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Alternative energy power systems, components and design assistance.

JATS Alternative Power Company


Advanced Energy Group authorized dealer

Basics of Wind Power

Quick-scroll down to wind generator comparison


If you are planning to install a wind generator, it is a
good idea to be sure of your potential power output. We
can help with this determination. We maintain
extensive data on wind resources for your area, and we
can inspect your particular site if need be. Often, our
clients will send us a pencil sketch of their site
reflecting various site features like large trees, other
structures, etc. Combined with our wind data and extensive experience,
this is usually sufficient for planning purposes. For larger applications
we will conduct a site inspection. Call us for more information on all of
our services.

If you are considering a hybrid system using wind energy as one of the
power sources, then it's important to balance the system, where say,
instead of using more (solar) photovoltaic panels, you may need to
increase the size of the generator - or visa versa. We can help you with
these determinations.

Some wind generators may be erected right on top of a home or


building, or by attaching a tower to the side of a building, but unless
there are adequate vibration isolators, there will be some structural
vibration. We do not recommend this practice with larger generators, on
smaller homes, older homes or buildings with lightweight frames. A
separate tower should be used for these installations, which may still be
close to the building if desired.

We can supply you with everything you need, including


tower kits and other accessories. We provide free design
for our customers, technical support and we can have the
system installed for you too.

Besides wind speed and having a location for the generator, it's
important to install proper electrical grounding for the tower and unit.
It's also generally recommended that the unit be 20 feet higher than any
structure or other item that's within 100 or so feet of the tower. This is
just a rule of thumb, and it depends on exactly what is nearby,
production expectations, etc.

Voltages available in wind generators vary from unit to unit, and some
are adjustable. Both low and high voltage models are available in
varying voltages, from 12 volts to 240 volts. We can supply you with
small, medium and large generators.

An ideal wind generator site has an average wind


speed of 15 MPH or more. This is not to say that a
site with less than a 15 MPH average isn't a
potential site. When one considers the potential output from a
generator, even at average speeds of 9 - 10 MPH, wind generators can
be more cost effective than solar modules over similar production
periods, especially since wind generators can produce over a broader
range of time - as in the day or night time.

Wind generators produce varying amounts of power depending on wind


speed. They'll usually begin to spin between 6 - 8 MPH and begin
producing useable charging amps beginning at around 10 MPH. Wind
speeds of 25 - 30 MPH are required for the generators maximum rated
output. So, you may have a breezy 10 MPH wind with short gusts of 15,
20 or 25 throughout the day and/or evening. The charging amps will
therefore vary from moment to moment, so we look at averages over a
day, week, month and year. Keep in mind that wind speed at the top of
a tower is higher than along the ground.

Wind generators can power water pumps directly when the generator
and water pump are matched for such an application. This eliminates
the need for storage batteries, inverters, and other components.

A wind generator must usually have a built-in governing feature where


after wind speeds exceed a certain point, the generator will begin to
slow itself down, so as not to over-speed and potentially cause damage
to the blades or alternator. Most all of the generators we sell have built-
in governing features. Some units do not require governing by design.

Some wind units like the AIR 403 and WINDSEEKER 502 & 503
have built-in battery charge regulation circuitry to prevent overcharging
your battery and eliminating the need for an external charge regulator.

A wind generator should also have a "break" or method of stopping the


unit. This is usually done with a control box and switch where the unit
is "grounded", creating sufficient drag to stop the unit on smaller
generators, rather than some sort of mechanical break like your
automobile. Much larger units may have a mechanical brake.

Since wind generators produce varying amounts of amps, only certain


items should be connected directly to this source like the previous
example of directly powering a "matched" water pump. Grid-tie is also
viable using an inverter to process the charge amps creating a "sell"
feature, however higher average wind speeds are required to make this
option cost effective.

However, when the unit's charge amps are used to power normal
120/240v appliances, equipment, etc. then a battery bank and
inverter is used. The batteries supply the total required DC amps to
the inverter for AC loads when demanded, and the generator re-
charges the batteries. In grid-tied or utility interactive systems
either all or part of the power may be sold to the utility company or
used to reduce total utility consumption. Systems which only sell
power do not require batteries when configured with a specific
"grid-tie" inverter.

Below, we've provided a very simplistic visual observation table which


gives you some idea of what various wind speeds will likely do to
things like trees, leaves, etc. Naturally, this information isn't considered
scientifically reliable, but may encourage you to consider your site for
wind power.

Visual Observations
Wind
Speed 0-1 2-3 4-7 8-12 13-18 19-24 25-31
(MPH):
Wind Smoke Direction Wind felt Leaves and Raises Small Large
Effect: rises of wind on face; twigs in dust, trees in branches in
vertically. shown by leaves constant loose leaf begin motion;
smoke rustle; motion; paper; to sway; whistling
drift, but ordinary wind small crested heard in
not by wind extends a branches wavelets telegraph
moving a vane light flag. are form on wires;
wind moved Wind moved. inland umbrellas
vane. by wind. production waters. used with
begins... difficulty.

COMPARISON OF WIND GENERATORS


Average kWh/month @ 10mph & 12mph
WHISPER WHISPER WHISPER
MODEL AIR 403
900 1000 3000
RATED OUTPUT 400w * 900w 1000w 3000w
RATED WIND SPEED 28mph 28mph 25mph 25mph
RATED ROTATION 2000rpm 1150rpm 850rpm 500rpm
CUT-IN WIND SPEED 6mph 7.5mph 7mph 7mph
MO. KWH/ 10mph ave. winds 47 kWh 65 kWh 105 kWh 316 kWh
Percent of total rated output (16%) (10%) (14%) (15%)
MO. KWH/ 12mph ave. winds 66 kWh 109 kWh 161 kWh 507 kWh
Percent of total rated output (23%) (17%) (22%) (23%)
ROTOR DIAMETER 3.84 ft. 7 ft. 9 ft. 14.8 ft.
NUMBER OF BLADES 3 3 2 2
Carbon reinforced Injection molded
BLADE MATERIAL thermoplastic polycarbonate
Fiberglass Fiberglass

TYPE AIRFOIL True True True True


LATERAL THRUST 150 lbs. 200 lbs. 250 lbs. 700 lbs.
GOVERNOR Aerolastic Angle Angle Angle
GOVERN SPEED 48mph 28mph 27mph 27mph
GOV. SHUT-DOWN Dynamic Dynamic Dynamic Dynamic
---------- ----- ----- ----- -----
OPTIONAL STOP Switch Switch Switch Switch
UNIT WEIGHT 13 lbs. 55 lbs. 65 lbs. 155 lbs.
PM 3 phase
TYPE GENERATOR PM alternator PM 3 phase alternator
alternator
PM 3 phase alternator

MFR SUG. RETAIL


(CALL US FOR ACTUAL $595 $1590 $2590 $6290
PRICING)
DOLLARS/RATED WATT @
$1.49 $1.77 $1.99 $2.10
MSRP
12 - 240 24 - 240
VOLTAGES AVAILABLE 12; 24; 48 12 - 48
HV/LV opt. HV/LV opt.
AIR 403 Incl. Incl. Incl.
CHARGE CONTROLS
Built-in but separate but separate but separate
OTHER INFO:
DC DC
WATER PUMPING DC w/battery DC w/battery
w/battery w/battery
WARRANTY 3 yrs. 2 yrs. 2 yrs. 2 yrs.
EST. YEARS IN PRODUCTION 14 yrs. 10 yrs. 10 yrs. 10 yrs.
MFR. SUG. ROUTINE Annual Annual Annual
None
MAINTENANCE inspection inspection inspection
* The Air 403 will produce 600 watts in a 38mph wind. All information deemed reliable - subject to change without notice.

We maintain sufficient wind data in order to


determine whether your site has the potential
of effectively utilizing wind energy as part of
your system. Contact us for more
information.

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