Posted by Solar Flare on January 11, 2007, 12:20 am
I am in southern Ontario. Well the barn with my setup is in N.
Michigan. Yes we have insulation and the panels are backed with
double-bubble foil now but were not in the summer. Low priority
compared to building insulation and other things before winter.
I get temps of about 57c when the sun does come out for a few hours. I
have been getting about 3 deg C rise on my tanks on sunny days over
the winter but the gaps are too long and the temp returns until it
bottomed about 5 deg C. I was ready to dump my tanks for fear of
freezing but then got some more sun. Just enough to stay alive. Too
much driving there every weekend. Summer is coming.
Posted by Jeff on January 11, 2007, 2:07 pm
Solar Flare wrote:
Ah, the hot spot of Canada! I have friends near Toronto that tell me
that it has the best weather in Canada! Some disparaging remarks about
Newfoundland were made...
One has a cottage (I forget the Canadian word for it, is it camp?) in
Thunder Bay and has worked on the freighters in the winter. I remember
him saying he woke up one morning and said, ah it's only 30 below today,
not too bad! Of course that was after a week of 40 below, the welders
stop at that temp but everyone else keeps working.
We're woosies down here, out of the land of the "flesh freeze time"!
Well the barn with my setup is in N.
Try measuring the back temp and you'll get an idea of how much loss you
have there and whether you'll need more insulation.
That's pretty good.
I'm thinking, smaller or just one tank, until you get the whole thing
Just enough to stay alive. Too
I'm waiting too! I painted the cross pieces on my air collector
yesterday and just got paint on my hands when I checked them now. I
guess when the paint is rated to 35F (about 2C) they mean it won't
freeze on the brush, not that it will dry!
Posted by Solar Flare on January 12, 2007, 1:12 am
Well this depends on whether you are talking Foreignheat or Celcius.
At -40 it doesn't make any difference.
Ironically they just had a big storm in the northern part of Alberta
and British Columbia where the windchill (not the temp) went down
to -40 C/F. Now they claim people died because of it. A family froze
to death. Now isn't this where they claim these temperatures and lower
I find people claim these extremes on a regular basis and many of them
exceed the temperature extreme records recorded for worldwide records.
Yeah, we exagerate...LOL
I finally got my wind turbine blades changed. One of the blades was
offset somehow and I ordered a whole new 1KW unit without the tower to
get spare parts. I measured and weighed the new hub and blades until I
had them within 1/8" around the clock tip to tip. Witht the warm
weather I had to force myself to climb that damn thing again. While
only 22 feet up I hated tying my ladder and self into a pole that I
didn't trust the guy lines to support it. After shaking so badly for
months and still being upright I didn't feel so bad belting into the
thing this time. Anyway after a lot of inginuity and a fabricated
skyhook I finally got the 60 pound hub and blades back on the spindle
while leaning backwards on a ladder to even see what I was doing. Fall
arrest or not, I didn't want to be dangling from a pole for any length
of time while my wife screamed for the neighbours to help right the
ladder...LOL Runs pretty smooth now and I tightened my guys gut tight
and hope they stay tight this time. With such lousy sun output, low
batteries and bad turbine response, would be no energy, no water pump,
no RV heater ignition and no solar or propane hot water for floor -
freeze up...I was praying for the last few months. Things are looking
up with the longer days and I read the weather about 56km winds again.
One more year until grid hookup for electric and gas for the real
house next winter. Alternate is a great "extra" or backup but my heart
cannot stand the total dependance I have now...LOL
Posted by Jeff on January 23, 2007, 9:28 pm
Solar Flare wrote:
I meant to respond earlier, but you know how it can go!
I think so!
That's not good, but I can imagine!
After shaking so badly for
I know some Amish who are pretty hardy folks and their wind vane
water pump went out. No one there wanted to climb the tower and they
switched to a gas engine instead!
So, I've got a buddy that says he's got some wind and wants to
harness it, what do you recommend for resources on a fairly small wind
Posted by Solar Flare on January 24, 2007, 1:38 am
I am not sure I recommend a wind turbine uness your heart is really in
it. Now mind you I only have a 10 foot blade up twenty feet in the air
but I have a fairly windy area and much clear land for a few hundred
I purchased one of these 1KW Chinese outfits with no name like you see
under everybody's name on eBay. Paid about $500 including tower kit,
mill wire, guys, shipping. The unit is a beast...very heavy and heavy
duty. The first set of blades wobbled so bad I bought another unit for
$000 to get blades and checked them out on the hub. Had to readust
some of the mounts to the hub to get a balanced system without the
other turbine as a prop adjuster jig.
Under the usual wind at this location, which seems quite windy to me,
The generator barely produces over the 50-60 volts dc to charge the
battery bank at all. Under the 100km/hour storm we had the mill not
only charged the bank it cut in the overcharge dump load repeatedly
overnight. Lost sleep in amusement and frightened the small building I
built would come down or move across the yadr for sure...LOL
In despair for more usefullness from the usually constant wind in
that area I searched my brain and spare/surplus parts at work for a
volateg booster and automatic tapchange circuit for a 48 vac three
phase low frequency generator output up to about 1.5kW. I had my hands
on a ac voltage regulator using a 20A variac coupled to a motor with
feedback control circuitry that nobody would miss. It wasn't suited to
the new meter testboard standards imposed upon us in the last
deregulation rounds. It was only single phase though...yuk!
Ahhhh the voltage doubler.... I found some old capacitors of a decent
value and make a two out of three (ain't bad) phase voltage doubler,
stopping a Radio Shack and only found 3 amp diodes with a decent
voltage rating. Drawing the circuit out I realized that all the
protection circuitry and negative return diodes were already inside
the controller. What would happen if I put the v.double in parallel
with the controller/rectifier circuitry? I figure nothing as the
capacitor v.doubler would have a current limitation and the "straight
through diodes" in the controller would take over with their high
Anyway I ordered a bunch of capacitors 14,000 uf 100vdc high ripple
handling caps on eBay and some 35 amp diode bridges and formulated a
circuit using the bridges. Nicer mounting than stud mount singles and
the output diode gets duplicated in two bridges but it works great.
Caveat: The voltage doubler continuously puts out a few amps in
lighter winds more 24/7 but the side effect is the blades, under load,
turn slower and tend to not get up to fast speeds to generate the big
charges unless higher winds are encountered.
1) you can cater to huge wattages under rare winds or cater to lighter
winds more often.
2) catering to lighter winds has some advantages. Less bearing/blade
wear and tear and less whooshing of slower blade speeds for the
3) this windmill was let run loose for a moment and burned out my
controller (cheaply made and has no protection) I measured over 200
vac from the mill in moderate winds before I managed to get the
shorting jumpers back in place. Scarey stuff.
4) windmill sales people seem to know nothing of technical aspects.
Nobody could believe a 48 volt mill could give that kind of voltage
off and continually told me I had a bad unit and should buy their
5) windmill sales people sell the same unit in many places and all
tell you it is their own design. What you have must be junk but I can
tell them the name of every chip in the controller when the lid comes
off. "Ohh no. Ours is a 1300 watt at 12 m/s winds. They can't be the
6) if you burn out your controller nobody knows what to do. Build your
own if this happens. Nothing to them. Even people in the groups
recommended the MX60 despite the company telling you it isn't
recommended for windmills and will not take an wild ac input anyway.
7) big blades turn slower and are more stable and make less noise.
8) you cannot rely on wind as well as solar except if you want a 100'
9) it's damn scarey up there. Use all the safety equipment for
climbing. Always two fall arrest devices. One while transfering the
other. Allow for a side mounted extention piece on the flat furl side
of the turbine in order to get a pulley on the top for hoisting up the
heavy parts. Unstrap it and throw it down when you are done.