Experience of a D.I.Y. turbine owner

Here are some interesting comments by "G" from a BBC discussion board about wind turbines. My reason for using them is that the BBC only keeps comments on line for a short time.

G - I hope you don't mind my using your contribution, but if you do not want to be quoted, send an email, and I'll remove it. - N.D..

........I have wind turbines and some solar PV at my house. One turbine is a DIY homebrew machine made from scrap. It's not elegant, though it looks OK, made from a motor from here and some aluminium from somewhere else. In the light wind we get in Cambridge it spins quite a lot of the time; I get about 25W from it at full power. Over the course of a week it will happily charge a couple of 12V batteries, around 7Ah; the power gets used to light my garden and shed - free power from junk. The cost was less than 5, so, it's paid for itself.

I also have a 200W turbine, 2m blades, on a 4m pole at the end of the garden, with some clever electronics. I can charge four 12V 110Ah batteries quite easily, even in the 4m/s wind with extra gusts now and again that I get over my garden. The power lights the kitchen, charges my laptop, etc.

There are also a couple of solar PV panels, 25W in total; these overcome the standby power of the inverter and add a little to the batteries if it is not windy.

If you know where to look and like DIY you can make some useable power for only a few quid.

Where is the saving? - well, it's not about reducing the bill by 33% or whatever anyone else claims, it's about actually coming to terms with what you are using in the first place. Change your light bulbs so you can make enough power for them; switch to a laptop, so you can make the power to charge it. Charge your mobile via the sun, etc.

Other folk make the power for my washing machine and kettle, I can't make that much.

My bill has not been reduced by the renewable kit I have, but I know how much power I use and what I use it for...that's worth a lot.

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