Alternative Technology at Home in Suffolk
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I have a small wind generator in the garden which charges a large carbon fibre battery in my workshop. The generator is a WG910 Rutland Windcharger from Marlec rated at about 60 watts which has performed reliably for 10 years or so.
It is mounted on a 2" aluminium scaffold pole about 4m high, which can be hinged down for maintenance purposes. The very thick output cables are buried beneath the lawn to reach the house where it charges the same Elecsol 270 AH 12 volt carbon fibre batteries in my workshop as is used for the solar panel system. There is a DC shunt regulator which limits the maximum charge voltage to prevent overcharging of the battery. Check eBay auctions for wind generators
The battery provides emergency 12v DC lighting and also 230 volt AC lighting via a 450 watt sine wave invertor. The invertor has a 13 A mains socket outlet which normally feeds part of the downstairs AC lighting circuit via a changeover relay.
Next we tried a bigger turbine as shown below. It was a Navitron 200 Watt and as it is 2.1 metres diameter and much heavier, I had to move the mast to allow for the all important guy wires. I will report on performance soon.
The Chinese made Navitron was not a great success. It certainly produced a good output, but was quite noisy and my neighbour complained. I was also worried about the not inconsiderable weight of the machine (35kg) and the risk of my mast coming down. I have now invested in a new British made turbine, the Samrey Wren, from Martin at Solarwind, which is very quiet and amazingly light. I have been able to double the height of the mast and improve the wind that the turbine catches.
Here's a handy inexpensive Hand Anemometer that is useful for checking the wind speed at a particular location to see if it might be suitable for a wind turbine. I found the best spot for wind in my garden using one of these. If you're wondering how much power a wind turbine might generate on your site, click here to find a device for around £100.00 which will give you the figures you need.