The mast is repaired, a new Blade made and balanced, and a Gin Pole fitted. "Michael, are you winching?", "Yes" came the reply. We looked up, and all that was happening was the Gin Pole was bending under the compression force of the lift!! So a stronger pole was made, and fitted to the mast base frame rather than the mast itself to reduce pressure on the mast.
After a long run of very stormy weather, and some procrastination, the bent mast is repaired, the Blade replaced and ready to erect. The Hydrolic Ram System was struggling to lift the mast with the additional weight of the reinforced pipe. When it got to 45 Degrees, it broke in the middle at a weld point. Fortunately no-one was injured. The ladder broke the fall, and the heavy blade I had used to replace the broken one smashed on the ground, another blade was buried quite deep, but only split and the tail a little bent. No other apparent damage was found. Very Lucky!! So the mast went back for repair, I had to get some Dutch friends who were visiting the following week to bring wood for a new blade with them, because I could not source any Red Cedar in Cork. I decided to change the lifting method to a Tirfor Winch and Gin Pole which will put less strain on the mast when lifting. So another fitting into the rock for the winch, and more wire for the Gin Pole was fixed up. Here's hoping it works now!
A severe storm during the night caused the mast to bend which resulted in a broken blade when I restarted it 2 days later. We had gusts of 70knots (80mph or 127kph). Turning it on again at lunchtime on 27th with winds gusting to 45 knots (normally no problem) everything seemed OK. However problem came to light during the afternoon. Major repairs are necessary.
Took Turbine down. Apart from broken blades, the Stator has cracked round one of the fixings. Araldite and fibreglass required here, and new blades will need to be carved.
Storm force winds gusting to 67 knots (just into force 12) caused all three blades to break off at the root. The bits of blade were scattered around, some well embedded into the ground. Thanks goodness no-one was nearby at the time!
Turbine stopped suddenly as if the brake was on. It turned out to be corrosion of the small bit of exposed copper wire from Stator. Easily cured by improved insulation.
Here on the left is the working electrical/electronic enclosure. (See the electronics page for more details) There are 2 LDRs to allow the turbine to be switched between the Solar Hot Water Tanks or the Buffer Tank as determined by the Solar Tank Temperature. On the right todays plot. Heat going into the Solar Hot Water Tank is shaded blue, into the Buffer Tank is shaded green. Wind Speed is the blue line, Turbine RPM is red, and Solar Tank Temperature is green. (See the electronics page for more details)
Finally the dual element immersion arrives for the Solar Hot Water Tank. This has a 1Kw 48v DC element and a 3kW 240v AC element. This allows me to heat the tank from the turbine and or the mains. The Solar Hot Water Tank also is heated from the Solar Panels. I am writing this 2 weeks after I got it installed and working, and the mains immersion has not been used at all. Our hot water coming from Solar Panels or the Wind Turbine only. Brilliant!!
Yet another Challenge!!! Yesterday teatime the system went wrong again. I had switched off the turbine to change some wiring for the arduino, and when I came to switchon again all I got was a very slow turbine RPM with Output Volts at 5 or 6 and Amps at 2, so no output really. I checked the Immersion and all was OK, so the only thing it can be is the LDR 48-30 Load Controller is not working, so the poor turbine is having to push against the 1kW Immersion Load. Despite winds at about 20knts it cannot do that. I have added the output graph for the day up to the problem starting, and also my graph of Twists and Turns calculated from the wind direction recorded by my weather station. More on these on the Electronics Page. I await a new controller.
I am getting there! With a new LDR Controller in place (see photo on left), a proper Shield I have built for the Arduino Monitor, and wiring re-routed all I was waiting for was a new Immersion Heater. The new one arrived and the old one taken out. Nothing to see on inspection, but you can see the considerable difference in quality between these two items. The new one is the bigger heater fitting flush inside the tank, unlike the other one which is smaller, has very tight bends, and is not flush with tank, so I think would risk overheating. A possible cause for it's failure. 29th April 2012 The turbine has been running all day in winds from 5 - 35 knots. It is producing about 1kW when wind is above 20knts, so doing really well...... Watch this space!