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The scam of rooftop windpower generation

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Eeyore, Dec 8, 2006.

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  1. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    I was pleased to discover the link below on a *repectable* home windpower site
    about the curent scam in the UK promoting rooftop windpower generation no doubt
    targeted at well-meaning townies who'd like to see themselves as 'green'.

    For my own part, I'd been amazed to see that one of the most prominent
    manufacturers of this kit ( now being sold in a well-known DIY chain ) shows
    average windspeed figures at 25 metre elevation to promote their product despite
    saying they can't install it any higher than your roof !

    " Rooftop wind turbines are a load of nonsense
    Anyone who has experience in the industry knows that wind turbines require
    substantial quantities of wind to produce power. There may be strong gusts and
    turbulence around buildings but only a small amount of power is available in
    such locations.

    There are a number of manufacturers of rooftop wind turbines. They have sprung
    up to meet popular demand. There is no evidence that their products can deliver
    what they claim. Here are some of the web sites.

    The manufacturers of rooftop wind turbines invariably make quite unrealistic
    claims, and present a very strong marketing rather than engineering

  2. danny

    danny Guest

    Yep a scam just like chasing the wind for the cash you have spent.
    There is only one type that may pay and that is the Helical which generates
    when the wind comes in all direction up down sideways.
    Suburbs are useless for wind generation, only
    Heat pumps are sound in town.
    People contemplating spending the £1600 would be better off put in extra
    insulation, upto 12 inchs is good.
  3. Dave Gower

    Dave Gower Guest

    While there are limitations to wind power, this blanket condemnation
    overstates the negatives. In very good sites, with large and advanced
    turbines it is a commercially viable proposition. And it can also be a
    practical energy source in remote locations, especially if reliable solar
    energy is not available.

    One promising form of wind power that is getting a more serious look now is
    wave power.

    I do agree, however, that nuclear needs to be considered more seriously.
    Chernobyl and Three Mile Island are examples of how not to do nuclear, but
    there are much better designs. And the waste problem can be managed.
  4. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Absolutely spot on and it wouldn't cost £1600 either.

  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    My objection is about the scam of selling baby turbines to fit on the wall of
    your house in an urban location.

    This will always be a total waste of money.

  6. Dave Gower

    Dave Gower Guest

    I am not disputing that, which is why I made reference to remote locations
    where there may be less alternative sources. But Rolf was expanding it "all
    wind", which was the essence my rebuttal.
  7. Dave Gower

    Dave Gower Guest

    I didn't select the cross-posts, and am not going to try to eliminate them.
    Rolf changed the topic to global energy, so complain to him.
  8. Mauried

    Mauried Guest

    Wouldnt it make more sense then to start reducing the number of end
    users, rather than imposing limits on what an ever increasing number
    of end users can use.
    Seems this is something that no one wants to address.
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I fully agree.

    I should get electricity, but by nearest neighbours should be
    turned off.

    They are wankers, anyway.
  10. Howdy:
    I wonder if a energy co-op would work.
    Say this co-op produces a efficient wind generator
    that would be around 500 kw (or more), and the co-op
    would have property in a prime wind area to
    set up these wind generators. A person would invest
    in these wind generators, say buy a wind generator,
    or invest in a percentage of one, and the power
    would offset there own power use, and the excess
    power would pay for maintenance, and what ever profit
    they would make.
    You don't have to have a wind generator on your
    roof if you plane on tying into the grid anyway, you
    could have it anywhere on the grid, so why not put
    it in a prime area to get the best use out of it. If you
    are going to get off the grid all together, that is a different
    story, you would have to have the generator on the
    Does this make since?


    SeeYaa:) Harbin Osteen KG6URO

    When American Citizens with dual citizenship pledges allegiance
    to the flag, to which flag do they pledge allegiance too?

  11. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest


    I had thought that instead of 10 householders buying doubtful rooftop turbines @
    £1,600 ea they could club together to buy *one* decent one for £16,000.

    Well.... It seems that would buy a 20kW turbine fom these guys, but not the
    grid-tie inverter.

    Just a thought. You'd need to find somewhere to install it of course.

  12. Guest

    That sounds like the "Altamont Pass" area in California.

    The Altamont Pass is in a small pocket of wind potential grade 6 near a
    population center in a region that is largely grade 1 and 2.
  13. Craig

    Craig Guest

    It is very interesting to read your comments on roof-mounted micro wind
    turbines and also the information on the website you linked to.

    I am a protection engineer for a Distribution Network Operator in the UK
    and part of my work is the approval of generation interconnections with
    our network, up to 33kV. I have spoken to a number of very reputable
    installers and designers of small scale embedded generation equipment
    and they all say exactly the same thing about these roof-mounted devices.

    I have to say too, regrettably, that some of the companies
    selling/installing roof-mounted devices have a pretty poor regard for
    statutory regulations and industry standards in my experience. They
    certainly don't do themselves or their customers any favours by behaving
    in such an unprofessional manner.

    On a positive note, for every purveyor of snake-oil, there are at least
    two very good companies looking after their (and our) customers!

    I hope it won't be long before the media get their heads round the idea
    that a roof-mounted wind turbine for every home is not the panacea for
    climate change they currently think it is. There are plenty of other
    ways to play your part in conserving energy.

  14. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    It's hard to deny the science !

    It's such an easy idea to sell though, like all the 'PC' nonsense that's floating
    around in all manner of areas.

    My own feeling is that a real push for better insulated homes would achieve far, far
    more. And so so quickly.

    Suppose you want to fit more insulation. There are supposedly some grants still
    available but the paperwork is absurdly complicated, yet the government subsidy is
    already built-in to these absurdy 'hi-tech solutions' like roof windpower that really
    do no good at all.

    The dice are firmly loaded in favour of the charlatans.

  15. Hi Graham:
    The turbines on the link you provided would be great if you
    were to us them for off-grid application, but if you were to
    go with the co-op idea, the co-op would be the one to tie
    into the grid, and that cost would come out of the maintenance
    cost of the turbine that you invested in. The co-op should
    use turbines of 500 kw or larger because of the efficiency, and
    it will make better use of the land, and less likely to kill raptors
    because the blades turn slower. Here is a link to a turbine that
    is 450 kw, and it is going for $208,450.00 U.S.. 450 kW Refurbished Specs..pdf

    I believe that would work out to be $463.00 per kw, so you might buy
    10 kw, $4630.00, worth of shares in the turbine. Not bad, and a small percentage
    would go to maintenance, and all other b.s..


    SeeYaa:) Harbin Osteen KG6URO

    When American Citizens with dual citizenship pledges allegiance
    to the flag, to which flag do they pledge allegiance too?

  16. Hi Clarence:
    Is this a co-op, or privately owned, or a public utility?


    SeeYaa:) Harbin Osteen KG6URO

    When American Citizens with dual citizenship pledges allegiance
    to the flag, to which flag do they pledge allegiance too?

  17. I'm not so sure. People die every year from accidents with stoves, furnaces
    and electrical wiring, but that isn't politically as bad as anything to do
    with nuclear.
    And while I'll agree that - in general - rooftop windpower is a bad idea, I
    get reasonable payback from my Air-X mounted to my (detached) garage roof.
    If the wind's out of the North or North-west, turbulence from the house is
    a real problem, but wind out of the South or South-west (the prevailing
    direction) is completely free of obstruction for a few thousand miles (Nova
    Scotia coast). One of these days I'll get the turbine up another 30' and
    really get the most out of it, but the trade-off in ease of maintenance and
    cost of cable keeps me from making that jump.
  18. Sure you can work out the real cost, but afaict nobody really _has_ done
    that yet.

    Cost of Building + cost of subsidies + cost of waste-disposal = ?

    In fact, if all of those were taken into account, the number you really want
    is not cost / price per Kwh, it's simply the price per Kwh. The Kwh rate
    for nuclear power is lower than it should be because of the subsidies and
    the still-unknown costs of waste disposal.

    Which is not to say that I'm anti-nuclear. I think that if the nuclear
    generating companies really had to pay for permanent disposal of waste, and
    got no subsidies (or at least no more than the fossil fuel industry) they'd
    still be the low-cost provider, but that's just my opinion.
  19. danny

    danny Guest

    Be very carefull who you get the advice from, only there is a great deal of
    spin in them turbines.
    Consisider even in a great spot with max generating winds you cannot expect
    more than 35% of any day to get generating wind speeds.
    A dwelling would probably not so advantagously sited, think more along the
    15% - 20% generating time.
    An helical will do better in awkward spots but at a bigger price tag for a
    sound design.
    Put your cash into insulation especially that first 150 mm, 300 mm still
    gives a good saving, clad the north facing wall and insulate upto 100 mm. do
    the lot if it is feasible, and can look good.
    This is where modern semi underground design is good, built into an hill
    Straw houses 450 mm of insulated walls, much under utilised.
  20. Mary Fisher

    Mary Fisher Guest

    You're only doing that NOW? We did ours donkey's years ago. It wasn't a
    large job and the difference was perceptible immediately.
    But they are a source of discomfort which makes people turn up the heat.
    Depends how you do it. We did ours ourselves, fitting factory made to
    measure dg panes into existing wooden frames. The best of all worlds,
    inexpensive, no ugly plastic, no cutting down of light ingress because of
    wide frames and instant comfort.

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