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Guest

wind turbine

Are there planning restrictions on wind turbines, I assume that you need permission but wondered if in some cases it would be denied. I am thinking of a rural setting as apposed to an urban one.
sean

How big a wind turbine are you looking at, oh guest?
Does this help?
http://www.downsizer.net/Products%10Services/Sustainable_Construction%10Renewables/Big_small_wind_power!/
judyofthewoods

For domestic scale wind turbines planning permission is not necessary, but there are limits on hight, and probably proximity to roads, paths, neighboring properties. If you are in the National park or listed house you will need permission, if you can get it at all. Check with the planners as Joe/Jill Bloggs.
Guest

by domestic scale do you mean one which could give most if not all of the electricity needed to run an average house. The ones that I have seen of this sort are quite large.
judyofthewoods

thats relative, some peole think they can just replace one source of electricity with another without doing anything to reduce consumption, and carry on using electricity to boil kettles, use toasters etc. Living off-grid is a way of life and many who do, use more sense than that, and also tend to have hybrid systems unless their site favours a particular type of renewable power. I am not too well up on wind, but would say domestic scale is up to about 2m diameter ish, i.e. 1 m blades.
Nanny

wind yurbine

i have enquired about one which looks like it could help out with most people's needs ..that was in december and i have had no reply though they have updated their web site

any body have any luck with this company?

http://www.windsave.com/download.htm

i t seems like such a good idea, it will be a shame if nothing comes of it
dougal

Re: wind turbine

Anonymous wrote:
Are there planning restrictions on wind turbines, I assume that you need permission but wondered if in some cases it would be denied. I am thinking of a rural setting as apposed to an urban one.

I understand that, yes, you do need permission - and that means that permission is definitely not automatic. I'd guess that the most likely reason would be "visual impact", but nuisance, frightening the horses, etc seem highly probable.
Since the best site for a turbine is an exposed, and ideally elevated, one... its likely to be pretty visable...

As usual with 'Sir Humphrey' there's a lot that one might wish to be established more straightforwardly.
A recent planning policy statement (PPS22) allows planners to require the integration of renewable energy in new developments _and_ states ‘Local planning authorities should specifically encourage such [small-scale renewable energy] schemes through positively expressed policies in local development documents.’ Which sounds encouraging, but is a very long way from specific actual encouragement of wind turbines...


As Judy says, venturing into self-generation would normally be accompanied by efforts to economise on (even renewable) energy consumption - not least to reduce the capital cost of the project.

The "Windsave" has a 1.75m diameter turbine - and in a wind twice as strong as the UK average (12m/sec, their numbers) should generate 1kw - which although its only 1/3 of the power needed for an electric kettle, it might (in a windy site) provide more than Judy needs...
Do note that because a wind turbine's output drops off quite quickly with falling windspeed, you're usually going to get much less 1kw...
And anyone hoping to live "off-grid" really is well advised to adopt a 'hybrid' strategy and avoid putting all their eggs in the one basket.

The most economic investments(from money and mineral carbon viewpoints) are still boring old insulation and then solar hot water.

BTW, I haven't spotted anything that suggests the Windsave is actually in production yet...

If I've got anything wrong, please point it out, so we can all learn!
Guest

thanks for the tips Very Happy

I do understand that that these kind of products go hand in hand with economising your consumption. As at home I dont have any of this equipment but as a family of 5 we have greatly reduced our consumption over the past two years getting rid of tumble dryers etc. It is a move toward a more enviromentally friendly way of producing the energy I need than being totally self supportive and making steps towards the future.
tahir

Re: wind turbine

dougal wrote:
BTW, I haven't spotted anything that suggests the Windsave is actually in production yet...


Me neither
sean

I saw something in the paper the other week about a small wind turbine which you could basically just plug into a socket in your house. Can't remember the name though , sorry. Embarassed
sean

That was Windsave, I've just rung them and they're aiming to be in production in June.
tahir

Don't suppose they'd like to do an article for us would they?
sean

Obviously I'm going to ask them. It seems like a brilliant idea to me.
tahir

sean wrote:
It seems like a brilliant idea to me.


Sure does.
Guest

just looked at web site windsave.com
Nanny

wind turbine

glad to hear about windsave as we live on a windy site and that could be useful to us and so much chaper than the more well known brand as they say

as i understood it and in very much layman's terms, you use the wind power first and the electricty board as a top up sort of thing so you only pay the electricty people what you use instead of claiming it back?

or have i got it the wrong way round...
sean

The windsave one feeds leccie back into your ringmain after the meter. You don't sell any back to the grid, it just cuts the amount you draw. Is my understanding.
Nanny

wind turbine

i will certainly bow to your greater knowledge as i havenever understood electricity

probably because i can't see it...................i can see the results but don't really iunderstand why
judyofthewoods

I had a look at the website, but could not realy determine how it works, but my guess is that you do not plug it into the mains, but that you can plug mains devices into the unit, although it does not mention storage. If it is not a mains intertie unit it is probably an inverter with a shunt regulator which diverts the excess power to a dump load (a resistive load). Without storage that would mean you can only take the maximum current available at the time its generated, and any time you don't use the power, its wasted. The inverter would have to be sized for the largest loads you use, and that means additional for surge in stating up motors. There seems to be no mention on what capacity the inverter is, and when it sais 'syncronous' with mains, it may just be the voltage and number of cylces, but not necessarily sine wave power, which means that some electronic goods may not work properly, or may even be damaged, or you get humm.
Grid intertie systems don't simply plug into a socket. First you have to have an agreement with the electricity company and comply with very strict criteria, one being that the inverter must produce grid quality power, i.e. pure sine wave. Those inverters, especially the bigger ones that can handle the power output from that wind turbine at peak, would be very expensive. The way it works with your incoming and outgoing power is a meter which runs one way when your power need is greater at any one time than your own generator supplies, and when you use less than the generator produces, the meter runs in reverse, only much slower, you only get a fraction of the price per unit than what you pay them. Its highly unlikely you'll be making money, or even saving much, renewable energy is not cheap compared to mains per unit. It only becomes cheaper when you live so far removed from the grid that the cost of a new supply would be more expensive, in which case you won't be grid tied anyway. Environmental benifit is another matter of course, but with any form of power, the first priority has got to be reduce need. From what I understand, the power that is fed into the grid is used locally by your neighbours (which is why it has to be of grid quality), as 250V won't travel far. Still, it means less dependance on the grid. However, the powerstation is still going to be running their turbines at the normal rate, its doubtful they would reduce output by one KW because you may be pumping some back in, not until a lot of people did it.
dougal

sean wrote:
You don't sell any back to the grid, it just cuts the amount you draw.
As far as I can tell, surplus energy is dumped as heat from the "plug & play" control box... with big vent openings.

I have two concerns -
- the typical generation amount is likely to be quite small. Power is proportional to the *cube* of windspeed. 1000 watts @ 12m/sec suggests only 125w at their stated UK average of 6m/sec. And the available wind energy will be less, the lower or more sheltered the site.
- Planning is said not to be a problem by Windsave's website, being supposedly within "Permitted Development". But for a domestic installation that means it must not extend beyond the existing roof height (which surely means the turbine would be sheltered?) And for "Agricultural" development, it must be "reasonably necessary for the agricultural business - which is hardly self evident.
Guest

I still dont think that I get it Confused

I know that people say that battery systems are complicated but why are they so much trouble can they not be combined with solar energy and with total commitment to your own system are you not more conscious of what you use and learn to understand with the seasons and weather conditions if your going to be tight or have surplus.When feeding it back into the grid its not reducing output.

but I still dont understand it
dougal

Anonymous wrote:
I know that people say that battery systems are complicated but why are they so much trouble can they not be combined with solar energy and with total commitment to your own system are you not more conscious of what you use and learn to understand with the seasons and weather conditions if your going to be tight or have surplus.When feeding it back into the grid its not reducing output.
but I still dont understand it
Have a look at Judy's website, follow the energy related links, and if you *still* don't get it - register! Very Happy

(Batteries don't actually store much energy compared to conventional household usage...)
dougal

I'm a bit duboius about Windsave's claim of a 5 year payback. Simplistically thats over £200/year saving claimed. Call it £4/week. At 5p/unit (24hr inc E7, approx) thats around 80 units usefully generated. But that's about half the 170 units capability of the kit in constant 12m/sec wind! As per my previous post (windspeed cubed proportionality) I'd expect no more than 1/4 of the 'nominal' output - and would it be occurring at a time when it could be used?
So either they are comparing against very expensive electricity, or they are highly optomistic about the output...

From their website's "News" page it looks like they have someone giving a presentation this Thursday in Newbury. Anyone going to turn up?
Nanny

wind turbine

well judy i read all that about 3 different times and frankly it's all greek to me Very Happy

i think that i will have to wait and see what develops with the company in the near future and see if it means anything more

what i will want to know is

1: how much will it cost to install for the normal household
2: how much money will it save me on the quarterly bill

i know it says just short of a grand on the website but how much will it really cost is what i would want to know
sean

On the payback thing, their website suggests that the turbine will qualify for Renewable Obligations Certificates, I assume that they're including the value of these.
dougal

sean wrote:
On the payback thing, their website suggests that the turbine will qualify for Renewable Obligations Certificates, I assume that they're including the value of these.
I'd like to know how ROC's work.
Their website ("Savings") says "Currently an annual ROC credit is worth approx £60 per megawatt." They are selling a 1 kilowatt system. On that basis the maths doesn't sound too good...
tahir

I've asked similar questions at the AECB (Association of Environmentally Conscious Buliders) and nobody there's been able to enlighten me either.
dougal

Re: wind turbine

Nanny wrote:
what i will want to know is

1: how much will it cost to install for the normal household

That depends!
On how you have it mounted, how high and how far from the house. Its just the cost of cable and the mechanical errection. I suspect they may be hoping to bolt it onto the house, but this cannot give all-round exposure to get efficient harvesting of unobstructed wind. That would be cheap to fit but not very effective. Good only for bragging rights.
Nanny wrote:
2: how much money will it save me on the quarterly bill

That depends!
On how windy your site is, (and how that wind is distributed), how exposed/sheltered the installation is, what you currently pay for electricity, how much electricity you use *constantly*, what the weather's like, whether the wind is blowing when you are using no power at all...
Its very hard to say.
Nanny

wind turbines

all very good points sean and how will they answer them without installation ..i don't know as i don't really understand it all

i want to be more energy efficient but equally i don't want to be taken for a mug....................

we are on a very windy site - one of the highest points round here and although some of the wind is fouled, most of it cuts straight up the garden and against the side of the house so i would imagine that we could have a turbine on the side of the building but i don't know for sure of course.................we must be in a fairly good area for it as there are big plans for a proper wind farm within 4 miles of here subject to all the normal complaints and planning stuff that goes with th really huge turbines...........

i think we are on to a wait and see and read and inwardly digest period of time to see what other people have to say before we commit our hard earned shekels
tahir

There's also debate as to whether they can recoup the embodied energy within the expected lifespan of 10 years.
nathanbriggs

Windsave

Hello all, my company Advance Electronics is helping Windsave pass G83 testing at the moment.

Yes this means you can directly connect the Windsave power into the mains (although not by just plugging it in it must be hardwired). Its production of electricity will reduce your demand on the DNO meter.

It is not normally cost effective to fit a two way meter for small site generation like windsave so if your consumption is less than the wind output you will export to your neighbours.

Passing G83 means the Windsave box is Grid quality power (actually better than the average wall socket) and there are NO shunt loads
tahir

Hi Nathan

Sounds excellent, you should register.

Any idea on my point about the embodied energy payback?
dougal

Re: Windsave

nathanbriggs wrote:
...It is not normally cost effective to fit a two way meter for small site generation like windsave so if your consumption is less than the wind output you will export to your neighbours.

Um..?
Are you saying that any excess power *would* be exported to the grid, but, lacking a two-way meter, you won't get any credit/money for the exported power? (Acknowledged that there wouldn't likely be much.) And since all neighbours' consumption goes through their meter(s), they'll pay their utility co for the power generated by your Windsave...?
hardworkinghippy

Talking about buying green electricity ....

I just don't know what the French government is thinking about with this bit of nonsense - today's news;

"Dans le cadre du projet de loi d'orientation sur l'énergie, la commission des Affaires économiques de l'Assemblée a voté un amendement UMP qui réserve le bénéfice de l'obligation d'achat d'électricité aux parcs d'une puissance supérieure à 30 mégawatts." Mad Shocked

In other words, unless you produce more than 30 megawatts the French electricity companies will not buy your "home produced" electricity.

Hard luck for individuals here who've paid serious money investing in an expensive wind/solar system suitable for connection to the grid. Hard luck too for farmers who've spent time and money putting up little wind farms for their local community. Evil or Very Mad

Thank goodness we decided to go it alone.

Our little wind generators are piddly silly little things, but they keep us going day and night and supplement our solar panels just enough to make sure that we've light and enough energy to keep in contact with folk via the 'net.

HWH
sean

That really is crap. Evil or Very Mad
Treacodactyl

Is there a 'reason' behind the storey? Some nuclear lobbying or similar? I'd have also thought there would be some Euro law making countries buy as much energy from green sources as possible. Confused
nathanbriggs

Exactly right Douglas if your consumption is less than your production you would be helping the electricty companies make money, but this is honestly very unlikely, peak output from the windsave box is about 1.6KW and most domestic homes have a pretty steady base load >1KW, unless of course your a rabid conservationist! One of Advance's long term plans is to sell the home automation hardware to switch in demand when this might happen.

Having said all this I'm sure the hobbyist/ecologist would also use the Windsave system off grid (with a minor modification) and be able to use all power generated. However the beauty of the system is its grid-tie.

The payback is hotly debated in forums all over, basically if you have a very windy spot and don't use electricity for heating reductions should be 33% and if you do payback should be sub 6 years. With grants that the government has promised including the increase in ROC payments this should fast come below 5 years.

One of Windsave's main aims is to get a sufficiently large field population to become an influence in the ROC discussion, at the moment small generators have no voice.
Treacodactyl

nathanbriggs wrote:
Exactly right Douglas if your consumption is less than your production you would be helping the electricty companies make money, but this is honestly very unlikely, peak output from the windsave box is about 1.6KW and most domestic homes have a pretty steady base load >1KW, unless of course your a rabid conservationist!


I think our use would be much less than 1KW overnight as it would only run a fridge and freezer. Some form of storing energy would be ideal.
dougal

Treacodactyl wrote:
...Some form of storing energy would be ideal.
Energy storage technology is a significant scientific/engineering problem, without any very good answer yet. Safe, domestic energy storage is expensive and low capacity.
Think of electric cars. Their massive battery packs provide about the same quantity of energy as a single gallon of petrol. And need monitoring for their own self preservation.
Adding batteries, monitoring and DC/AC conversion, and space to keep that kit, could easily double the cost of the Windsave...
IMHO the most sophisticated storage of renewable energy is in Biofuels.

Nathan's point is that storage costs are avoided by deliberately sizing the system so small that it is covering just the constant ("base") load. But I'm with you T in saying that real energy consciousness should start with reducing that base load...
Probably more practical than batteries, would be diverting surplus generated energy to heating domestic hot water. It shouldn't be too difficult to hack the immersion heater circuitry...
judyofthewoods

Thats an excelent idea, dougal. Much better to use the 'waste' to reduce your own overall consumption and costs, as putting it back into the grid won't make any diference to the generation at the power plant, nor benefit you financially, especially when you have to then buy their electricity to warm the water when the wind isn't blowing. Water is to some extent a storage solution for the excess power.
I would also suggest to anyone who plans on getting solar panels not to get a solar charge regulator but a shunt regulator which would normally be used with induction generating devices like wind and hydro. Solar regulators will simply shut off the electricity flow to the batteries when they are full (through pulse width modulation, a sequence of on/off electronic switching, where the off phase is longer than on according to the state of charge) as PV panels are not damaged by an open circuit. A shunt regulator on the other hand will divert the excess electricity to a dump load, i.e. a device which uses that power fully, because the generator would be damaged if the flow of electricity was interupted and the generator continued to run.
There are two advantages of using the shunt type regulator on solar panels:
1) if you expand the system to a hybrid system, you don't have to get a new regulator for the wind/hydro geny.
2) any excess electricity from the solar panels after the batteries are full, can be used. Typically a shunt load would be a resistive load such as a heating element. Heating devices could be used in many ways, a hot bed for growing, heating or pre heating water, keeping a cupboard or shed aired, or running a camping fridge (evaporative system, rather than compressor - the type which run on LPG/electricity - some on 12V - do not use 240V versions, as they have a thermostat which would cut off the power when the fridge is cold). As surplus electricity is more likely in the summer with PV panels, the fridge dump load would be a better use. An electronic dump load is also possible, but must be carefully sized, set up and monitored, as any failure in the more complex system could damamge the batteries, and ultimatly the generator if the system is expanded to wind/hydro. A Peltier coolbox with plenty of extra insulation and no thermostat to cut off the power supply is another cheaper option than a camping fridge for a summer dump load. If wind/hydro is added, the dump load can be switched to heating in the winter.

Its also best to go for a charge regulator which has a higher capacity than needed, as it allows for expansion. The extra capacity won't add as much to the cost as getting another controller to handle the extra power.
nathanbriggs

Treacodactyl wrote:

I think our use would be much less than 1KW overnight as it would only run a fridge and freezer. Some form of storing energy would be ideal.


Agreed but the PEAK output is 1.6KW unless its VERY windy all night you won't see anything above 300W as an average.

Storing Energy is difficult as others have mentioned and I applaud the use of a "shunt load". My preference though is not to have a custom/expensive system just for management of the power you produce hence a grid-tie system and a home automation box to switch in a shunt load. Imagine a CT on your main incomer that senses current flowing out of your house and turns on your immersion heater.

Technology should simplify our lives not complicate it.
Res

nathanbriggs wrote:
Technology should simplify our lives not complicate it.


Hear Hear. I fully agree with that. The only trouble is, the momentum normally gets lost when large companies buy up the technology and buries it in it's achive, then carries on selling us their own old technology or am I just sinicle?

Hopefully this new system will get off the ground without too much hassel, then the government can bring out a wind generation tax Shocked Dont miss a trick, those bods.
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