Many Americans as well as green energy enthusiasts’ world wide are giving wind power a try. As a novice it is very difficult to sift through all of the advertising confusion about what is the best product. Of course every website and new company that pops up has a gimmick which claims that his or her product is the “best”.
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The first mistake many folks make in my opinion is they do not determine their goals before purchasing wind generators. For the most part there are two main configurations wind most wind and or solar systems. First is for off grid locations, this is actually how I started in this field. Many of these systems are for remote areas in places that the power grid does not reach, or due to cost prohibitive” grid tie inverters. The voltage of the systems is generally 12 volt but can be 24 or 48. This includes many of the DIY systems that have a difficult time exceeding charging voltage threshold needed for 24 and 48 systems. Secondly is” grid tied systems” where the goal is to put the power back in your homes grid. Most of these systems are either 24 or 48 volts. I have had many customers wanting to buy a “grid tie” for a 12 volt “wind generator” they have purchased and it is simply not an efficient way to do things and 12 volt grid ties are few and far between.
Before you buy a wind generator you should consider the points below. Most of the “wind generators” catch new potential customer with smoke and mirrors advertising based on wattage. Seemingly every week a new company pops up claiming to have a higher output then the largest “lie” the week before. The guys from “Missouri” that sell the Delco alternator based wind generator are a great example. The give a chart claiming they have a Delco alternator that will put out 12000 watts output at 9000 RPM but do not bother to tell the customer wind turbines do not spin at motor than 1000 rpm and usually less that that. So who cares what it does at 9000 Rpm. I bet they has some swampland for sale too….just my thoughts.
The same is true with many DC motor for sale on e Bay claiming high wattage outputs. They multiply the DC voltage times max amps at a particular RPM and claim there DC motor will put 3500 watts in a battery. The majority of those products on auction will not charge even a 12 volt system. The best analogy I have heard about selecting a wind generator is to consider what a battery charger does. How many watts does an automotive battery charge use? On battery chargers I have seen amperage on the settings 2 amp trickle charge 6 amp medium charge and 12 amp heavy charge. Never have I seen 500, 1200, and 3000 watts settings.So just how many watts does it take to make a good wind generator? Consider the concept of the automotive battery charger. Around 15 volts times 2 amps for a trickle charge is 30 watts. Medium setting 15 volt times 6 amps is 90 watts .On high 15 volts times 12 amps is 180 watts. If I introduced a new line of wind turbines announcing a proud output of 180 watts for the most potent unit, how do you think I would do? I have to assume that I would be outsold be the guys like the Missouri Company with a vivid imagination and a bad product.
My point is when making your first “wind generator” purchase first consider the voltage to RPM curve and remember the sooner your exceed your systems cut in speed IE”point when your wind turbine starts charging your battery system or uploading your grid” better off you are . Secondly you must keep the amperage in mind, simply put the strength of the charge is directly related to the amps. Keep the tortoise and the hare in mind. A lower charge over a longer period of time will usually yield more power than a high charge only when the wind blows at high velocity. Consider these principles rather that getting sucked into deception. Not only are wattage advertisements deceiving many of those in engaged in this type of advertising simply “pad”the power curve of their products. I have tested many products working in this field and heard from many customers and I can tell you this. If you run across the guy on e Bay selling plastic blades for his “rebuild” Delco alternator that he says will produce 90 amps at 9000 RPM for 250 dollars it seems to me to good to be true because it is……
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