7 things you should know about Wind Turbine generators

I’m often asked the same questions about turbines and how you would use them, so I’ve tried to put this information in this post, it’ll be updated as and when I get new questions, so here goes.

Wind Turbines do the following:

  • They generate varying degrees of power to your battery system which is dependent on the strength of the wind.
  • They are designed to compliment your Solar system, as they run when it’s cloudy and at night when there is no sun.
  • They can run directly to variable speed Bore Hole pumps or be used with a specialised Wind/Pump controller.
  • They require a charge controller to convert the 3 phase power coming out of them into single phase power for your batteries.

A wind turbine does not do the following

  • Turbines do not run directly into your building’s power supply, They run 3 phase DC current only, not AC current as you would find in your building mains.
  • It does not generate power when there is no wind, it needs wind to turn the blades and generate power.
  • They can in most cases not be connected directly to your Solar Inverter, Solar string or string combiner.  However, there are a few inverters on the market that can take high voltage turbines, but they are few and far between.

How a turbine connects to your off grid system

The wind is free and Wind Turbines generate power whenever the wind blows (no sun no problem)

Things to consider

There are a few things to consider when choosing a Wind Turbine to supplement your power requirements:

  • Living in a Town or City – Check with your local city council first before installing a turbine to make sure they allow them in your area.
  • Your Existing systems – Check the size and voltage of your battery system, to make sure it’ll handle what’s coming out of the turbine you choose. Most of the time the wind controller can be ordered to match your existing system voltage.
  • Where to put your new turbine? – The turbines are normally mounted on a Pole (we can supply this or your local handyman will be able to put this together for you)
  • Do you have the free air space to put up a turbine without it being in turbulent air? i.e. 6 meters up and above and trees and buildings and ideally 100M away from any structure, so as to get clean laminar airflow and peak performance.
  • Average wind speed in your area – If you are in a low wind speed area, you may need a five-blade turbine if you are thinking of taking one of the smaller units.  You will find valuable information on a site called Windy, put in your location on the site to see what your area is currently doing, here are two very useful links:
    www.weatherspark.com  (Remember to change the settings at the top to km/h)
    and www.windy.com  (which gives you current wind speeds at about 10meters off the ground)

The Turbine you choose is largely dependent on what you have or are planning to have in the way or renewable energy on the property, we mostly carry 48V systems are these are what the majority of people are asking for to connect to their Solar systems. But saying that we have many customers still asking for 12V and 24V turbines for some of the smaller installations.
Our Turbines are listed in our online catalogue which you can see by going to this link:  https://www.windandsolar.co.za/catalogue/