Mounting on a lookout tower

Discussion in 'Frame Construction' started by Avengerki, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. A relative of mine has a cabin on the side of a mountain and currently it is connected to the grid. The issue is she lives in the cabin year round and during some winter storms she losses power for days. She has asked me to come up with an alternative power system to the cabin which can keep the cabin running. Eventually she would like to remove all reliance on the grid and if she can sell power back to the grid the better but not a requirement.

    I have been thinking of building a 40-50 foot lookout tower to get above the tree levels and then using a more standard tower mounted on top to get the extra height to add another 10-20 feet. Do you think the tower would add to the turbulence? The other reason for the lookout tower is to get a great view and will still probably get built. A generator is already onsite, the eventual plan is to go off-grid with the addition of solar and thermal electric generators(primarily attached to the wood stove). I am looking at doing a lattice tower at the top with some heavy modifications to lower the tower through the top platform to perform maintance I am sure by the time I finish building it I will have gone through several designs and guy wires will be used in most of them to help ensure stability.

    The thinking is to build a shed structure in the base of the tower to hold the battery banks and other items for power generation and even the gas generator for if the banks ever are drained. The shed will also contain the access to climbing the tower to add security since the area tends to have "pilferers". The full plan is to eventual move to an off-grid system utilizing Wind, Solar and Thermal-Electric Generators.

    The site has heavy snowfalls in the winter of 10-20 feet of snow in one snow fall which is why I am looking at wind as the primary generator during winter. The wind levels fall off during the summer so solar will be needed to back it up. During the summer the wind does still blow in the evenings of between 7-15 mph pretty regularly. For the area it is in there is an average of 4.5-5.5 peak hours of sunlight but is fairly forested so care needs to be taken for choice of solar panel location.

    I am already planning lightning protection and will probably have the grounding over engineered a little but better grounding is always a good thing. There will also be multiple grounding straps going up the tower to the wind turbine in a hope to prevent any possible lightning damage, but I know it can still happen.

    As I mentioned the site is forested with mostly trees of 20-30 feet which is another reason for not relying entirely on solar. The trees can also add to the wear and tear on the wind turbine I know.

    Anything I do to the property will eventually used by me since I will at some point be living on-site. Right now the main question I want answered is whether the the tower structure will create any adverse turbulence for the wind turbine? And sorry for the long post.
  2. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Sounds like a huge project. I am not sure what the length and width of the tower is going to be but it should not negatively effect the wind turbine more than a normal tower. I think the key is to be AT LEAST 20 feet above everything within a 100 foot radius of the wind turbine. That is a minimum requirement. If you can do 40 feet, that would be much better.
  3. I keep thinking it will be a huge project too. I'm not planning to start construction on the tower until next year but I am just doing my research and planning and designing and redesigning so that when I start I know what I want and how to have everything setup. Currently the length at the base is going to be 14'x14' and at the top it will be ~12'x12'.
  4. Well I finally found the zoning information for the location and apparently I can only go 35 feet to the top of the structure, I probably could put in for a variance but not down there enough to deal with it right now. So how can you find out how tall of a tower you can put up for the other types of towers?

    Edit: And of course I go back and reread the zoning information looking for ham tower information and realize that the tower structure I want to build does not fall under the 35 foot structure, go figure. Still researching and researching.

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