, Michael from Kaieteur, and myself to get it all connected and running.

The location was ideal, being high and open, the only turbulance to interfere with the wind flow being the adjacent single storey buildings.

Installation was straightfoward as the customer had done all the hard work of installing a tower and prepared an area for the electrical equipment.

Within a day it was assembled and running. .. However, as the weeks passed it became apparent that the turbine output was not approaching what it should have been according to the manufacturers specifications. I installed a little wind speed and direction logger on site and direct reading watt meter to try and diagnose what the issue was.. After a couple of months of trying many different options, including the customer rebuilding part of the tower to gain height, the issue was simply the pitch pins supplied in the turbine kit were incorrect for the power curve we were trying to achieve.

Manufacturers sent us some alternative 25 degree pitch pins, and all is now working well.

As you can see from the picture, the Mastervolt small G83 grid connect inverter was used again. This version is marketed as the Windmaster 500 and is ideal for the Futurenergy turbine as the voltages match to give an optimimum output.

In this installation we connected 2 in parallel, as the site so good for wind capture, the customer wanted to realise as much potential generation from the turbine.. Unless the installation site is exceptional, I would suggest installing a single inverter, as output will only get to the rated 1kW hign consistant high winds without turbulance.

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