Table of Contents
Wind Generator Models sold by Pioneer Systems
AIR_X Wind Generator Brand
Whisper Series Wind
Bergey Wind Generators
Why Alternative Energy ?
Most people consider Alternative Energy (AE
) sources for 4
's efficiency, reliability, ecology, and taking
responsibility & control of their personal energy needs.
Most public utilities are not very
For hydro-electric power, only a fraction of the water can pass through
the turbines so as to not disrupt the rivers eco-system too severely,
and the aquatic species that would be killed going through a turbine,
and other competing uses for the water.
For coal, gas-fired, or nuclear, tremendous amounts of heat are
generated by the "burning" of fuel. Only about 40% to 60% of that
energy gets converted into electricity. The rest goes off as
waste heat into the air or nearby water (lakes, rivers, etc.),
disturbing the aquatic species with thermal pollution, etc.
Once electricity is created, it must be consumed immediately; it cannot
be stored. Fluctuations in supply & demand means that some of
the electricity that is generated is not consumed. In addition,
there are 1% to 10% losses in the various electrical distribution
systems due to heat, resistance, shorts & ground leaks, etc.
As we recently saw in the North-West US
and Ontario in August 2003, small problems in one area can cascade
through the entire system, causing synchronous failures and poor
reliability of supply. Public utilities puff their chest when
they claim 99.9% up-time as their goal. At 99.9% up-time, the
public is still left in the dark with no electricity for 53 minutes
each & every month.
If public utilities were interested in consumer's satisfaction, they
would concern themselves equally between the cost per kW-hr paid by the
consumer, the number of
outages per month, and the maximum
duration of all outages during the month.
Until the public utilities wake up and start to think and act the way
their customers want them to think, and act, we are all at their mercy.
Using Alternative Energy, the
consumer can control his energy and life directly. This is the
only practical way to end total dependency on the public utilities.
In Ontario, over half of our smog is created by burning
coal to generate electricty. If we installed the same number of
wind generators that Germany has alredy achieved, we could eliminate
the need for burning any coal to generate electricty. It is
estimated that over 1,000 people die each year in Ontario due to air
Are we ready to try a greener solution to our energy needs?
Taking Responsibility & Control
When we were babies, we were totally dependent
upon our parents. As teenagers, we wanted total independence.
As adults, we learned there is no such thing as total and complete
independence; we have to work co-operatively with others. As
adults, we strive for optimum
As Aristotle said, the optimum is "...the mean between the extremes...".
systems allow us to move our energy system from that of children
Are you ready to take on a more adult role for your personal energy
supplies & requirements ?
Benefits of Wind Power
Wind is primarily created by thermal
differences created by the sun. As long as the sun shines, and
can penetrate our smog, there will be wind. Its renewable.
If there is no wind today, wind will probably be created tomorrow by
During storms, at night, and during the winter there tends to be more
wind than during a bright sunny day. Often, there is almost twice
the wind power available during these time periods.
Our energy consumption tends to increase during dark, damp days; and
during the winter.
The availability of power through the wind tends to correspond with
when we want to use more energy.
Therefore, wind is an ideal supply source for some or most of our
Wind vs. Solar ?
Solar tends to be much more expensive
($/kw-hr generated) than solar; sometimes 30% to 50% more expensive.
Solar tends to generate the greatest amount of energy when we least
need it (nice, sunny days).
Therefore, most people who want Alternative
Energy for their domestic needs should consider wind power first.
Adding solar to a pre-existing wind power system is called a hybrid system. Depending upon
the wind power available at your site, this may be required.
Do you have
enough wind at your location ?
There are wind maps that show the
regional, annual average wind speeds. While these show
continent-wide trends, the micro-climates that exist in the hills,
valley, and around buildings can create opportunities or defeat
regional advantages. Local climate data or wind monitoring over
time can be beneficial in determining what's available. However,
there are many other signs that an experienced person can use to
predict the local conditions.
In some cases, local micro-climates can be 200% better of what the
national wind energy maps indicate.
Wind Generator Placement
Generally, the bottom (ie. lowest part) of the wind generator's blade
should be at least 30 feet above everything that is within 500 feet of
the wind generator's tower for ideal conditions. Acceptable is 20
ft. above everything within 300 feet.
If your winds are predominately from one direction, this is the key
area for clear space. Other directions may be acceptable to have
You also have to allow sufficient real estate to raise & lower the
tower from time to time for maintenance, as well as guy wires (if used
for your tower design). Most guy wires are anchored between 24
ft. to 50 feet away from the centre of the tower. In tight
places, free-standing towers can be used (no guy wires).
Some people choose to locate their wind generator on their roof top or
a tower beside their house. Critical design issues from wind
interference, lightning, roof leaks, vibration, noise, electrical and
radio interference, and other issues need to be considered before
proceeding with this option.
Do it Yourself
Installing a wind generator can be a major challenge; even for the most
skilled trades person. If you choose this option, it certainly
will be a large experience.
Consider the buying power of an expert in the field, how long it will
take to learn what
to do, practicing or learning on-the-job, and possibly doing it
incorrectly (some of which may not be discovered until too late), and
the liability and risk of getting it wrong.
To install a typical wind generator, you will probably need the
- Engineering calculations for wind energy availability
- Survey of domestic energy needs & assumptions
- Critical review of the various makes, models, &
specifications for turbines that meet the user's needs
- Engineering stress, strain, windload, and building code
- Soil/bedrock anchor & foundation design
- Structural steel specifications and suppliers (tower)
- Electrical design, cable sizing, local and national
- Design of lightning, static, and electrical surge
protection, grounding, & dissipation systems
- Zoning, building code inspectors, approvals, permits,
licenses, and liability insurance
- Excavation &/or rock drilling
- Cement forming, mixing, & finishing
- Mechanical assembly, rigging, & hoisting
- Checking for proper grounding, ground resistance
- Construction site safety
- Climbing tall, thin towers (may not be necessary if you
plan it well)
- Electrical conduit, wire pulling, termination, cable
routing, water proofing
- Batteries, battery room design, terminations
- Electrical inverters, load dumps, and electrical metering
You may want to consider getting a professional to help. Some
wind generator professionals are even willing to have the owner
intimately involved in the design and construction of your wind
How big should
your Wind Generator be ?
Wind generators start at 400 watts for 28 mph winds (do high efficiency
lighting for a whole house), and go up to megawatt sized units (small
Before trying to decide on a wind generator size, conservation of
electrical energy is the first step. Most people cannot afford to
generate their own electricity if we continue our wasteful electrical
By making minor, almost invisible changes, we can reduce our electrical
consumption by 25% to 50%. Moving major heat sources from
electricity to more efficient direct fueled appliances (ie. propane or
gas-fired kitchen stoves instead of electric stoves, solar-assisted hot
water heaters, etc.) will complete the transition. Once this has
been achieved, generating your own power at an economically affordable
price (or capital investment) become a reality.
Which brand of
Wind Generator is best for me ?
This depends upon hundreds of details that your wind energy expert
needs to discuss with you to determine the best selection to fit your
needs and lifestyle. Not only does the current situation need to
be considered, but also your future needs, and projected changes in the
local and world energy systems, public utilities, etc.
How can Pioneer
Systems help me ?
The people behind Pioneer Systems are Professional Engineers with over
2 decades of experience in renewable energy systems, solar heating,
wind power, PV solar power systems, and remote living.
Not only do we do the design, installation, and servicing of these
systems for our customers, we live with them day-to-day on our own
remote site that is 100% off-the-grid. Not only do we know the
theory, we live the practice in our own lives.
Pioneer Systems specializes in:
- Technical design
- Risk assessment & management
- Project Management & Scheduling
- Component selection & distribution
- Quality Assurance & Inspection of new & existing
- Feasibility studies
- After-sales service
- Retro-fit of existing systems
- Troubleshooting & Problem Solving
- Grid Inter-tie
- Net Metering systems
- UPS and backup power
- Hybrid system optimization
- Computer simulation of current & proposed systems
- Operation, instrumentation, & management of systems
- Construction Inspection
- Technical training for Owners, users, & service
For more information, contact:
Glenn Black P.Eng. CQE CQA
Generators Sold & Serviced by Pioneer Systems
The AIR X represents the latest
evolution in small wind turbine design.
Ideal for home and cottage power
systems, the AIR X will complement a solar charging system by providing
power when the weather is at its worst. It
will deliver power in as little as 12 kph (7 mph).
The new microprocessor based speed control results in
increased performance, improved battery charging capability and the
reduction of “flutter” noise from the machine.
· carbon fiber composite
· Three Year
aircraft quality aluminum alloy castings
maintenance-free – only two moving parts
- rated for 5 to 10 years service life for main bearings
· exclusive brush-less
neodymium cubic curve alternator
· sophisticated internal
battery charge regulator prevents battery over-charge
high wind safe mode-automatically slows turbine in potentially damaging
winds, and reduces noise
Þ Rated Power: 400 watts @ 45 kph/28 mph
12 or 24 VDC
Þ Blade Diameter: 1.14 meters / 46”
5.9 kg / 13 lbs
|Wind Generator Case Study
This Case Study provides a case study &
pictures for an Air-X 400 watt wind generator
installation designed & installed by Pioneer Systems for a remote,
cottage which is off-grid.
The installed wind generator on the 45 ft. tower, with the proud owner
at the base.
Looking up the 45 ft tower, we can see the electrical box at the base,
and the two sets of guy wires at 24 ft. and 42 ft elevation
The tower base showing the electrical junction box and lightning
A close-up view of the top end of the 45 ft. tower, the guy wires,
lightning protection, and the wind generator on top.
Whispers feature a cast aluminum frame and
smooth, quiet operation of the patented “angle-governor” furling design. Whispers feature a very efficient, slow speed
permanent magnet alternator powered with an advanced airfoil. This design eliminates brushes and improves
reliability. The WP H80 has injection
molded, fiberglass filled, custom polymer blades. The
WP-175 has carbon reinforced fiberglass blades with foam core. WP-175 redesigns have incorporated a stronger,
larger yaw shaft, new blade stabilizer straps and a third spindle
bearing for increased reliability.
The EZ Wire control center features
adjustable charge regulation, digital monitoring and a stop switch. It uses a dump resistor to dissipate excess
wind energy when the batteries are
Built for survival in winds to 190 kph (120 mph)
- Rated Power = 1000 watts
- Start up Wind mps/mph = 3.1/7
- Rated Wind mps/mph = 10.5/24
- Diameter m/ft = 3.0/10
- Weight kg/lbs = 30/65
- Battery Voltage = 12-48
- Rated Power = 3000 watts
- Start up Wind mps/mph = 3.1/7
- Rated Wind mps/mph = 12/27
- Diameter m/ft = 4.6/15
- Weight kg/lbs = 70/155
- Battery Voltage = 12-48
BERGEY BWC EXCEL –R : This wind generator
has a simple design with 3 moving parts, a direct drive PM alternator
and a heavy-duty construction. The Bergey BWC EXCEL is designed for 30+
years of performance. It has been proven for over 50 million
operational hours, and has a patented Powerflex
Rotor System, and Autofurl automatic
- Rated Power = 7500 watts
- Start up Wind Speed = 7.5 mph
- Rated Wind Speed = 31 mph
- Furling wind speed = 36 mph
- Cut-in wind speed = 8 mph
- Rated rotor speed = 310 RPM
- Max. design wind speed = 125 mph
- Net Weight = 1,050 lbs
- Battery Voltages = 24-240
- Rotor Diameter 23 ft/7 meters
The graph on the right shows 9 different wind turbines that are
This graph of the manufacturer's test data shows
how they compare to each other for power production vs. wind speed.
The majority of these 9 different turbines seem to be in one family; some
better than others. There is a factor of 10 difference (eg. 3200
watts vs. 300 watts for the same wind speed) between the very best and the
least in this family.
In the above graph, one turbine is significantly
different from all others (light turquoise colour); it starts at higher
wind speeds (not good), peaks at a lower power output (not good), and has
a steep drop-off in power output at higher wind speeds (not good).
In spite of this consistently worse performance, the manufacturer has sold
thousands of this wind turbine to eager customers.
Who is buying this significantly worse turbine? Why are
Alternative Energy dealers (supposed experts) selling these wind turbines
to customers? Did the customer know and give informed consent prior
to buying this model of turbine?
At Pioneer Systems, we make sure you know as much as we know before you
decide. You can buy with confidence, knowing that Pioneer System is
watching your back.
Some dealers will recommend the equipment that maximizes their profit,
rather than what you really need. That's why, unlike most
Alternative Energy dealers, Pioneer Systems charges a reasonable fee to do
an assessment of your needs, and recommend the best solution for you.
We are out to do our best for you.
Original Version: May 17, 2001