Prepared Society Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
YourAdministrator, eh?
Joined
·
8,000 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a windmill on the CanadianTire website for 'bout $800 which is cheaper than what I paid for my 80-watt solar panel that is mounted to my camping-trailer.

AirX 400W Wind Generator | Canadian Tire

I am wondering if purchasing a wind generator like this would be cost-efficient compared to building my own via permanent magnet motors. I would like it to have the most power output (400 watt sounds awesome to me) ... could a "home-built" put out that kind of wattage?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,733 Posts
I found a windmill on the CanadianTire website for 'bout $800 which is cheaper than what I paid for my 80-watt solar panel that is mounted to my camping-trailer.

AirX 400W Wind Generator | Canadian Tire

I am wondering if purchasing a wind generator like this would be cost-efficient compared to building my own via permanent magnet motors. I would like it to have the most power output (400 watt sounds awesome to me) ... could a "home-built" put out that kind of wattage?
Here is some Q & A's for that wind gen...
Air X users have reported that it is relatively common for the turbine to work in "fits and starts" because of the way the controller functions. This should not be a problem. Also, some folks on boats complain of the clatter of the stopping and starting of the blades. Wind turbines do make noise, and on a boat, this noise can be amplified. Please check with your local marina to be sure that you can use the air X on the boat when you are not there. Southwest Windpower now has the new Air Breeze model with slightly different blades and an updated controller. This should reduce noise.
Q. My Air wind turbine seems to start spinning but then quickly slow down and not work. What's wrong?
A. Because the AIR series have internal electronic charge controllers, they must be connected to a battery bank with a voltage of at least 10.5 volts DC in order to function. When customers observe that their AIR is spinning up then braking in a repeating cycle (spin up to speed, LED flashes for a second or two, then a sudden braking) this almost always indicates that the AIR is either not connected to the battery bank or the battery bank is bad. Common causes are a failed wire connection, a blown fuse, mis-wiring the stop switch, grossly undersized wiring, or severely discharged or damaged batteries.
Q. Can I connect my AIR directly to a pump or light?
A. No. The turbine has an electronic controller and it must be connected to a battery bank to function properly. The turbine cannot be connected directly to a load such as a pump, fan or inverter.
Q. Why am I only measuring 5 or 6 volts from my AIR?
A. The turbine controller circuitry must sense a battery bank voltage of 10.5 volts (for a 12V turbine) or 21 volts (for a 24V turbine) in order to operate properly. If you attempt the "drill spin" test, as outlined in the Bench Test section of the manual, please note that the turbine must be connected to a battery. If done without the battery connection, you will only measure a fraction of the rated voltage output. This is normal.
Q. How do I know the AIR is charging?
A. For a precise indication of charge current you will need to install an amp meter (ammeter) in your system. The meter or meter shunt should be installed in-line on the positive wire. Almost any amp meter with a suitable current capacity and range will work. We offer a 30 Amp ammeter (in the search bar above on our site, just search for the phrase '30A ammeter').
Q. Can I run my AIR through my solar panel controller?
A. Because the turbine must be able to sense battery bank voltage, the AIR cannot be run through external controllers or devices that contain diodes. These are frequently found in solar panel controllers, to keep the panels from discharging at night - but, these diodes will put the turbine into "open circuit" mode and prevent energy production.
Q. How do I use the stop switch?
A. When wired as shown in the manual diagram, RUN is up and BRAKE is down. Do not use the center switch position - this is "open circuit" and the turbine will not produce any charging energy for you. Worse yet, this position will cause the turbine to repeatedly cycle between spinning and braking, which can cause excessive wear and can void your warranty. The stop switch is included with the Marine version of our AIR products, so that sailors can turn off the turbine while in a slip or mooring. In other cases, the stop switch is not needed and the AIR will brake on its own when in regulation or during extremely high wind speeds. If your installation calls for a stop switch, you can purchase a 50A stop switch (in the search bar above on our website, just search for the phrase 'stop switch').
Q. What does the red LED indicate?
A. The red LED on your new turbine can provide important information. When steady, the AIR is charging. Slow blinking indicates regulation. If you don't see a charge indicator or regulation flashing, under normal operating conditions, then check your wiring for bad connections or breaks. Don't forget to check the fuse or circuit breaker.
I don't think you could make one that has all the control circuitry included for that price and wattage. I was going to try one myself, on the travel trailer, make a bracket that attaches to the front hitch.
 

·
YourAdministrator, eh?
Joined
·
8,000 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that info Bob ..

The CanadianTire site has virtually no information about the product on their website. Do you have the site that you were able to copy/paste that information from? I found a little bit at SunPower-Wind.com ... but not as much as you posted. I would love to make this as part of my next test towards self-sufficient power.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,733 Posts
Thanks for that info Bob ..

The CanadianTire site has virtually no information about the product on their website. Do you have the site that you were able to copy/paste that information from? I found a little bit at SunPower-Wind.com ... but not as much as you posted. I would love to make this as part of my next test towards self-sufficient power.
Ya sure...Southwest Wind Power Air X Wind Turbine Marine 400W 12V - Air-X Wind Electric Turbines @ AltE:beercheer::beercheer:
Gotta get back to the pit project...been slacken lately, making orange marmalade from my orange trees, oh shoot, gotta check the sauerkraut too!! Just checked, its smelling ripe like fermenting cabbage, added some salt water to keep it covered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
One thing to consider... how much wind will you get? 400w is the max at ideal conditions.

I can't really say whether or not you will spend more than $800 building your own. You probably won't spend $800 in materials... but what is your time worth?

And there is a big difference in technical skill required between buying one to put on a tower, and building one to put on a tower.

Solar and wind make great combinations... just make sure you have plenty of battery capacity to store all that power.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,733 Posts
One thing to consider... how much wind will you get? 400w is the max at ideal conditions.

I can't really say whether or not you will spend more than $800 building your own. You probably won't spend $800 in materials... but what is your time worth?

And there is a big difference in technical skill required between buying one to put on a tower, and building one to put on a tower.

Solar and wind make great combinations... just make sure you have plenty of battery capacity to store all that power.
You can go to my site and see how everything is doing with our hybrid system, I built the tower for the wind gen and the rack for the panels by the way. I didn't think I could however build a wind gen that would take the wind load forces here in So Calif(Santa Ana wind 60+mph) as well as a properly engineered one. The Bergey XL1 has loads of features including a mechanical auto furl, which turns the unit out of the wind before over loading the blades.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top