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Portable Wind Turbine


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I don't find this discussed, but I was thinking it might be possible to use the portable Zamp port with a portable wind turbine.  We are parked for extended periods on our vacant property where the winds can get to really going, especially at night.  I thought it might be a viable supplement to the solar.  Anyone?

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While I've not investigated wind power for myself, I know that a YouTube poster - Fate Unbound - has been toying with this idea for a few years now.  The husband of this young couple is an engineer so that there is at least some formal education behind his thinking on the subject.

Good Luck!

Bill

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That is an interesting idea, but why not make it a permanent installation? The small generators by their very nature are not very efficient, and I believe the smaller blades are much noisier. 

Where is your property, and is there enough exposure to mount fixed solar panels and a battery pack instead? 

I know a fair bit about solar, but next to nothing about wind power…. I think the latter with all its mechanical parts would be a long term maintenance headache.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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You might look into the new "wind walls" that can be used as a visual barrier while providing energy.

Charlie.

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ALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA

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This used to be fairly common on cruising sailboats.  Downside's include vibration, which can be severe and irritating if the vane is attached to the hull / frame of the trailer.  Another significant downside can be noise ... depending on the quality and balance of the installation, this can be significant.  While living aboard my sailboat,  I had a neighbor who lasted only a few weeks with his new windvane installation before he took it down due to noise and vibration.  Glad he did because, even though we were friends, I was about to make a midnight visit to his boat with a cutting torch 😁

There are many cruising sailors who have successfully used a vane system while offshore with success.

Could be fine on your own property where the system will only bother yourself - taken out in public I am not so sure.  Seriously, if you are going to do this, choose your system carefully and keep your neighbors in mind.

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I know for years off shore sailors relied on wind generation to charge batteries.  Most have over time migrated to solar.  The reasons are improving and more cost effective solar systems especially with the advent of lithium batteries.  The wind generators were noisy, expensive, and if the wind blew too hard had to either have a mechanism to slow down or stop the blades.  They also needed maintenance and were not as reliable with significantly more moving parts.  I am not saying it can't be done, and the turbine technology has improved.  It seems solar is a simpler and perhaps more cost effective solution.  I guess you would really have to do the math.  Good luck with your choices.  

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Of course you can use the port, for a small 12v wind generator, probably 200 to 400 watts. The fuse on the zamp port, I think, is 10 amps. Just like solar, you'll need a controller,  specifically one that's made for wind turbines.

We looked into a helical wind turbine when we built our home, to supplement the solar. To get it high enough in the air to do anything more than "make a statement " (and actually  generate a meaningful amount of power) would not have been possible with our municipal codes. But, that research was done over 10 years ago, and advances have been made in turbine design. We just decided to up the solar, and eventually add battery backup. It's worked great for us 

With our sailboat, we've anchored and docked next to boats with wind generators, and absolutely hated the noise. Newer systems may be more quiet. Idk.

If you get one, make sure you can brake it in high winds,  without lowering the mast. Make sure it's worth it, actually,  in $$  . I'd suggest you speak to someone at Arizona wind and sun, to start with. They sell quality usa made gear .

Whatever you decide, check wind maps, and make sure your wind gen kicks in at levels of at least average wind. Many people think they have a lot of wind, but many wind gens don't kick in before 10 to 14 mph winds. And if they do, output is measly. 

As far as portable,  you own the property.  Consider making it a permanent install, in high clean air, imo. As much as I love clean energy, I've not (yet) found anything I'd take traveling, and risk  annoying my neighbors.  We have 600 watts of solar on our boat. It's silent, always.  Fixed solar on the trailer is 400 watts , plus 200 watts portable. 

Helical and vertical axxis are more quiet, but in our old research , less efficient. I can run a 60 db gen for an hour or two. 65 db of a turbine, whenever the wind kicks up, would not make me happy. I'm no longer "young," but my hearing is still good. 

If you do decide to be the pioneer, and find a good system,  I will truly look forward to your posts .

We've also looked at micro hydro generation, as we have several streams on our camping  property. Another (mostly silent) thought. 

Then again, you could build your own wind generator,  and try it out.  

Here's one: https://offgridworld.com/simple-diy-200-watt-wind-turbine-built-from-household-materials/

I'm a huge fan of clean energy. Wind included.

 

 

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On 2/3/2022 at 7:38 AM, topgun2 said:

 a YouTube poster - Fate Unbound -

I can't find any work by them about wind turbines.  😞

On 2/3/2022 at 9:05 AM, CnC said:

You might look into the new "wind walls" that can be used as a visual barrier while providing energy.

I wonder how noisy they are!

 

On 2/3/2022 at 10:32 AM, Jim and Chris Neuman said:

choose your system carefully and keep your neighbors in mind.

how far away would you need to be?  We are on 3 acres, share another 4 with my brother directly adjacent, and the next nearest neighbor is several acres away (I know that's not a real distance measurement, it's just an easy reference, haha)  Hey, maybe we can put up  a wind wall by our pond and keep the geese off of it!  

 

15 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I'd suggest you speak to someone at Arizona wind and sun, to start with.

Good reference, thank you!

 

15 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Then again, you could build your own wind generator,  and try it out.  

might be a fun project!

As usual, you all are a wealth of information.  To your collective points about where to get "clean" air on the property, we'd have to go quite high to get above the cottonwoods, but the land is open to the south, from whence our biggest winds come.  I will look at a wind map, good point.  I guess I liked the idea of being able to generate at night when solar can't.  Wish we could do some hydro generation, the land is in Colorado, where you don't mess with "other peoples' water".  

I'll keep poking around, it's a fun thought exercise at least.

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2 hours ago, Liana said:

Wish we could do some hydro generation, the land is in Colorado, where you don't mess with "other peoples' water".  

I've read that you can't collect rainwater in Colorado, without a special specific permit, but is micro hydro prohibited, as well? There is no collection going on. A small turbine in a stream, if you have one.

 

2 hours ago, Liana said:

 Hey, maybe we can put up  a wind wall by our pond and keep the geese off of it!  

They might just roost and poop on it, instead.  Yikes! 

I would "guess" a three acre buffer might be sufficient.  Where we get annoyed/frustrated is when a wind generator is anchored near us, or worse yet, a few years ago, docked two boats behind. Say,  200 feet or so. An acre is roughly (i think) 200 x 200 ft.

That was an older boat, with an older wind gen, and the water carries every sound. EVERY sound. My best guess is 70db when we had wind.. which was most of the time. Plus squeaky bearings,which were  worse. I  was really glad when they left. We don't actually see too many wind generators on boats, anymore. Most have gone over to silent solar. Boats amplify the sounds like a drum.

In your scenario,  I'd be more concerned about your own sleep. It's hard to send dc power from a distance,  without big/thick wire, and not have significant resistive loss. Placing the controller near the batteries helps, as opposed to some of the newer systems that have a controller at or in the wind generator. 

I'll be very interested in what you come up with. More "power" to you! Please keep us posted on what you decide to do.

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3 hours ago, Liana said:

We are on 3 acres, share another 4 with my brother directly adjacent, and the next nearest neighbor is several acres away (I know that's not a real distance measurement, it's just an easy reference, haha)  Hey, maybe we can put up  a wind wall by our pond and keep the geese off of it!  

Hmmm. I think the most important and missing piece of info in this discussion is: do you have an extra parking space for a visiting Ollie? And how close are you to any Colorado "attractions"? 😉

John Davies

Spokane WA

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On 2/4/2022 at 3:21 PM, John E Davies said:

Hmmm. I think the most important and missing piece of info in this discussion is: do you have an extra parking space for a visiting Ollie? And how close are you to any Colorado "attractions"? 😉

John Davies

Spokane WA

We have PLENTY of room for Ollies and no HOA! 😄

50 miles SW of Colorado Springs, depends on what you consider a Colorado attraction!  I consider the whole state to be one, well, except for Denver.  Haha

 

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On 2/4/2022 at 2:07 PM, SeaDawg said:

I've read that you can't collect rainwater in Colorado, without a special specific permit, but is micro hydro prohibited, as well? There is no collection going on. A small turbine in a stream, if you have one.

in Colorado, ALL water is other people's water, even the rain water.  We do have a stream but it does not have enough head to generate any electricity.  We also have 300 feet of S Ark river front, but getting permission to divert any of that into a collection to drive a turbine (of any size) requires Army Corps of Engineers involvement.  I can assure you, I have not one desire to engage in any of that!  Especially because the river flow drops almost to a trickle in the summer.

I'm going to keep looking into this to see if I can find something quiet that has a lower cut in wind speed.  There is an RV park up the road from us that has a wind turbine above their reception area, and they are on kind of a rise so catch a lot of the local wind.  Their turbine - quite small - is about 40 feet in the air.  I intend at some point to contact them about their setup.  I don't aspire to that setup, but their experience would be valuable.

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54 minutes ago, Liana said:

We have PLENTY of room for Ollies and no HOA! 😄

50 miles SW of Colorado Springs, depends on what you consider a Colorado attraction!  I consider the whole state to be one, well, except for Denver.  Haha

 

Well, that is good news. I agree about Denver, but I also don’t have much interest in the eastern half of Colorado, other than the relative lack of people, which is a good thing IMHO. You can go ahead and tell us where you live, 😬 I put you pretty darned close to Great Sand Dunes NP and not horribly far from the San Juan high country. Here are my “fun roads” waypoints and routes for part of Colorado.

927E505C-DFA0-4FB7-AE1D-7C5DE17C40A7.thumb.png.c8dd5deec8c4ee47cbab96f27dc07987.png

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

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11 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

You can go ahead and tell us where you live, 😬 I put you pretty darned close to Great Sand Dunes NP

We summer in Salida, about an hour north of the Great Sand Dunes NP.  There is much to be explored in that entire region, and I have failed because I didn't consider the eastern plains of CO to be part of the state!   Oops, I'm sure the folks who live there would take issue, much like the folks outside of Phoenix - our winter home - do about how Phoenicians think the entire state of Arizona revolves around them. 😄

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On 2/3/2022 at 7:58 PM, SeaDawg said:

you can use the port, for a small 12v wind generator, probably 200 to 400 watts. The fuse on the zamp port, I think, is 10 amps. Just like solar, you'll need a controller,  specifically one that's made for wind turbines.

Does this mean that the sidewall Zamp port is not tied to the Zamp controller?  What would happen if a turbine was plugged into the Zamp port while the sun is on the panels?  Are they incompatible?  To my electricity challenged mind, how does the Zamp controller know the difference between 12v from the solar v 12 v from the  wind generator (if the controller takes input from the sidewall port)?  I'm sure there's a schematic somewhere that answers the question of where the sidewall port goes, I'll see if I can find it.

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On 2/4/2022 at 12:33 PM, Liana said:

Here you go - 

https://youtu.be/z8JcHflQgVo

Bill

Bill, that vid is from August of last year and I don't see anything further from them about their process (they've posted more videos since then, just not about the wind turbine).  Maybe they bailed on the project because of all the reasons you all mentioned, which he also mentioned in the video.

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The zamp port, as installed,  connects directly to the batteries, via a fused line. Therefore, any solar panel or wind turbine needs its own controller.

The zamp controller (or whatever brand you have) sees the power going to the battery from another source, and adds whatever you need, or nothing, from your fixed solar panels to charge. 

It's perfectly safe, as long as you have a proper controller on the wind turbine (or for most of us, portable solar) line, before the port.

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I think it's really great that the neighbor rv park has a wind turbine. What could be a better local source of info!

I'm becoming more intrigued with your project every day. Good luck!

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40 minutes ago, Liana said:

Bill, that vid is from August of last year and I don't see anything further from them about their process (they've posted more videos since then, just not about the wind turbine).  Maybe they bailed on the project because of all the reasons you all mentioned, which he also mentioned in the video.

Yep - 

Nothing further as far as I can tell.

I do know that they have had a bunch of balls in the air over this past year.  Therefore I'm not surprised that they haven't taken the idea any further.

You could always send them a note in this regard if you think that they could be of some help.

Good luck!

Bill

 

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@Liana i found a series of videos on YouTube from Missouri wind and solar. Unlike Northern Arizona wind and solar, I've not purchased anything from them. 

I slogged through parts of this video below. He's not an engaging speaker, but I  think he might be a good starting point for some research.

 

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23 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I slogged through parts of this video below.

Haha, I slogged through the whole thing!  But, I do think the first half is of the most use.  I think what I am going to do first before going any further down this rabbit hole is set up a weather station on our property.  Our winds, according to a couple of different wind monitoring sites, come from predominantly W-SW.  The west side of the property, as I mentioned, has minimum 50 ft cottonwoods and aspens, so about the only time we'd have "clean" air would be if the winds were directly out of the south.  We do get sustained winds in the 10-15 mph range and many times gusts to 35.  But I don't currently find a "small" setup that would be suitable for charging the RV batteries.  

I have calls in to the RV park and NAZ wind and solar, and I haven't given up yet.  Just going to do some data collection first.  😄

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Update, if not much of one:

The RV park does not own the wind turbine, the adjacent business does.  He bought the property with the turbine installed and said he doesn't know anything about it.  (?)

I had a lengthy conversation about this with a full time boater over the weekend.  They had two different wind turbines on their boat and echoed what was said earlier in this thread:  that they're expensive, noisy, and not a good value (bang for the buck as it were.)

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Liana, I'm sorry to hear you're hitting deadends. I was really hoping you'd find something that would work for you. We passed by a sailboat last weekend with a vertical axis wind turbine. My guess for wind speed was 8 to 10. We were sailing downwind of them, maybe 150 to 200 yards, and I  was mildly  surprised that I couldn't hear their spinning generator.  Of course, it sparked  yet another discussion about the noise and inefficient production of wind generators in our cockpit. 

Was your original question because you need more power, or just to take advantage of the "free"  wind at night? I suspect your new portable set may be able to give you everything you need. I hope so.

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