Simple Wind Generator Over Speed Governor/Regulator?

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by AR Hammer, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    I'm trying to find a super simple wind generator over-speed governor... And I'm just not having any luck.

    Where I live, we need extremely long blades to get any real production out of wind generators...
    That leads to problems when storms come up!

    I've been building a rather complicated mechanical governor/air brake thing, but I lost another set of blades this last storm, so I'm looking for something better or simpler/more effective...

    If anyone has any pictures, diagrams or links for this stuff, I'd sure like for you to share!
  2. Bidah

    Bidah New Member

    Well.. having grown up around these things.. What a lot of them do is have a way to bring the tail up parallel to the blades so they are out of the wind, and sideways to it. Manual operation though. I suppose you could work up an actual brake from a truck..

    I don't know where the site was, but there is one out there about building your own wind generator, complete with a ton of information. They might have what you want, if you can find it.


  3. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    If you run onto it, I'd sure like to have it!
    I've been messing around with all the ideas I can steal and reproduce here in the home garage, but I'd like something really simple...

    So far, I'm running a spring and weight arrangement, sort of a centrifugal governor that activates an 'Air brake' of sorts,
    Chunky, heavy and not terribly effective.
    I'm tired of replacing blades, that's a lot of work after your generator is in place!

    Between the 8 solar panels, and the two wind generators, I'm breaking even on power around here, home, shop, water pump, air conditioning, everything, so I can't complain so far...
  4. Bidah

    Bidah New Member

    Took me a few seconds..

    With my 8 panels I am just making enough, on a good summer day, to stay just slightly less than even. Another 4 panels should do me, except for winter. My wife wants to put up a wind genset, but I have not gotten that far yet.

  5. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    My wind generator doesn't produce much, but it usually does it late in the day, when the wind comes up some around here, and it comes in very gently, so it's just perfect for topping off one set of batteries or the other!
    It really is the perfect full cycle top-off charge for the batteries.

    My panels are much more productive since I cut a few trees that were in the peripheral areas (not directly shading, but still absorbing some of the energy none the less) and I started sun tracking 5 times a day.

    I really didn't think the sun tracking would do much for me, but I was WRONG!
    Production jumped about 30% in spring and fall!
    Summer it's only about 18% increase, but it really makes a difference over last year in the spring and fall!
    I really didn't notice any increase in usage when we started tracking... I expected one since the lap top has to be on all the time and the screw jack has to turn the panels 6 times a day (5 tracks, 1 return after dark to morning position).

    The automatic jack wasn't cheap, but the rest of it was a piece of cake since my mount already had two axis adjustments for elevation and tracking.
    A guy that only had elevation adjustment might have to build a new post cap, but it's not too difficult!
  6. Bidah

    Bidah New Member

    My problem is the amount of sunlight overall. Summer I have too much, and my usage is lower. Winter I have high usage but little sun. I have figured that adding the MPPT controller added at least a panels worth of juice for the batteries.

    My system runs on 24 1800AH 2V Forklift batteries. Not a small system..

  7. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    I'm running on batteries from underground mining equipment.
    Got them REAL cheap when the mine stopped producing.

    Using 6 volt batteries at the pump station and shop.
    They do OK, but I wish I had more reserve, I spend too much time on generator, but then again, the shop is productive and the house is just shelter...

    What brand of Multi Point Power Tracker are you using?
    I need to load some better software, and I probably will when I update this money pit project of mine!
    I'd really like to retire in a home that is off the grid...

    I have Sunny boy chargers and inverters in one place, and Midnight in another and I can't really tell much of a difference...
    If I had it to do over again, I'd consolidate and only run one large system with a back up inverter if something when wrong, but my system is actually parts of three used systems I picked up cheap, before I decided to get serious.
    I've been messing around with the wind generators as a 'Hobby/Learning experience', and have to tell you I'm not too disappointed with the production so far...
    I'm sure it could be better, but for completely home made, they aren't doing too bad!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2007
  8. Bidah

    Bidah New Member

    I am completely off grid, and I use a single system for everything..

    The solar charger is a Outback, the other charge/gen/inverter system is Xantrex. If I had to do it again I would probably go all Outback if I could.

    Good luck on your project.

  9. Shooter

    Shooter Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    I am very interesting in going off-grid. Could you guys describe your setups in more details. Pictures of your setups would be very nice as well if possible.
  10. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    Diagrams will be better than pictures in a lot of cases.
    You can't see wiring diagrams in a picture! But pictures are good for things like engineering the post and post heads/mounts.

    "POWER STATION" mind set,

    Most people throw up a couple of solar cells and say, "I'm saving the world!"
    I'm ecological oriented, but I'm no tree hugger!
    I'm not going to delude myself into believing that two solar panels are going to supply my power needs!

    I'm trying to keep my recently purchased farm off of the 'Grid'.
    I'm trying a few different things, like recycling batteries from industry and combining generating sources... I don't know if it will work or not, but everything I have I can build/repair myself... Substance living with 0% carbon emissions from house and shop is what I'm working towards...
    (Not there yet by a long shot, but I'm working towards it!)

    There was an old wind mill here, so instead of the mechanical wind head that pumped water before, it now sports a wind generator.
    Under the tower is a small building that is mostly 'Root cellar'...
    It used to be a pump house for the water pumping wind mill and a 'Cream Keeper' house since cold water was pumped up in there before the days of refrigeration...

    The 'Root Cellar' or 'Cream House' or 'Pump House' or what ever you want to call it,
    Keeps batteries at an even temperature so day and night atmosphere changes don't effect them.
    The tower also sports some solar cells, and the now electric water pump waters the stock.
    Atmosphere powered subsistence living for the 21st. century.

    There is also a post with an 8 panel array not to far away... and I've been thinking about consolidating the arrays in the 'Pump House'.

    The good part about this is now it's a 'Power House'.
    Wind, solar and if I expand, the generator is going out there also.
    I wish I had running water across the property, or lived close enough to the river, I'd have micro Hydro also!
    Nothing like having your own power station!

    If you want to go off grid, then you need to CONSERVE your power!
    Compact Fluorescent bulbs are the best thing you can do for yourself! Lighting and Heating are the big wasters. compact fluorescent bulbs will drop your lighting usage by over 3/4.

    You should consider heating with:
    Propane (a petroleum product and therefore will be tied to the price of petroleum),
    Stores well, contains a lot of BTU's for the volume of fuel consumed.

    Natural gas, (not available in all areas),
    Usually delivered by pipeline to most homes in an urban setting. Can be stored in tanks.
    Cheaper and will remain cheaper than petroleum based fuels.

    Renewable fuels, Corn, wood pellets, wood, ect.
    Stoves need lots of tending, filling hoppers and removing ashes, but better than starving in the dark!

    Electric heat is pretty much out of the question with Off Grid living...

    These guidelines apply to electric water heaters, electric kitchen stoves, even things like toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, cloths dryers, air conditioners and blow dryers are huge energy hogs.
    Limit or eliminate usage if you can...
  11. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    Site analysis!

    No question about this, I was going to pay a $4,000 fee for 'Site Analysis' when I read about these little gadgets, and I can't recommend them enough! Some places have these for rent or loan, so you may want to check around before you buy. (I got mine used on E-bay for $80)
    This has helped my production by over 30%, and helped me choose my next solar location.

    One thing that most people don't consider (I didn't) is that just because you don't have anything in direct sun path doesn't mean your panels are putting out at maximum for the location.
    Trees, shrubs and growing plants will absorb solar radiation that would otherwise be reflected towards the solar array.
    Direct, line of sight production on most rigid solar panels will account for about 70% of your production,
    Reflected light from the surroundings & sun tracking will account for the other 30%.

    If you live in a wind area (I live in a marginal area) wind generation may be your primary way to produce energy.
    Trees and hills may make a wind location expensive. Taller towers may be required, and when it comes to towers, Nothing beats Heavy Metal!
    Metal is expensive right now, so proper site location may save you a bunch of money.

    If you have running water available, never underestimate the energy of moving water!
    Even a small water wheel will produce large returns over time! The more active the water, the more energy you can extract.

    Consider your distance between generation and battery bank.
    DC (Direct Current) doesn't travel well, and most all home generators will produce in DC.
    Locating your converters/inverters and battery banks close to the generators will keep losses to a minimum.
    Pushing AC (Alternating Current) through relatively long runs of wire is much easier to do than pushing DC, so keep generating stations (DC) close to battery banks (DC) and inverters where it will be converted to AC, then the AC current can be transferred to your home or garage.

    A centrally located 'Shed' between power generation points (solar, micro hydro, wind) can easily serve as your 'Power Station' and contain batteries, inverters and charge controllers.

    I built mine as a 'Root Cellar' (my friends call it my 'bunker') at the base of a old wind mill structure.
    Being subterranean it keeps my battery banks at a relatively constant temperature (very good for the batteries, a substantial expense in home generation), and serves as a storm proof location for my converters, inverters, and well/pump.

    Some people just use one of the little yard barns, and some people simply use weather proof/outdoor electronics boxes, but keeping your generating points consolidated and keeping your DC wiring runs short is mandatory.