Q: Why wind as my source of energy ?
A: There is little doubt that global CO2 emissions have to be greatly reduced if we are to halt global warming. Wind energy produces more watts per euro invested than any other type of renewable energy. Admittedly if there is no wind you will not be generating...BUT...when there is wind (above 3.2 m per second) you will be generating 24/7, day or night. Emissions are virtually nil.
Q: What power can expect, and what can I use it for ?
A: In reality, a 1KW wind turbine will only give you 1KW of power if the wind is blowing at a constant 12.5m/s speed. In practice you should expect to get 20% of this on a good site, with good average wind conditions. This will represent anything from 0 to 4KW of power per day. To most people this figure means nothing much, and so, to put this in laymen's terms, if you produce 3KW of power over a 24 hour period, this is the equivalent of boiling your kettle for a full hour constantly in any one day. Similarly, if you produce 1KW of power, you could operate your toaster for 1 hour constantly over a single day. This demonstrates how much power you can expect to receive from your turbine. You can use this power to store into batteries, for use with an inverter for powering outbuildings or a remote office, or just to power the lighting in your house. Alternatively, you can connect the turbine to a grid-tied inverter and share the turbine power with the "mains" power in your house/office. This will simply reduce your bills by varying amounts each day depending on the wind conditions, and you should notice a drop in your monthly electricity bills of a few percent to 30% at most, depending on how windy your site really is.
Q: Do I need planning permission ?
A: If your turbine tower is classed as a temporary structure, we believe, provided the tower is less than 6 metres in height, will probably not need specific planning approval. There is very little precedent but before you install you should check with your Local Authority planning department.
Q: What power can I expect to generate at different wind speeds ?
A: pdf downloads are available in the Products section of this site in graph and numerical formats.
Q: What noise can I expect to hear from the turbine at different wind speeds ?
A: The noise figures shown on our Products Page will mean very little to most people. Your Planning Department may be more interested in these figures than anyone else. In reality, the sound that the turbine makes is 'drowned out' by the noise of the wind, in speeds over 7m/s. The best way to describe the sound of the turbine is that it sounds similar to the noise that the wind makes when blowing through trees. In reality, on a windy day, your ears will be able to distinguish the unique sound of the turbine from the noise of the wind, but it will sound no loader.
Q: Can I connect several turbines in parallel to one large battery bank to get much higher powers ?
A: Yes, as long as you use one Charge Controller and Dump Load for each turbine you connect together. You should also ensure that your battery bank capacity is greater than 200Ah per turbine, so if you intend to connect 5 of our FE1024 turbines to one 24V battery bank, you will require 5 Charge Controllers, 5 Dump Loads and a battery bank with a capacity of at least 1000Ah @ 24V. The cabling which connects all your charge controllers to the battery bank should be the same length in order to properly share the power that's being dumped. We suggest that a maximum of 6 wind turbines are connected in this manner, since the wiring and complexity of larger turbine numbers will be unreasonable.
Q: Can I convert 24 and 48 volt DC to 240 volts AC ?
A: Our Turbines all generate DC electricity at 12, 24, 36 or 48 volts (see specifications) You can convert this to 240 volts AC to power lighting circuits, and very light domestic appliances by using a DC to AC Inverter. These are fairly inexpensive, compact, portable and readily available. Please contact us for more information
Q: Do your PMG's need a gearbox?
A: These PMG's don't require a gearbox since they have been designed to produce a high power output at very low RPM's. The rectifier is used to convert the 3-Phase AC output from the generators into DC, for battery charging or any other application you feel would suit the output.
Q: What is the winding configuration of this generator?
A: The generators are all Delta wound.
Q: The PMG we received seems to take a lot of effort to rotate the unit when turning by hand?
A: If there's nothing connected to the output wires, and they're not shorted together, then the motor should be able to be turned by hand. It will 'cog' between poles as you rotate it. If you connect a 10W or 20W halogen bulb between any 2 of the 3 output wires and grip the axle in a vice, it should be possible to rotate the generator by hand to light the bulb. The generators have 16 poles and powerful magnets which do take a bit of a shove to move from pole to pole when just holding in the hand. This is perfectly normal and in fact when you have blades or a water wheel attached the extra leverage spins it really easily. If you cannot rotate the generator by hand at all, or it requires a lot of effort to even rotate it through only a few degrees, check that the output wires are not touching together, thus shorting out the output, thus acting as a massive electrical brake. If you have a digital multimeter, set it to measure 0 to 10 Ohms and measure the resistance between all pairs of output connections, ie. between any 2 of the 3 connections, then between the odd connection and each of the other 2. The reading should be between 1 and 2 ohms. If your meter reads a short circuit, then there may be an internal short between the wires inside the generator, and it should be returned for replacement.
Q: Can I charge 12v batteries and how do I drop the voltage. Is this covered in the circuit diagram?
A: To charge 12V batteries, simply connect the output of the 3-phase bridge rectifier to the batteries. As the RPM increases above around 200 rpm, the batteries will begin charging, further increases in the rpm will increase the charge current up to a maximum of 25 to 30A. Use a charge controller to limit the voltage of the batteries, to avoid overcharging.
Q: Do you think that a site 80 feet from the nearest neighbour will be ok for noise?
A: 80 feet should be fine. The only noise is that produced by the blades which is more of a whirring than anything else, louder in very high winds, but then the wind is noisy through trees anyway.
Q: Does it matter which way the PMG spins?
A: All our PMG's operate identically in both directions.