Wind Generator up and Running.

9 January 2010

The 1kw wind generator has been up and running for +- 6 weeks and only once did we loose 2 hours of power. We had 4 people staying in the house with 35 Watt fans that ran all night. Also 6 low energy globes of  11 W and an oldish upright fridge that is not very energy efficient. During the building process the wind energy was used to operate a 400w saw, a 450w drill, a 900w grinder and a 450w power planer.

The system consists out of a 1kw wind generator, 4 x 102 amp hour batteries that gives 48 Volt and an inverter.

Most days have  been windy from about 10am onwards and the wind tends to drop again around 10pm. (late November to early January)

During a high storm with strong wind, the generator was charging at 50% above its rated capacity, that is it was charging at 1.5kw.

The generator makes a noise when it is charging and when it brakes.  It brakes when it is charging over 480 W and  when the batteries are full.  It brakes by shorting the output of the generator which increases the torque and  causes the generator to turn out of the wind. The noise is a low hum like a fog horn in the distance.

When you look at the inverter it gives the battery voltage and the charging amps of the generator.  The battery voltage gives the state of charge. If the wind generator is not charging, 52V represents a fully charged battery. If the voltage drops to 40W the inverter will cut out to protect the batteries against over discharge.

When a battery is discharged too much the battery life decreases. The batteries we are using are deep cycle batteries which should have a life of about 2000 charge cycles.  A charge cycle is a when a battery is run down to 40 Volts and recharged to full.

3 Feb 2010

I was away for about 2 weeks, during which time the system cut out because the voltage dropped below 40V.  We now know that the system does not kick in again when the batteries have re-charge.  The content of the fridge/freezerwas rotten with goo all over the floor. School fees I suppose.

Geothermal cooling system

Geothermal cooling system. Air inlet pipes buried under ground so that the cool ground can cool down air.

Geothermal cooling system. Air inlet pipes buried under ground so that the cool ground can cool down air.

Vents built into floor. Underground pipes open into these vents that will let cool air into each room.

Vents built into floor. Underground pipes open into these vents that will let cool air into each room.

In preparation for Monday's slab making a ramp was made to mixer for loading sand and cement and a sunken front to easily offload the mix into wheelbarrow.

In preparation for Monday's slab making a ramp was made to mixer for loading sand and cement and a sunken front to easily offload the mix into wheelbarrow.

Earthworks

The hill before anything happened.

The hill before anything happened.

Dad's bakkie, TLB, lats out to dry.

Dad's bakkie, TLB, lats out to dry.

TLB, dumpy level.

TLB, dumpy level.

pipe coming from Mandy's bore hole.

pipe coming from Mandy's bore hole.

pegging the land

Induna Themba Zikhali and Development came to peg the land on Monday. Induna and DevelopmentInduna and I

It is customary to take a 2 litre coke along to these kinds of meetings.

It is customary to take a 2 litre coke along to these kinds of meetings.

Yay!

Yay!

view to North East

view to North East

view to north west

view to north west

Running laptop from car lighter?

I am off to my land with a spade to see what I can do.  I am planning to listen to my lekker audio books while I dig out thorny bushes.

Now my next question is, say my car lighter was working, would I be able to run a laptop off it?

Energy Calculations

Exploring the idea of using wind or solar power.

Alternative energy can be prohibatively expensive.  We decided to look into a system that would cost about what ESCOM connection fee and ESCOM line rental would cost for a year.

connection fee                            R6000

line rental   (R400x12)            R4800

.                                                         R10 800

My dad just sent the following calculations on excell.   I cant see how i can attach or cut and paste from excell to wordpress, so here goes typing it again.

Equipment:

50 watt solar panel       R1800

300w wind turbine      R5244

solar regulator                R  300

wind regulator                R  300

105 amp hr battery      R 1500               R1500         R3000         R4500

.                           .                           .                 600w/hr    1200w/hr   1800w/hr

inverter 300w                R1000

Tower                                       ?

.                       .                   R10 322

Battery:

The battery becomes more efficient as the capacity increases. Here is a comparison.

.             .               .                      6oow/hr      1200w/hr      1800w/hr

to fully charge (solar)          25 hrs           50 hrs              75 hrs

to fully charge (wind)          4 hrs               8 hrs                 12 hrs

run time

laptop+6x3w diode lights   7hrs             14hrs                  21hrs

(or tv + lights)

Considerations:

– battery can deliver only about 50% of the am hours before it has to be charged.

– Extra capacity is needed to overcome wind still days.

– The system can be expanded as funds become available.

– Wind system is much more cost efficient. Solar is needed to overcome windstill days.

Power

Ideally I would like to go wind or solar power. I have heard about a solar system that you can buy for R500. Apparently good enough to work your lights from.

I would love some imput on this matter.