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Tuesday 13th March '07

This is a page for those interested in installing a wind turbine, we will tell it as it is, warts and all.

All good things come to he who waits !

Well we have an esb supply on site and it would be very easy and cheap for us to make the connection, but as we are living with very few electrical items we have decided to generate our own. This a a big decision and is probably not for everyone , for instance there may be days that we have no electric, so be it.

Choosing the system

This can take some time, there are a huge array of machines available, from 250watts up to many kilowatts. So after much checking around and reading forums etc we settle on a 1 kw 48volt ,machine with eight 110ah batteries, should be more than adequate for our basic needs. Once again there's a big choice of makers and prices available , but as I like to experiment a bit we settle on a fairly straight forward machine.


After much contact with the courier it eventually arrived, and it only had to come from Longford, shor we could have collected it. Anyhow it's here but minus the tail vane ! We have contacted the suppliers and hopefully by the time we get set up it will arrive. First, we have to wait for the rain to stop, for now it's in the parlour, waiting.... shor you couldn't be putting it out on a cold wet windy day in Mayo.



Choosing the site

A good clear site is required to avoid turbulence in our case this is about 200meters from the house,not good when it comes to cable. The generator itself is a three phase permanent magnet machine . This is converted to dc at the tower base and charges the bank of batteries necessary for storage. Next this dc voltage is inverted to 220AC and sent down the 200 meters to the house.To keep losses to a minimum we decide to go with 16sq cable ...not cheap. We have also acquired some UPS , these will be used to generate pure sine wave ac for sensitive equipment.




The location has been decided and we start preparing the foundation for the guy wires. These needs to be strong enough to support the tower during hefty prevailing south/westerly winds.

The base will also provide a foundation for housing the batteries, an Inverter and an UPS which we bought from the Buy &Sell. It is hoped at some time in the future to install pv panels (solar) on the slanting roof

So strong means really strong there is a three meter blade span here and when thats spinning fast there is a lot of force on the poles and guy wires. Better to over engineer here.







It is all hands on deck with no time to waste as we have four foundations to fill and bad weather is looming. The ground is soft and it makes for heavy work. The digger is used to open a drain to collect water to make the mix. The tractor mixer takes about four times the quantity of the small mixer. It took three of us about three hours to get all four poured (phew).

This little onlooker got too close and had to be moved to a suitable location for his own safety.















Wednesday 14th March '07

March 27th

It feels like a hot summer's day. The land has dried up a lot and it's time to get the foundations in for the tower and the housing unit. Just as we had finished a call came to say that the tail vane is in Sligo.








The Power station now requires a secure door, as the 8 batteries and connections will be very powerfull. Curious school children or animals looking for heat and shelter could get hurt. Over to Dave's to use his power supply (but not for much longer) Jimmy uses the frame from a bed which was buried in the grass to make a frame for a metal door. It is secured with a mortice locking system, nothing left now but for me to add a coat of paint to protect it from rusting.


SO sparky angle grinder and sandles... not the best!! A work of art surely.


The trusty jeep carried the blades up through the fields, and little by little each stage was given time and care. The best way to give a flavor of the hoisting operation is to show the images. Suffice to say it took two days.


It wasn't possible to get enough height using man power and the digger. There was too much weight on the tower. The nose, blades, hub, and generator were dismantled and it would now be necessary to put them on after the tower was upright.

At the end of Day 1 eight hrs. we had a pole in the field !!!

Day 2

A platform was built and securely tied down. Then, generator first, tied to the digger up she goes. the hub and blades were repositioned and finally the nose.















As it's May Day and there is a Fair on in town it seems like the right time to take a break. The sun is overhead and temperatures are rising. We are so excited and anxious to find out if our turbine will remain in tact when it's set free and will it generate power............ but we can wait.

R.T.E reporter Jim Fahy creates a bit of a stir in town, as does this beautifully restored Ford Prefect as it pulled into the Cathedral grounds. There was time for lunch in Tigh Gearoid before heading excitedly for the hills





Free as a bird spinning about 400rpm !!













A rope is tied to the tail to stop the turbine from spinning in case of emergency. And then it's time.....away with her, slowly at first then off she goes at a mighty rate. What a feeling as we stand well clear and watch.

Later we stop it. It had been my task over the two days to pass up the necessary tools, and soon my confidence was on the increase for climbing a bit higher. The paint work had gotten scratched with the varied attempts at hoisting, so up I go, brush in hand for the touch up, but the legs soon got wobbly and help came to the rescue. (I forgot to mention Jimmy can climb effortlessly even the tallest trees).

It looks so easy






The 250mtr. roll of cable was attached to the tractor and brought up to the turbine, (later to be buried under ground). Soon it's connected to the generator cable andyes we have power.

What a feeling to generate power from the wind, it may not be as easy as flicking a switch, but it has all been worth it.

The UPS and a brake switch is attached, as we will not need as much power as it is generating. A meter board, socket and light fitting are installed in the power house.



6th May..... 5days on and we are watching it like a new it spinning? is it safe ? will the tail furl? etc. A week ago we noticed a similar turbine in Tubbercurry, so we decided to see if we could get a closer look.

Peter had fulfilled a 20yr. ambition just two months ago. He welcomed us and shared his knowledge and experiences. He too has a 1kw. turbine on an elevated site, and we left re-energised and confident.

While stopping to photograph the magnificent bog cotton this curlew put on a display flying back and forth trying to distract us from his nest, you have nothing to fear from us !

Battery bank 880amph













Windpower update November 08