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FAQ

 

General

How noisy is the system?

Our system is 3-bladed and, as with all similar dynamic generator systems, there is a degree of noise caused by wind-rush on the structure and by the blade tips cutting through the air.
Typical Noise Profile:

  • 5 metres behind blades gusting to 5m/s / 12 miles per hour, LAeq 33.0 dB (decibels)
  • 5 metres behind blades gusting to 7m/s / 16 miles per hour, LAeq 52.0 dB (decibels)
  • 3 metres behind blades, height 1.5m 'background noise' LAeq 36.0 dB (decibels)

What is the maximum wind speed to which the turbines can operate?

The maximum operating wind speed is approximately 15m/s to 25 m/s (33mph) above which the system will go into safe shutdown and stop generating through in-built control mechanisms. (However please note the system is designed to be safe in very high wind speeds)


What is the lowest wind speed at which the turbines will start generating electricity?

The system will start generating electricity at approximately 3m/s (6.7mph) with a reasonably constant wind flow. Higher speeds rapidly deliver more electricity. (Output varies with the 'cube' of the wind speed)


How far can the wires/cables run between the various parts of the system?

The basic system is designed for a generator cable length of up to 30 metres to 5 metres from a 220v socket.
Additional 220v cable can be laid to site a turbine upto 250 metres away from a 220v socket. We would advise that the installation is at least 30 metres from the nearest structure so that wind flow will not be interrupted. Pump houses and outhouses serve as excellent connection points as they already should have a 220v source. Larger turbines will need a specific site survey to locate suitable electrical connection point.



Installation

Where is the best place to install a turbine?

To get the optimum return from a turbine you need to place it in the windiest place possible:

  • An open, elevated site with an aspect from the North West to the South East to catch the prevailing winds
  • At least 30 metres away from your dwelling house, which preferably will be to the North
  • At least 200 metres away from any trees or buildings to the South and West

Where is the best place to install the inverter?

The inverter needs to be installed in a place that has access to a 220v socket/cable. The larger turbines (10kw +) will need a 3 phase connection. The installation area needs to be dry and covered. The most suitable places, in order, are:

  • Pumphouse
  • Outhouse/Shed/Garden Shed
  • Utility Room

We can supply a suitable container to house the inverter if the above options are not available.


Who actually carries out the installation?

The installation will be carried out by approved and trained installers.


Can I install the turbines myself?

No, the system is not DIY, and must be installed by trained installers, for health and safety reasons.
* Except for the 1kw DIY self installed wind turbine which come in a complete DIY kit.


Why does the turbine installation have to be done by a qualified electrician/installer?

There are two reasons that the unit must be installed by qualified personnel:

  • The wiring of the electronics/inverters is complicated to install on site. Special lifting equipment is required to erect the turbines.
  • Selecting the best site for your turbine to achieve the best return economically to you needs to be done by qualified installers. The installers need to take into account wake effects, turbulence, line of sight, anchor positions, suitable cable runs, etc.
  • To qualify for spill payments the installation must have a wiring cert from a qualified electrician

Can the turbines be installed in my property if there is no Grid connection?

No, the inverter requires a reference mains supply at all times.


How long does the installation take?

Depending on individual site conditions and location, the installation will take approximately day to 1 day.



Planning

Do I need to apply for planning permission?

Please click on this link to find out more about your Local Authority. Planning permission is not required for our range of turbines, however some conditions do apply.

» Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government


Can I install the turbines on my house or other structure?

The Department of Environment guidelines say that no turbines can be permitted on a structure.


How many systems can be installed on one property?

The Department of Environment regulations state that only 1 turbine is allowed per property. (Click here to go to planning guidelines)



Technical

What about exporting to the Grid?

All our turbines allow exporting to the grid. Your property will consume all the power that the turbine produces first and any excess will be spilled onto the grid. You will now be paid for excess power at a rate of 0.19c/kwh spilled for the first 3000kwh annually. You can spill any total amount of power however the rate paid from 3001kwh is set at 0.09c/kwh.


Who informs the ESB of a connection?

Before Installation we fill out a form (NC6) from the ESB to notify them of our intention to install a grid tied windturbine. The form can be downloaded from the link below.

» Click To Download Form

Our inverters comply with the ESB Code of connection for micro generators - EN50438 / G83. This process is called an 'inform and fit' principle. The process is as such:

1) The customer decides to install a turbine
2) Windturbines.ie notify ESB networks (NC6 form) enclosing turbine and inverter compliance certificates
3) Turbine is installed
4) ESB networks contact the customer asking the electrician to send in electonic copy of electrical compliance to their registration body (RECI or ECSSA)
5) RECI or ECSSA forward electrical compliance cert to ESB Networks
6) ESB networks install a smart meter at the customers residence

What happens to the electricity generated when I am not using it?

Any electricity that is being generated by the turbines, but not used by the household, flows back into the local mains. This feed back of power to the Grid is called 'spillage'. The 'spillage' from a wind turbine's power output is allowed by ESB networks using our technology.


Is the system safe, so that if an electrician is working on our property and has isolated the main supply, he does not get electrocuted by the generator?

Yes. The system is designed to meet the required regulations and standards. Accordingly we use documentation (Operator's Booklet) when relevant to the assigned personnel, Installation Operation manual, and by adequate labelling in the premises and on certain parts of the system. Since the system can generate high DC voltage and also 230v AC, it must only be worked on by competent personnel. When the mains supply is cut the turbine stops generating power automatically. When the power is restored the turbine automatically starts to produce power again after 180 seconds.


What happens to the power when the system is disconnected?

When the generator and inverter, or the cable to the mains is disconnected, the control philosophy of the system is that it always goes into 'safe shutdown', whereby the generator system is braked, resulting in no power being produced and all aspects of the electrical system being made safe.


What happens in the event of a power cut?

Our system goes into 'safe shutdown' and self-starts when the Grid supply is restored.


Why not use batteries?

We have chosen our product development strategy to give as clean, simple and user-friendly an approach as possible at a very price-competitive level, achieving a relatively quick pay-back on the investment. Batteries are expensive, need intermittent replacement and require maintenance. Batteries are considered to have a negative impact upon the Environment.


Is there a product warranty?

Yes, 2 years on parts and 1 year on labour from date of installation.


What is the life expectancy of the product?

We provide a warranty for 2 years on the basis of 'normal and un-tampered running'. By using high performance materials and manufacturing techniques, a 20-25 year life is highly achievable.


 

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