The unit comes in two distinct part:
1. Monopole Tower
2. Inverter and Control Box
The towers come in different heights - starting at 6m for 1kw and up to 12 and 16m for the 5kw. The towers are set in a concrete foundation and the ground needs to be suitable to dig down to up to 3m in depth. A concrete base is generally not required for the 1kw and 2kw turbines but is a requirement for the larger turbines.
Inverter & Control Box
The inverter is the unit that converts the DC power from the turbine to match your supply of 220v AC (or 360v 3phase). The inverters meet all safety requirements as laid out by the ESB networks. As the inverter needs a small amout of power from the national grid to work, if there is a power outage the inverter stops putting power into the network. This is to protect any personnel/engineers working on the local power lines.
The control box decides where the power is to be sent. If the wind becomes to strong the control box sends the power to a dumpload. The dumpload acts like a massive break which slows the turbine down. This is done to protect the inverter and the turbine itself from very strong winds.
|Turbine||Control Box Size||Mount|
|1kw/2kw/3kw||3ft x 3ft||Wall Mounted|
|5kw||4ft x 4ft||Floor Mounted|
|10kw||4ft x 6ft||Floor Mounted|
Installation is carried out by trained technicians with the appropriate equipment. These turbines generally cannot be installed DIY except for the 1kw.
Installation can take half a day to one day for the 1kw unit, up to three days for the 10kw unit.
Turbine location is key to the success of the installation. You wouldn't put solar panels in the shade, therefore you don't put a wind turbine in a sheltered spot. Buildings, trees hedges and landscape have an effect on turbines. If you follow the basics below you will be able to site a turbine suitably on your premises.
A. Do you have a land area of at least acre?
(larger turbines need more space, 3 acres minimum for 3kw, 5kw & 10kw)
B. Do you have a relatively open view from the south east around to the north west
C. Is your premises to the east or north of the intended site location.
D. Is your site located at least 30 metres from your neighbours dwelling house?
E. Is there an electrical source 220volts (3 phase for 10kw) within 30 metres of your intended site.
F. Is there a dry area at this location to house an inverter
G. Are all large trees at least 100m away from the site in all directions?
H. If you generally think you have a windy location the chances are you have.
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Wind Turbines with a mast height of 10 metres and a rotor diameter of 6 meters (1kw - 10kw) will be exempt from planning permission requirements subject to the following conditions:
- The rotor diameter should be 6 metres or less
- There should be a 3 metre minimum clearance between the lower tip of the rotor and the ground
- The minimum distance of a wind turbine from its nearest neighbouring boundary would equal the total height of the turbine plus 1 metre
- Noise levels at the nearest neighbouring inhabited dwelling should be < 43dB(A), or < 5d(B) above background noise
- Only one turbine is permitted within the curtilage of a house
- The turbine must be situated behind the front wall of the house
- All turbine components shall have a matt, non-reflective finish and the blade shall be made of material that does not deflect telecommunication signals.
- No advertising or logos may be placed or appear on turbines.
In the main, the conditions attached to the exemption for micro wind turbines are designed to ensure their safe installation and use. Issues such as visual amenity, noise, vibration, possible structural damage, safety and poor installation mitigate against the inclusion of building mounted turbines as exempted development. Nevertheless, it will still be possible to apply for planning permission for such turbines in the normal way.
Agriculture & Commercial sites
Agricultural & Commercial sites can have a combined tower and blades height not exceeding 20m. All other planning exemptions apply.