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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:10 pm

Hi all, wondering if anyone has tried small turbine setup or there's a thread on the forum...in its many pages.
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Post by Spospe on Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:18 pm

Not personally tried it, but spoken to those who have.

1) quite a low output, but potentially 24/7 (unlike solar panels)

2) quite noisy, with vibration being felt in the 'van

3) a bit of a faff setting up and putting away

4) need to store the 'mill and its mounts in the 'van

5) possibly annoying to anybody parked nearby

6) possibly hazardous in very strong winds
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Post by Peter Brown on Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:54 am

Speaking as a 'neighbour' they are very noisy at times to the extent of disrupting sleep.
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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:57 pm

Thanks Peter, Must admit I will be looking into the idea over the year. Nothing big just enough for 2-300 watts to recharge & use where needed. Yes I'll be getting some solar but may need something for during the night. From what I've seen they have come down in size over recent years & can be stowed away also having a brake for windy conditions. In my case it helps living by the sea & near Brighton I see plenty of small boats with, as I call them 'little windmills' Anyway first some solar....
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Post by Roopert on Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:49 pm

I looked into it a few years ago, but at the time their reputation was bad, because - at the time - the market had been flooded with cheap Indian and Chinese made units which had poor output and short lifetimes. Maybe the situation has improved since, but I doubt it!
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Post by Mrgeoffrey on Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:14 pm

I have 2 in my shed doing nothing.
To elaborate one is an Air X 300 watt which has an internal regulator (which has failed) When in use in moderate winds the blades flutter to prevent overspeeding resulting in horrendous humming.
I replaced this with a Rutland 913 250 watt (often seen powering remote signs at roadsides)
This one although much quieter was still obtrusive and this was on a narrow boat with the bedroom 40 feet away. I tried many and various methods to make it quieter using rubber mounts in shear for the mounting pole and sprung guy wires all of which helped but in my opinion it was still too noisy to be comfortable it also has to be fairly windy to get any useful power (The power is related to the cube of the wind speed and the quoted 250watts is at a fairly high speed).
I guess you can gather from the above I would not recommend one on a camper having said all that if you would still like to try I would happily sell the Rutland which for the reasons above got very little use. smile!
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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:28 pm

Thank you Mr Geoffrey, Some useful history from yourself that I will take on board & when the time comes for my project I might well come back to you for the Rutland 913. Probably be towards end Summer as I will still firstly get some solar onboard. Ladder fitted first as I haven't even got one of those yet. I want it all now but must refrain & do it month at a time.
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Post by marconi on Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:02 pm

I have an Aerogen 6 in my shed  smile! I ran it for many years on a mast attached to a caravan chassis, guyed on a mast stand alone and on the bike rack of a steel framework Hymer. No noise problems, at worse like a car on yonder hill I used to say. No noise for neighbours. It could get pretty hairy in strong winds.
I haven't tried it on a modern foam sandwich van and have got older and less inclined to carry masts and set up guys etc.
Call it climate change or what ever, when I first had the genny we almost daily had steady useful winds, these days it seems all (gales) or nothing very useful.
You need a specific Wind Gen regulator, how you would integrate that with the Sargent set ups I am not sure.
The Aerogen is more robust but heavier than the Rutland but it all adds to the payload.
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Post by rgermain on Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:15 pm

Been used on boats for years, but do cost a fortune!
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Post by Mrgeoffrey on Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:56 pm

Marconi quite rightly points out a specific regulator is required and that also resides in my shed it's a Marlec hrsi which in addition to regulating the wind generator can handle 160 watts of solar.
But I think that if you maximise your solar and make sure you have the battery capacity to store the energy you probably won't find the need for wind power.
I'm not a very good sales man am I ! smile!
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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:18 pm

Thanks Marconi, Rgermain & Mr Geoffrey. As to cost, I've seen these days you can get the complete kit ready to go for the same price as a decent solar setup. Admittedly I haven't delved really deeply into it yet but will as I say probably after summer. I'm pretty sure that these days they are considerably quieter than they used to be and power output will be greater for a smaller turbine. My vision (whether its a useless idea) is to have an outside weatherproof connection on the van, just as a/c connection is with it all already set & fixed inside wiring wise & control panel wise. Then utilise the back ladder in some way with brackets to take the pole & turbine. Then connect up when I need it. As I say from what I've seen, unless I'm wrong the turbine size has got smaller & their outputs have gone up. I suppose you might be wondering why I would go to the trouble of wind & why not just stick with solar. I'm looking at this for future needs. Off grid is how my travelling the country to see all I've missed will be when I retire in 6/7 years. Yes I'll be calling in at campsites now & again but when I retire my savings & pension won't stretch to weeks of calling into campsites. So most of my life will be off grid. As most of us find when we get the bill for the campsite the charge for the electric we use can be ridiculous compared to what we actually use. I'm want to be as self surfficient (sorry spelt wrong but cant find my dictionary)  snigger as possible.
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Post by bikeralw on Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:41 pm

The only flaw that I see in your otherwise excellent plan is the 6/7 year delay before you implement it.
If things continue as they are, by the time we approach the next decade we'll either be priced off the road or banned from using IC powered vehicles for pleasure. Even if electric powered vans are viable by then, there will be no off grid camping as we'll have to be connected to the grid to recharge...
We do mostly off grid camping, but it's getting tougher every year.
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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:13 am

Thanks Al, Funnily enough over the last hour I've been thinking as to when we'll see electric camper vans. Saw an electric VW on tv the other day beside the electric golfs they're bringing out. Far from start of production yet. I recon I've got 10 years before. I hope confused3
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Post by glyne lock on Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:16 am

ford transit hybrid already out as a camper and a full electric coach built camper at trade show abroad last year even a full electric truck .this will be very soon as for the new cost to drive into Bristol Bath with trucks vans etc with a diesel engine come into place local to me
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Post by Gromit on Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:42 pm

Removed. Way off topic!

See below for thread continuity.  content


Last edited by Gromit on Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:37 pm

I'm a meter engineer & on the point of charging posts the government has already tentatively been in discussions with some energy companies as to installing charge points. But as Gromit says when electric vehicles become overwhelming in number there will never be enough charge points. I live in a converted house now of flats with main road outside front door & no parking. So that's already 4 vehicles who cant charge at home. Then as we all are aware these days a lot of households are 2 cars families, even 3 or 4. Personally a great idea for the world but public transport needs to go hand in hand with this to get people off the road during the working day.
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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:40 pm

Sorry Gromit, I'd replied before I noticed you'd removed your notice. I don't think your off topic. What you said will happen sooner or later.
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Post by Gromit on Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:46 pm

Thanks Paul

For continuity.

What I said (in a nutshell) was . . . . 

Where will all the electrical power come from when there are hundreds of thousands, eventually many millions of electric vehicles on the road?

There are already occasional problems in meeting demand at peak periods, so what will happen when all those vehicles plug in to charge up overnight - at around tea time every day?

Plus, what about the carbon impact of generating all that electricity, assuming we will ever be able to do it? Renewable sources haven't a hope of generating anywhere near enough!

Plus the cost (in all aspects) of producing all those batteries, and disposing of them in a few years?
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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:25 pm

Very True Gromit up!
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Post by marconi on Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:51 pm

Now let me see, drive to a camping spot in all electric van, erect Wind Turbine to complement the Solar and supply the juice for lighting, entertainment, cooking, heating and control purposes plus charge the vehicle batteries. How long before we can drive back home?
The only time I had really surplus power was when all the shipping in the North sea anchored up and the BBC kept saying " windy in the East" all night. I kept waking up and checking, wishing the BBC had had given a gale warning earlier, if so I would have luffed or taken down the Turbine. As it was I didn't dare go near it. The electronic brake was ineffective I had everything switched on as a load including the TV on silent until I wanted to check the bulletins. As I said sometimes it can be a bit hairy.
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Post by glyne lock on Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:27 pm

Paul you say you are going to fit solar panels the sargent  will only control up to 120w some other post on solar power others have put have put a new charge controller and not used the sargen t. if you use a mppt controller you then can fit less panels but get the same amps so worth the extra cost .watch the you tube clips on charge controllers as some say they are but when tested are not.   its being said that when you need power at peak time at you home etc . things like charging points will be cut off so homes get the power. your talk on wind power for your van when the solar is not working is what could happen very soon but on a larger scale. I wild camp nearly all the time so like you am making changes to my van . already fitted extra battery and note  PURE shine wave inverter. i have found the 80w solar already fitted not as good as I require so 2nd panel required and better controller .I will be making a lot of changes myself a bit at a time .I was thinking wind power as this will work at night and better in the winter so read your post but will try extra solar first
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Post by PaulTheVoyager on Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:20 am

Thanks Marconi & Glyne, I'll watch out for your posts & will post myself as I delve into this & start this project late summer. Spoke to a small family run business yesterday who fit solar, satellite & wifi amongst other things for motorhomes & campers. Asked if they had ever delved into wind. He said they had but it was a few years ago when technology wasn't as advanced. (windmills being far too big) He said that just before xmas he had decided to think about it again for this year. I'd only gone there to get a quote & info on solar being fitted to my Cotswold.
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Post by Roger G on Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:46 am

I lived on a canal boat for a number of years up to 2014 and had fitted a Rutland wind generator and 200w of solar panels. Apart from the noise from the Rutland, the amount of power that it generated over the 5 years that I used both was about 10% of that generated by the solar. Even allowing for the fact that it can generate overnight, the wind needs to be 25+mph to get anything useful, and even one 100w solar panel on a reasonably sunny day will give much more output. With solar panels getting cheaper and more efficient by the year, I wouldn't even consider a wind generator now. For the price of a Rutland generator, you could buy 3-400watts of solar power and don't forget that solar will generate some power even on cloudy days whereas wind generators will give nothing on still or light wind days.

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