Rookie question - wind turbine for coastal home - worth it?

macbeth

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Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
135
Wondering if a wind turbine as an extra to solar would be worth it at a blustery coastal home build?
Where does one look and costing?
Any advice appreciated.
 

ricardo12

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Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
228
and they can be noisy, you won't be allowed to install a big 3m diameter turbine on a 10m pole in a complex, maybe not even a residential house, not sure. If you're on a farm then sure.
 

RonSwanson

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May 21, 2018
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7,158
Wind turbines tend to work better the higher they are installed, because there is typically less friction in the wind's path higher up (12-25m). At the same time, the higher the installation, the more complex and stronger it has to be (deflection at the top should be less than 15cm @200km/h), and the average home simply does not have enough space in the garden for the footprint of the tower, and steel stabilising ropes.
Then there's the quality of the turbine, lots of cheap rubbish available that is of poor build quality, and difficult to maintain due to corrosion and vibration. It's an electro-mechanical device (moving parts), that is subject to the worst outside element exposure, and the constant vibration will cause rattles, and fasteners that are not properly specced and fastened will loosen and come off, so it needs regular maintenance. The best turbines are undoubtedly built in Europe, but even the best can be fairly noisy, even if maintained well.
Most are 3-phase, so it will need to be converted to single-phase AC or DC unless it's a specialised install for something remote, like a borehole pump. This means losses. Add an MPPT controller, more losses, and all of this will increase the price which can be quite a shocker. It cannot be compared to the relatively cheap initial cost of solar panels, rather see the cost as another battery plus some solar panels (because it will generate electricity in the dark).
If you have a large-ish plot of land, strong budget, an appetite for regular maintenance and a tolerance for the noise that it makes, then by all means just do it, the cool factor is sub-zero.
 

Pineapple Smurf

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Aug 2, 2016
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38,563
I personally would get a dual mppt charge controller and then on 1 channel have a lekker solar setup and on the other mppt channel put up a small 400 Watt wind turbine, it will just help trickle away during the evening in the wind and help in winter when there is a thunderstorm with wind and little sun.

But I wouldn't just go wind turbine on its own
 

George Netherby

Expert Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
1,171
Wind turbines tend to work better the higher they are installed, because there is typically less friction in the wind's path higher up (12-25m). At the same time, the higher the installation, the more complex and stronger it has to be (deflection at the top should be less than 15cm @200km/h), and the average home simply does not have enough space in the garden for the footprint of the tower, and steel stabilising ropes.
Then there's the quality of the turbine, lots of cheap rubbish available that is of poor build quality, and difficult to maintain due to corrosion and vibration. It's an electro-mechanical device (moving parts), that is subject to the worst outside element exposure, and the constant vibration will cause rattles, and fasteners that are not properly specced and fastened will loosen and come off, so it needs regular maintenance. The best turbines are undoubtedly built in Europe, but even the best can be fairly noisy, even if maintained well.
Most are 3-phase, so it will need to be converted to single-phase AC or DC unless it's a specialised install for something remote, like a borehole pump. This means losses. Add an MPPT controller, more losses, and all of this will increase the price which can be quite a shocker. It cannot be compared to the relatively cheap initial cost of solar panels, rather see the cost as another battery plus some solar panels (because it will generate electricity in the dark).
If you have a large-ish plot of land, strong budget, an appetite for regular maintenance and a tolerance for the noise that it makes, then by all means just do it, the cool factor is sub-zero.
Thank you.
 

macbeth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
135
Thanks. very interesting. Was looking at a solar base for the system, and thought given the wind at the coast, the inclement weather etc, that a small turbine might help when there is no sun...
But all good food for thought. appreciate the answers.
 

BasBas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
224
Check out the power forum, many people very disappointed with wind setups, I should be very careful.
 

BasBas

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Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
224
Also be careful hooking up wind to a solar mppt, no storm break so it's very easy for components to get damaged.
 

Tacet

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
2,662
Another issue with wind turbines is economy of scale: the market is simply much, much smaller than solar. Solar's prices are becoming increasingly competitive, but wind is still a niche market.
 
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