I had a comment from one of my customers the other day: where did you get the crane to install your wind turbine?
It made me chuckle because I had a flashback of me and 2 friends pushing the tower up – by hand – on one of the few calm days we have around here. No, we didn’t have a crane. Our system might look big enough to need a crane but it’s really the simplest, smallest and most elegant part of our system.
I used a 20-foot long piece of galvanized iron schedule 40 pipe to mount the wind turbine. And I rigged up a T type connection at the bottom with another 10-foot section of pipe to give it some stability and make the pole-raising easier.
I also bought a guy wire kit (available on any wind power site like Solar Sphere) to secure the tower. The kit includes a collar that goes to the top and connects to 4 strands of steel rope. The ropes then come down to 4 steel augers in the ground. Boy, how I wish those augers had simply twisted into the ground! Our rocky terrain was having none of that.
So for what was the hardest part of the whole operation, I dug 4 holes in the ground, set the augers, put a little quick setting concrete in there, and then stacked rocks on top. Worked like a charm. That pole is steady in 80 mph winds. And now that I harness energy from wind I love it when it blows that hard!
The key to a successful wind generator is, of course, WIND. You need a good steady breeze of 10 mph at least 50% of the time to make it worthwhile. Plenty of places in the mountains, Midwest, and coastal area have good wind. If you’re not sure if you have enough wind jump on your state’s meteorological website, or the state agricultural college website. They often store climate data.
With wind, the higher you get the better. So look for a good high place with lots of exposure. The house roof is fine, just don’t put it above your bedroom, they can vibrate and hum in high winds.
I’d love to hear your installation tips for wind turbines in the comments!