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Immersion heater from a wind turbine

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Fenning, 23 Apr 2009.

  1. Fenning

    Fenning

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    Hey folks,

    Can anyone tell me if it is possible to connect a wind turbine (3kW) directly to an immersion heater.
    If so what measures must I incorporate, I presume I'll need an inverter of somesort.
    I should let you know that i'm an enthusiastic amateur.
     
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  3. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Yes it is. But it is not straight forward.

    If the turbine is providing stable 230 volts AC then with suitable fusing and islotators the turbine can be connected quite simply. As long as the turbine is producing power equal or greater than the load ( in kilowatts or VA ) of the immersion heater the heater will heat water.

    NOTE That assumes the turbine has all the necessary control gear.......voltage control, over load protection, over speed braking etc etc installed and operating properly.


    If it is a low voltage ( 12 or 24 or similar ) turbine then an invertor to 230 could be used but that is in-efficient as it will lose energy in the invertor.

    You can buy 12 or 24 volt standard sized immersion heaters. I do not know from where but probably an eco warrier type supplier. You can fit a number of heating bands ( 12 or 24 volt ) around the tank underneath the thermal insulation. The more power output from the turbine the more of these bands are turned on by a controller. This is the most efficient way as the load is always closely matched to the variable ouput of the turbine without any need to invert from DC to constant AC.



     
  4. oharaf

    oharaf

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    In theory yes you can. You will need an inverter and various other bits a pieces that will set you back so much I doubt it is worth it just for an immersion

    Think bigger
     
  5. Fenning

    Fenning

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    Thanks Guys,

    I was aware that the payback time for a turbine was going to be in the region of 10 - 12 years, but if the damn thing is going to be in-effecient as well, I don't think i'll bother.

    May go down the line of solar pannels.

    We're in the middle of a new build at the moment so I suppose now is the time.

    It touches me that people take the time to reply to posts and help individuals like me.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Zambezi

    Zambezi

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    Be very careful with wind turbines, just because it says 3KW does not mean that is what you will get (at best that rating will be when the wind is blowing constantly at the optimal speed). I have been told that most of the turbine suppliers massively overrate their turbines. I spoke to somebody who installed a 3KW turbine and he was so disappointed with it that he was using it a £3k battery charger because it was not good for anything else.
     
  7. ColJack

    ColJack

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    we like weird and whacky, it's the mundane repetitive questions that get on our collective tits..

    I was gonna suggest solar heating, but then you're limited to daytime use..

    if it's a new build, how about ground source heating?
     
  8. Fenning

    Fenning

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    We did consider a ground source heat pump at the outset, as we are in a rural location and have enough land to collect from.
    But again cost and payback time put a bit of a dampner on that, we needed 3 phase supply to heat the whole house (4000 sq ft) and that added another £5k onto the budget
    I've also heard reports that it turns the ground into a bit of a 'tundra' and the house never really gets warm.
    We're not 'tree huggers' but are keen to fully explore the whole renewable energy thing.
     
  9. ColJack

    ColJack

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    unfortunately, anything that is "green" costs money..
     
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  11. ElectricDunc

    ElectricDunc

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    A 3 phase ground source heat pump?! How big is this house! Considering the gas or oil consumption that would be involved in a property the size i'm thinking of GSHP must surely be a viable alternative. So long as it's coupled to an under floor heating system on a well insulted house (which new builds have to be) then surely it can't require that amount of power.

    I know i have no first hand experience of these units but based on research i've done previously they are a very efficient means of heating so long as you get the correct amount of collector pipe in the ground.

    My experience of solar water heating wasn't too positive either. I recently came back from Italy where the villa we stayed in had solar panels. The water wasn't even tepid and we had plenty of sun while we were there. Have you considered Photovoltaic panels instead. They're the ones that produce electricity rather then hot water but they recon they payback is far quicker then with most renewable solutions.
     
  12. ColJack

    ColJack

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  13. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Centre for Alternative Technology

    http://www.cat.org.uk/index.tmpl?refer=index&init=1

    If you have a stream then "ground" source heating with low grade heat from the flowing stream is viable.

    Wind turbines as mentioned are never going to provide reliable power in the quantity quoted. Never fit one to the house as the noise / vibration carried through the building is irritating. But when using the right heating elements and with the turbine in an open space ( clear, none turbulent air flow ) water heating can be viable. In any town the turbulence from wind hitting roofs and walls of nearby buildings can render a wind turbine useless.
     
  14. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Years ago working on the Falklands (Loads of wind) I tried making wind generators.

    I was using old alternators off wagons and rewinding then to reduce cut-in speed.

    Connecting the stator and field in parallel as normal we found we used nearly all the output powering the rotor. So we tried using series connection. With a Zener diode across the output to limit voltage it worked and we could light 36W bulbs without much problem. But really we wanted to store the power.

    Your idea of storing the power as heat would work very well. Storing as battery power was a failure as current only started to go through field once charging and it was catch 22. No field current then no voltage output so no field current.

    We used CAV AC5 alternators with 6 pole rotor and 4 pole stator re-wound single phase.
     
  15. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Careful these people are were more concerned with politics than things really working and they produced instructions on how to build a wind turbine using a hub dynamo from a bicycle but failed to give any advice on how to transmit the power to anything given the whole unit was free to turn in the wind.

    The cables were allowed to wrap themselves around the pole until they broke. No slip rings. Also they did not say the units were AC so will not charge batteries.

    They have good ideas but not followed through to a working unit. Although their water railway works well. Simple things like most visitors will be on weekend and it would be better to have staff days off on week days seemed to completely baffle them.
     
  16. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    A long time ago I designed a controller for heating an generator's fuel oil tank from a supply that was as intermittant and variable as that from a wind turbine.

    IIRC it used a bespoke heat exchanger made from copper pipe wound with resistance wire in several sections. The more power available the more sections were connected in.
     
  17. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    You wish.

    More like never, probably.

    Bigger and more expensive ones are much better. They may cost £10's of thousands, but they do actually work, and the payback time may be longer, but at least there is actually a payback.

    Like ED I find the idea that you'd need a 3-phase pump for a ground source a bit odd - did you seek a 2nd opinion?


    It would work even better if they'd thought to build a twin-track version, so that a car going up is mostly pulled by one going down instead of being pulled by a mass of water which is then thrown away.

    The Victorians wouldn't have made that mistake.

    Still - the place is definitely worth a visit, if you're in the area, as is the nearby Ffestiniog pumped storage power station.
     
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