Help with new system

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Hippydude, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Hippydude

    Hippydude WindyNation Engineer

    Hi everyone,
    I came across this site today and i have decided to get a wind generator. More than likely the one on this site.
    The Windtura 500 Complete Wind Turbine Kit. HOWEVER, This is all Greek to me in a way. I do understand how
    a system will work, but i need to know what all i would need to tie this system into batteries OR my main power grid. What controllers will i need for both setups? Any and all help would be very much appreciated.
    Old Hippy in Ohio
  2. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Welcome to the forum. I will try to give you a brief description of what you would need/do for battery charging, which is what most people do with the Windtura 500.

    - You need to have a location that gets decent wind. Also, you will need to preferably get the Windtura 20 feet above surrounding obstacles so you can have access to non-turbulent wind.

    - To do this you will need a tower. The Windtura is designed to mount to 1.5 inch schedule 80 steel pipe which is available locally at most hardware stores.

    - You can use a one of our pre-assembled charge controllers which will control the battery charging from the wind turbine. These are nice because they are plug and play: ... controller

    - You would need some batteries that you could charge

    - And the last main component is an inverter which will invert your battery bank DC voltage to 120 AC voltage so you can run household appliances off the battery. You have probably seen small versions of these plugged into car cigarrette lighters.

    I think that covers all the basics.
  3. Hippydude

    Hippydude WindyNation Engineer

    Hi Guru,
    Thanks very much for the very fast response.
    So my understanding is i will need (1) charge controller and (1) inverter.
    My location is great, i have 2 acres here and my backyard is all open. No trees at all.
    As far as the height, i was going to go probibly to 20 - 30' up I was planning on anchoring the pole to the 1 side of my garage.
    As far as the batteries go, i was thinking about golf cart batteries, and or semi truck batteries, good idea or bad?
    I do have 1 more question for you though. What would you recommend for an inverter?

    Thanks Guru, i really appreciate the help
  4. timber

    timber WindyNation Engineer

    Hi Hippydude,

    Welcome to the Windynation Forum!
    Windyguru can give you the best advice for what you will need for your system but I'll add my two cents from a user point of view.

    I just purchased a Windtura 500 PMA and it's probably the "most bang for your buck" that you will find anywhere for a home user.
    I particularly like the Strong neo magnets used, the heavy gauge field wiring and the fin cooled enclosure, not to mention the stainless steel rotor shaft and heavy duty ss end caps. It's a sturdy, well built turbine that has some impressive output at low rpms.

    If you haven't already viewed them, I'd check out the videos since they are very informative and should give you a pretty good idea of how the system goes together. If you opt for the Pre-assembled Charge Controller it makes setup a piece of cake.

    Golf cart batteries would be a great choice, IMO. As long as they are true "deep-cycle" batteries. I would suggest something along the lines of T-105 deep cycle lead acid type, somewhere in the 200Ah range. It's up to you if you want to go with a 12V or 24V system but there are pros and cons to both. I have a 12V system but it requires larger wire gauge size but starts charging in very low wind (around 90 rpm or a few mph wind). A 24V system can use smaller gauge wire but starts charging at a little higher wind speed (around 180 rpm or perhaps 6-7 mph wind).
    (note: I'm not sure of the wind speeds but Windy can correct me on that.) Another advantage of a 24V system is that it will be a bit more efficient if you have good winds at your location.
    I use Glass Matt batteries which are more expensive but very low maintenance and take a deep discharge well (up to 80% DOD (Depth Of Discharge maximum). Flooded Lead Acid types like the T-105 require periodic checking to insure the fluid level is maintained and only will provide around a 50% DOD maximum. Either type should work very well with these systems.

    The Inverter that you choose will depend on your AC load (end use or combined wattage of everything that you want to power in your home with the system. A Kill-A-Watt meter is very helpful in determining your combined loads. It just plugs in between any appliance and the grid power to give you a reading of how much power it uses. A good understanding of Ohm's law is very handy here. Watts = Voltage x Amps or any combination of that formula will help you decide on Inverter to use, wire sizes, size of battery bank etc.
    I use an Aims 1250 Watt Inverter which is fine for my use as a back-up UPS system for the occasional power outage or for running my laptop and a reading light and/ or refrigerator if needed. I can't help much on Grid-Tie Inverters but there is a good section on the forum that should help there and some very helpful folks here that have that covered.

    Sounds like you've got a great location, higher is always better when it comes to Wind Turbines. If possible, I would NOT connect the pole to the house or garage. Most homes are not built to withstand the constant stresses from the pole flexing and some vibration. Much better is to make a tilt-up pole, anchored to a very heavy duty, deep concrete base ... and away from structures to avoid wind turbulence.

    Well, I guess I put in two and a half cents ... hope it helps, this is a helpful forum and will help you get your system up and running.
    Windy has done lots of testing and has great "real world" data to support the information he provides. Windynation provides great, ongoing service and the best turbine kits I've found anywhere. You might look over some of the member's systems to get some more ideas.

  5. Hippydude

    Hippydude WindyNation Engineer

    Thanks Timber, i really appreciate all the great info and feedback i am receiving.
    Working on some funds right now to get my system up and running before Lake Erie's snow machine kicks
    into gear. I am in the worst snowbelt area in Ohio. Cleveland can get 1 inch of snow and i get 12 inches, Lol.
    I like your input on NOT mounting it on my garage, Thank you.
    Oh I'll be intouch with you guys cause i just know this Old Hippydude (55) is gonna have more questions for ya.
    Thanks again Timber
  6. timber

    timber WindyNation Engineer

    Always glad to be of help, there's usually someone on the forum most every day so when/ if you have more questions just fire away.
    I tend to enjoy all things mechanical with a little electrical mixed in (I was a draftsman for many years and was a generator mechanic way back when) but others here have a much better understanding of the electrical end of things than I. (just a 57 yr old hippy here) :)

    I use two pieces of 3"x3"x7' angle each side of the pole, placed about 3-4 feet into a concrete pad with rebar and a piece of 21' Sch80 pipe for the pole. A 5/8" bolt through both angle and the pipe, near the base of the angle, make a good pivot (hinge) and another 5/8" bolt through all near the top of the angle holds it upright. If you weld or have a friend who does, weld on another piece of pipe perpendicular to the upright, add a 3-4', 45 deg diagonal brace and you'll have a permanent gin pole to make raising and lowering a piece of cake. A 2-1/2" to 1-1/2" reducer and a section of 1-1/2" Sch80 pipe at the top will provide the perfect yaw bearing for your new Windtura Wind Turbine. One or two large washers on top for a bushing and plenty of grease.

    Stay warm when that blanket of snow hit's your neck of the woods (probably pretty soon, I would guess).
    Keep us posted.

  7. timber

    timber WindyNation Engineer

    PS. If you go much higher than the 21' (which you really should if you can ... to catch the best wind), best to use 4 guy wires anchored to concrete bases and to a ring placed below the WT blades. Turnbuckles are good to fine tune cable lengths. Higher wind speeds increase the performance exponentially so it's well worth the effort.

  8. WindyFAQ

    WindyFAQ WindyNation FAQ Staff Member

    If I use neodimium magnets, what kind of power should I expect (min/max, etc)?
    Also, how many loops of what AWG wire should be placed before these?
    I want to produce around 2 to 6 volts in 300 rpms and want the size of generator to be around 3 to 4 inch diameter.
  9. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    I suggest you visit

    They have some very nice instructions which outline how to build a permanent magnet alternator.

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