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I have been doing a ton of research in the last few weeks. I have convinced myself i want to start a DIY wind turbine but i want to do it cheap...

The only problem i have is the cost of the inverter which seems to be pretty expensive, it's the one that plugs right into the home which powers back into the grid.

Has anyone had experience making one and using it.. etc
 

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I've never personally looked into this, but I know a few people who have generated power and sold it back to the grid. What they did was generate the power via solar panels and sell the energy back to the Electricity Provider (i.e. they get money for it).

So my best advice is to call your local provider (I guess Enmax? in Calgary), and ask if they have a program available for generating power and selling it to the grid, and if they provide a kit for it (i.e. you might be able to get the inverter for a discount if they have a program). Here's the website: Micro-Wind Turbine . If nothing else you can find out if you can make money off of it.

It would be nice if you can keep your progress posted. I would love to see how it turned out!
 

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im an electrical engineering tech and electrician and ive worked on one of these diy projects before, as well as on the windmills all over southern alberta in the lethbridge area.
dont worry about feeding back onto the grid, it really is not worth it, you wont produce enough power from a windmill to be a net energy producer anyways, and if by some miracle you were able to put up a massive one (not really a mircacle more like how deep are your pockets and how much room do you have, will your neighbors complain for obstructing your view etc etc), there are other things to worry about such as a meter that will record not just the energy you consume but the energy you provide. you also need switchgears in the case there is every a power outage you need to be removed from the grid or the energy your generating can kill a linesman because it is going to be stepped up via the transformers/transmission system.
what we did is hook the generator up directly to a heating element which we placed in a tank for preheating water which was then fed into the homes hot water heater, the power from the windmill goes directly to preheating your water and you will get direct savings on your bill without having to get too fancy and expensive. if you have radiant heating in your homes it can even help heat the whole home.

be sure to phone your municipality and make sure it is ok to put up something like this too, when i was living in lethbridge they had just made it legal and some people were making a big stink about it because they said it was an eyesore.

hope this helped :)
 

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i wouldnt go diy, there are som new innovative fins on some turbines that greatly increase efficiency without the noise that comes with it. also you'll definitely need a auto transfer switch for brown/black outs
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i wouldnt go diy, there are som new innovative fins on some turbines that greatly increase efficiency without the noise that comes with it. also you'll definitely need a auto transfer switch for brown/black outs
DIY is less expensive and i'm not looking for a professional solution, i'm new to this

So you have experience with a system like this? Could you break it down into noob terms, i dont know what you mean by brown black outs.. and a transfer switch.. i dont know?
 

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DIY is less expensive and i'm not looking for a professional solution, i'm new to this

So you have experience with a system like this? Could you break it down into noob terms, i dont know what you mean by brown black outs.. and a transfer switch.. i dont know?
hes talking about the switchgear i mentioned.
the transformers stepping down the voltage on its way to your house, will serve to step your voltage up in the event of a black/brown out.
that can kill a worker thats trying to bring things back online, as well as bring your system down. if your isolated you can continue to have power while everyone else does not.

its actually quite interesting about how theyve increased the efficiency by the shape of the fins, they are based on the fins of a humpback whale now :)
the humpbacks have little bumps on the leading edge of their fin that actually reduces drag :/
 

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Yep thats exactly what im talking about, the humpback whale shape :p

A brown out is a temporary loss of power, due to insufficient generation, think of california during the power crisis. Black out is loss of power due to damage/failure of equipment/lines. When that happens and you do not have proper switch gear (auto transfer switches and protections) to disconnect you from the utlity in these occassions, your system will fail. Also to tie into a utility, you need an agreement with them, and a licensed contractor to install.

If you go the other route, figure out how much you'll likely produce, and have it connected to a new independant panel, it can include loads like Lighting, electronics, etc. Just leave all heat/wash/dryer off of it. if you are lucky, your home will have a gutter box above its panel, makes it really easy to redirect circuits to the new panel :) Technically it requires a permit to even do this (the panel part), but no permission is needed from the utility as long as theres no interconnection
 

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Yep thats exactly what im talking about, the humpback whale shape :p

A brown out is a temporary loss of power, due to insufficient generation, think of california during the power crisis. Black out is loss of power due to damage/failure of equipment/lines. When that happens and you do not have proper switch gear (auto transfer switches and protections) to disconnect you from the utlity in these occassions, your system will fail. Also to tie into a utility, you need an agreement with them, and a licensed contractor to install.

If you go the other route, figure out how much you'll likely produce, and have it connected to a new independant panel, it can include loads like Lighting, electronics, etc. Just leave all heat/wash/dryer off of it. if you are lucky, your home will have a gutter box above its panel, makes it really easy to redirect circuits to the new panel :) Technically it requires a permit to even do this (the panel part), but no permission is needed from the utility as long as theres no interconnection
yeah i think technically you need a master to pull the permit, maybe neven works with one? lots of guys will do it for some cash but they'll want to see everything when your done cuz its on them if somethings done wrong.
the nice thing about just using it to preheat water is you avoid a crapload of electrical work and any need for permits
 

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Alternative energy (wind/solar) sources for home use do not require a certified electrician (yet), but the panel and circuitry within the home do. so you could get the materials, install the turbine, and get a sparky to finish the rest. just find your sparky first, as some prefer to do everything so they can make more $$$.
 

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not sure if this applies to a single DIY wind turbine, but there have been reports of ppl getting sick (severe headaches, migraines, and other conditions) from living near wind turbines. i think it might be from the noise vibrations given off.

here's a video:
Wind Farms Causing Health Problems? - Video - FoxBusiness.com

but you can also look up "Wind Turbine Syndrome".
keep in mind fox is a politically motivated news network.
they also say global warming isnt real
theyd rather you keep burning oil

that being said, noise is certainly an issue that should be considered. you wont want it right outside your bedroom window etc. but the one in my friend/coworkers backyard was small and wasnt too loud especially considering the extreme winds in lethbridge.
denmark actually uses wind to supply 20% of their power, compared to the US figure of <2%
germany is at about 7-9%
http://www.canwea.ca/wind-energy/myths_e.php heres a website with some myths of wind energy
 

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i wouldn't trust fox news stories too much. Consider many of our PCs the db noise from them will often be louder than many of the home turbines, especially if they have the saw tooth blade design.

All studies i've read have turned up inconclusive and commented about how the symtoms of this syndrome are often the same as stress from every day life in a city. i believe one quote was "Annoyance is not a disease"

however, sunlight + turbine blades can cause health issues to a select few with conditions like epilepsy, but they need to be the right frequency to affect the person.
 

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it's not just on "Fox News". that was just one example i found. search it on the internet and you'll find more.
 

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......its actually quite interesting about how theyve increased the efficiency by the shape of the fins, they are based on the fins of a humpback whale now :)
the humpbacks have little bumps on the leading edge of their fin that actually reduces drag :/
They are called vortex generators. You will see these on the leading edge of an aircraft wing. In the case of an aircraft a low pressure area is created on top of the wing to produce lift. As the angle at which the wing flies through the air increases the low pressure area moves further back until it "falls off the wing" and it no longer produces lift. The vortex generators will actually delay or prevent this from happening. It probably has a similar effect on wind generators.

Steve
 

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Shawn,
I have been looking into them recently to help my power expenses in Vanuatu. There are a lot of smaller units available now that are fairly inexpensive. I am trying to find one with a solar panel combination for calmer days. I have not had a lot of time to spend on it but I am very interested.
 
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