Wind Power

With this Cap and Trade BS, the way the market has been going, and the 30%
investment tax credit; I have become totally convinced that now is the time
to install a wind power unit on the farm.
My power company will work with me as long as the unit is under 40KW. So,
I'm looking for a 39.9 KW unit. The price range on all the equipment is
$500 K.
I'm looking for folks with similar installations. Good decisions on
equipment selection is extremely important. Any contacts out there?
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
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Try asking on:
alt.energy.homepower
Also check out homepower.com
Most stuff on those is a lot smaller than 40KW, but should provide some useful info. Have you checked the wind resources at your site? I hope you aren't anywhere near an airport, since a ~40KW unit will not be small or low.
Reply to
Pete C.
The best sources will be those that detail what the Germans have been installing. It wouldn't be a terrible idea to study their entire model.
Reply to
John R. Carroll
Wow.... What's your expected payback or ROI on this? Financing? Sheeit, I can imagine a whole new genre of wind and sun-dances, and prayer.
Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®
I cruised them. Pretty much small home units. I'm looking small scale commercial. My apple cooler uses more in a day than a home in a month. When I kick in the irrigation pump, the meter twists on the pole.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
My banker will loan me for anything, as long as I give him the deed to the farm. Present ROI is nowhere. But, I forecast things to change. I'm not giving any more of my hard earned money to the fools in New York City. And I have little confidence in the fools in Washington, D.C. Plus, I think the fellas in the middle East don't have my best interests at heart.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
I suspect that it won't make economic sense without subsidies. The Germans make some pretty good wind power units, and yet their industry struggles. There have been a series of article in the Wall Street Journal on this.
Reliability has been a big problem, especially for some makers. Repairs are expensive, so an ironclad guarantee is necessary.
It may be better to have multiple smaller units rather than one large unit. Especially if the maker goes kaput.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
One thing to make sure of is that you have "net metering" in your area, otherwise you'll be up shit creek from a practical standpoint. Basically net metering allows you to use the utility as a limitless substitute for a local battery bank to store the energy you generate when you aren't able to use it.
This net metering really amounts to a hefty tax on the utilities since they have to provide backup power equivalent to your excess generation at whatever time is convenient for you to fill in when you aren't generating, at no cost to you. Without net metering, you get to either pay full price for the power you need when your wind turbine isn't turning, or invest more $$$ in a big battery bank to store your peak generation for later use.
Reply to
Pete C.
That *could* be true if the home generation of power ever amounts to more than 1% or so of the power on the grid. So far, it hasn't.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I suggest that you slap up a wind speed data logger ASAP. Accurate local site info will be the key to predicting production.
This thread
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might interest you. It's about a single 10kW installation. The numbers will scale up and you can compare. Here's some more info
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that might give you a best-value baseline.
This site
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has lots of metal content, mostly about some seriously trick large folding towers. Might be worth emailing the author for contacts.
Use this
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to verify any power claims from vendors. He'd also be the guy to call for data acquisition advice.
In very round numbers... assuming a doubling of average power costs, 40kW might generate $10k of electricity per year. Even ignoring interest, you'd need to spend a whole lot less than $500k if you want to make it pay.
Wayne
Reply to
wmbjkREMOVE
Yes, which is why the utilities aren't making much stink about it. Expect that to change if / when it becomes a more significant percentage as commercial operations like Karl's farm start generating at their larger scales.
Reply to
Pete C.
Wind is nowhere NEAR cost effective yet. Consider a nuke installation.
Reply to
Buerste
Make sure that the power company will commit to a long-term contract for your power.
Out here in California, businesses have been seriously burned by installing generating capacity and then having the utility lower their rate in what would seem to be a predatory manner. $500k is a lot to lose.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
I bought an Anemometer from Ed Kennel in ~ 1980. My wife wrote a program to compile the wind speed data on a cassette on a Pet computer. It turns out we have lousy wind around here. Ed went down to Altamont to be a program manager of a wind farm.
What does it all mean? I hope the farm is no near Seattle, because the wind is mostly too slow or too fast.
Reply to
clarkmagnuson
This is a local company that does pretty much what you want:
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They have a lot of info on their website, don't know how far they roam from this area though. If nothing else they may have some contacts in your area.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
It seems like you might be better off trying to improve the "efficiency" of your system rather than trying to generate power from wind. The only reason we have "wind farms" around here is that the utilities are required to have a certain percentage of their power generated from "green" sources... our power rates are going to go UP, in order to pay for the uneconomical wind power we're required to have.
"...will help meet requirements in Wisconsin law that 10 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources by 2015." "The utility hopes to recover the costs through a $91.7 million electric and natural gas rate increase that it wants to impose next year. That breaks down to about $9 more per month for electricity and $2.40 more per month for gas for a typical residential customer. About a third of that increase would go toward the wind farm."
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Have you looked at a geothermal heat pump for cooling your apples?
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How about a more efficient irrigation pump?
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Reply to
David Courtney
Karl lives near Dassel (aka Beautiful Dassel), around 60 miles west of St. Paul, and about 110 miles northeast of Lake Benton, where 600+ wind turbines are located.*
*

Reply to
James Waldby
For Prairie Home Companion fans, I'm just down the road from Lake Woebegone.
I should also mention I'm located on a ridge, the highest ground till you get to the above mentioned wind farm area.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
It's only "unenecomical" when viewed with tunnel vision. Coal power seems cheap until you consider the long-term costs of cleaning the air, or even the current costs of dealing with power-related illness.
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Fuel seems cheap until you consider the costs of trying to rule the Middle East. "Too cheap to meter" nuke power seems cheap until you consider that it's pie in the sky.
That should say "electrical energy". Which means that the effort is just a drop in the bucket.
I'm guessing that represents an increase of less than 10% for most homes. Peanuts for anyone serious about making positive changes.
Both good ideas. But society-wide, conservation alone isn't going to cut it. We'll need maximum conservation just to keep up with the increasing energy use of our gadgets
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and better sources are a must. From an individual point of view, I can tell you that being free of the power company is really cool. Especially since it's clear that energy costs are bound to rise dramatically as the effect of decades of procrastination takes its toll.
Wayne
Reply to
wmbjkREMOVE
On Tue, 14 Jul 2009 11:33:46 -0400, the infamous "Buerste" scrawled the following:
Excellent idea. I wonder how much they want for a little 10MWer job...
-- Mistrust the man who finds everything good, the man who finds everything evil, and still more the man who is indifferent to everything. -- Johann K. Lavater
Reply to
Larry Jaques

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