I want to play with the wind, recommendations?

Rednecktek

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So I was thinking, at my cabin I have an old TV antenna up on the roof that does precisely nothing, not even FM radio. I spend 6+ months at a time away from the camp and I was thinking to myself,

"Myself, I wonder if you could throw a small turbine up there to help keep the batteries topped up while you're at sea." (You talk to yourself a lot when at sea:) )

Now, I don't regularly deal with wind, and I'm going to be revamping my whole camp to a Real Size solar array and controller and wiring and such. My plan now is to use a couple of 100w solar panels that I already have up there and re-use my MPPT controller in parallel with the new system just to keep the batteries topped up.

If you were to recommend a Fisher Price My First Wind Turbine kit, what would you say I should go with?

The system is based on 24v FLA batteries, 360Ah "on paper" capacity if that makes a difference.

I figure a couple hundred watts would be plenty and small, and it would need the don't-fry-the-batteries-controller with it, but I have lots of wire.

Ideas? Be prepared for a LOT of n00b questions. :)
 
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eabyrd

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Man I hope you get answers because I would love to piggyback this journey says I to me. Backpacking solo, and sailing solo have some things in common 👍
 

curiouscarbon

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have you considered vertical axis wind turbine?

i want to learn about wind power too but the choppy type is unappealing to me for a number of engineering reasons so abandoned. but wind is indeed mostly solar driven so it’s very consistent in some places!
 

Rednecktek

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I'm up for either way, the big goal here is that I don't want to spend a lot of money on something and then find out I can't stand the noise or it doesn't generate or falls off and shatters on the ground. This is just for play-play after all. :)

I've seen a few units that were under $200, but I think I need to replace the rectifier since the one those units come with doesn't seem to support braking, so another $65 on top of that. I can eat that if I had to, just
 
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robby

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I have not heard many good stories about Wind Turbines and longevity.

If I was not DIYing one from an Alternator my next option would be this: 24V Turbine
A fellow Ham operator built one from parts and he lives right on the edge of Cliff about 500ft up. It delivers about 500W of power but it seems like he spends a lot of time maintaining it.
 

Rednecktek

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Yeah, I'm a sailor and it's a REALLY long swim from whatever ship I'm on to Eastern Washington to do any maintenance, so I need to keep the maintenance down to the absolute I-can-only-be-there-twice-a-year levels of maintenance.
 

stienman

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Keep in mind that the antenna mast can only support so much wind loading - a wind turbine presents a much higher wind load than an antenna, and you might end up damaging the turbine if the mast fails in high winds.
 

A.Justice

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I read an article a while back talking about how small-scale wind turbines aren't generally worth it. The article was from a while ago and I can't find it again, but while I was looking for it I found this;


Which seems to touch on some of the points the article did.

If you had a really windy location it might be a different story, but on the flip side of that if you have a really windy location your antenna tower definitely won't hold up that turbine.
 

smoothJoey

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have you considered vertical axis wind turbine?

i want to learn about wind power too but the choppy type is unappealing to me for a number of engineering reasons so abandoned. but wind is indeed mostly solar driven so it’s very consistent in some places!
Do you have a product link for an entry level vawt?
I'm interested.
 

Wellbuilt

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I’ve only seen that airX unit on sail boats that are out in the wind in a harbor .
And if you are getting any power the blades are wining like crazy .
My neighbor ( off grid ) has a bergie wind generator on a 50’ mast .
It makes some power but its a lot of work and he dosent leave it spinning if he is not home.
He has solar and runs a diesel generator on home grown corn oil .
His unit tried to self destruct after the blades got covered in ice and was out of balance .
I think it’s cool but I’m sure you are better off popping the 200 bucks on a solar panel .
I was liking a unit with 5 5‘ blades I think it was 400 bucks .
But your tv antenna is not going to hold it .
when the wind hits 40 knots a lot of the units automatically turn out of the wind 💨
 

JaVid

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I have worked as wind-turbine technician and installer on both large and small turbines and worked in wind power industry for 15 years. I know many people who have small scale turbines. I have a great spot for a wind turbine on my property. I wouldn't think about installing one.

They are not economical and they are noisy and complicated. The only reason to install a small turbine is if you love the technology and challenge and you want to make it your hobby to keep it working...
 

Porch

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I have at least 3 of the "Air 40" style 200-500 watt turbines in storage. All broken, all fixed at one point, all broken again. If you have constant 20mph wind, and no chance for solar, then they might be worth it. Anything less, and they are not worth the hassle, noise, and maintenance. Solar is cheap, and has no moving parts.
 

JaVid

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I have at least 3 of the "Air 40" style 200-500 watt turbines in storage. All broken, all fixed at one point, all broken again. If you have constant 20mph wind, and no chance for solar, then they might be worth it. Anything less, and they are not worth the hassle, noise, and maintenance. Solar is cheap, and has no moving parts.
I have a hard time figuring out a good use case for small turbine. If you don't have solar access, then you have trees - if you have trees, you will have turbulence and turbulence will break down wind turbines very quickly. For wind turbines to last (whether big or small), you need "clean" wind, and where you have clean wind, you have solar access....
 

chrisski

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If I went wind, I’d go with an AirPrimus. 100,000 units manufactured over decades, so the company must know what they’re doing.

I don’t think its an unreasonable goal to try to get a small percentage of power form wind, like 10%. Something reasonable, if your area permits it.

For my RV, I was in an area that had winds at night that could power a windmill, and my goal for what I tried (and DID NOT put together) was 150 wh - 250wh, something quite reasonable that could tide me through the night until the sun came back up in the morning. THat came out to be a wind turbine, mounted on a n elevated pole attached to a truck hitch. Pretending cost was not a factor, and it was pretty pricey, there were other things that stopped me like set up time, and something like that attracts attention and too many people to talk to.

THe cheaper kits you’re looking for, most of them are not original. Seems to be made by one manufacturer and relabeled with a different logo. Perhaps this is just normal marketing, but looking at reviews, I suspect that its not a good product, the company went under, and they reverted with a different logo. If you look around an E-Bay and Amazon you’ll see the kits I’m talking about.

I have at least 3 of the "Air 40" style 200-500 watt turbines in storage. All broken, all fixed at one point, all broken again.
I’d like to hear some of the stories behind this, like what broke them and how they got fixed.
 

Porch

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@JaVid @Porch how would the maintenance burden compare to a small gasoline inverter generator?

That's not the comparison. The comparison is between solar. If you have good sunlight, then the best bang for the buck, is solar panels.
Second, is wind, and that is a maybe.

I could fix and put up the wind generators again, but that is putting back up the 80 foot towers. There is quite a bit of cost to up right the towers, including the labor and risk to climb the towers and replace the generators when they fail.

For me, I would rather do the maintenance on a gas generator then climb a tower.
 
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