As stated on my weather page, a small 'test' wind turbine was installed on my existing acreage tower and a weather station was installed (with the anemometer at the 35 foot level) to determine if there is sufficient wind at the site to support larger installations of wind turbines.

Below is a picture of the 'test' wind turbine mounted at 165 feet.

This small turbine has more than proven itself. From my home in Sherwood Park (26 miles away), I am able to read the battery voltage of the 12 volt 760 amp hour battery bank being charged by the turbine. The battery voltage data is sent via radio. In the years since its installation, only once have I seen the battery bank voltage drop below 11 volts. At the time, the blades were badly iced up after a period of freezing rain and snow, thus the wind could not turn the blades for several days. In the near future, I'll be able to monitor the blades from live color video using a 1.2 GHz video link and a pan/tilt/zoom camera mounted near the turbine. The video will be transmitted back to Sherwood Park where I can control the cameras remotely (again by radio).

It's been determined that there is in fact enough wind (7+ mph average) so at least 3 larger turbines along with approximately 4 Kilowatts worth of solar panels are being considered to power our future home.

Here's a pic of me climbing the tower, on my way up to work on the wind turbine (which is 165 feet up).

 taken Nov./2006

 

This is the master switch I've built and installed. When doing maintenance on the turbine itself, I need to short out the large 1 gauge welding cables coming from the turbine. This acts as the turbine brake (a brake is necessary since the blades are very sharp). The switch itself is quite large as this unit can see some very high D.C. current.

 

Because of the extremely long lengths of cable from the turbine to the shack below, I've found the turbine's internal regulator did not charge the battery bank properly. I've had to install an external Trace 'load diversion' regulator in the shack. The batteries are charged to their float voltages and any excess is diverted to a load of 3 large resistors (seen on the right, above the master switch). During high winds, these resistors get extremely hot.

 

 

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