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Wind Turbines

Harness the power of the wind. Today’s turbines are lighter, more robust and more efficient than ever. If you live in an area with suitable conditions, wind energy may be right for you as alternative or adjunct to other renewable energy technology.

While people are fairly aware of the uses of wind energy, many still lack the information on wind turbine. As a wind turbine manufacturer Carisol is aware that wind is an amazing source that can easily be harvested for energy generation. However, it€™s also interesting to note that wind turbines in the Caribbean can produce significant levels of energy for your home. The only restriction with wind turbine installation is that it needs open space where an average wind speed is constantly available to the wind turbine. Hence wind turbines are ideally suited for country or sea side setting.

Its important to investigate all available options regarding the choice of innovative and cost reducing energy solutions. All types of energy generation sources can€™t work for every application. Therefore, developing an understanding of the available options is highly important. Carisol wind turbines are designed in such a way that they can be customized to fit the needs of every project. If a region in the Caribbean has an average wind speed of 10mph or more then it is perfect for a Carisol wind turbine installation.

Modern wind turbines fall into two basic groups: the horizontal-axis variety, as shown at right and the vertical-axis design shown at left in the photo above, like the eggbeater-style Darrieus model, named after its French inventor.

Horizontal-axis wind turbines typically either have two or three blades. These three-bladed wind turbines are operated €œupwind,€ with the blades facing into the wind.

Our turbines are advanced, robust units specifically designed for our Caribbean applications. They are silent and very efficient for generating power at very low wind speeds and yet robust enough to withstand winds of over 140 km/h with suitably attached inverters. Maintenance is virtually nil as the only moving parts are bearings.

The big advantage of our wind turbines is that they can generate power when the sun is not shining, in fact they can run 24×7 if there is sufficient wind. They make a great addition to existing solar installations or as a standalone wind system. Our wind turbine has a blade diameter of only 1.22 meters but can generate over 20-40 amp hours a day at an average location. Much more can be generated in stronger wind areas. The constant charging especially at night significantly increases battery life and our advanced charge controllers also automatically brake the turbine when the batteries are fully charged also if more power is needed, two or more turbines can be installed and the result is a quiet, aesthetic solution that will generate usable power with a short “pay back” time compared to other green energy solution.

Additionally our turbines come with:

  • 3 year warranty
  • Durable composite blades
  • Microprocessor-based smart internal regulator with peak power tracking
  • Aircraft-quality aluminum alloy castings
  • Brushless neodymium alternator
  • Maintenance-free – only two moving parts

A wind turbine comprises a tower, topped by an enclosure called a nacelle, and the rotor, which is the propeller-like structure connected to the nacelle. The nacelle houses an electrical generator, power control equipment and other mechanical equipment, which is connected to the rotor.

The rotor blades are made from light composite materials such as fiberglass. They are well researched and shaped to maximize the energy harnessed. The wind strikes these blades, and due to their shape, the wind causes the rotor to spin. When the wind is strong enough, the rotational energy in the rotor is converted to electrical energy within the generator.

Towers are commonly made of steel tubes, although some earlier models used steel lattices. The height of the tower varies from turbine to turbine, and is determined by the length of the blades, size of the generator, and the need to access the smoother winds available further from the ground. Wind turbines in the Caribbean are commonly between 5 and 10 meters tall.

Wind turbines will generate significant amounts of electricity. Wind electrical power is generally proportional to the speed of the wind cubed. This means that if the wind speed doubles, the power generated is increased eightfold.

Apart from the actual wind speed at a site, the length of the blades on the rotor also determines the amount of power produced. The longer the blade, the more wind it can harness.

Wind turbines that are capable of generating 1 MW of electrical energy are now relatively common.

HORIZONTAL AXIS

VERTICAL AXIS

Q. How do I find out if my location has enough wind?

A. The actual wind speed at your location will be influenced by the local topography and any nearby obstructions such as trees or other buildings. Wind movement around buildings themselves is very fickle, so take expert advice if the machines are fixed to buildings rather than free standing on a tower or mast. A site with an average wind speed of 4-5 meters per second is generally sufficient enough to make installing a small wind turbine worthwhile.

Q. How tall are the small turbines?

A. Tower height varies according to wind turbine models, but generally range from 6 to 12 meters for stand-alone machines, which are often used to provide a power source where grid power is not available. In general, the higher the tower, the higher the average wind speed that the turbine will experience and the smoother the wind. The rotor diameter of small wind turbines ranges from 1.0 to 11 meters depending on the type of a model.

Q. What type or size tower will I need?

A. Tower Height

Our standard towers are 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24meters high. Certainly we can provide you the tower according to your request. In general, the higher the tower, the higher the average wind speed that the turbine will experience, and it is normally that a taller tower will generate sufficient extra energy to justify it€™s additional cost, especially if there are local obstacles to be avoided.

Tower Type

Depending upon the type of the turbine, we can offer either a free-standing tower, or a guyed tower. We can also offer you hydraulic tower.

Guyed towers will tend to be used in rural locations, and have four guy wires going from the middle of the tower to concrete ground pads. They use slightly less steel than a free standing tower, but would not be considered suitable where people would be around the turbine a lot, as you don€™t want to risk damage to the guy wires.

A free-standing tower or €œmonopole€ has no guy wires, but stands on a single concrete foundation with no other supporting structure. In many cases the choice is really down to personal preference, as to which one you prefer to look at.

Q. Do planning permission to install a tower?

A. Small wind energy installations may require planning permission and you should always consult the planning officials, preferably confirmed in writing if this is needed. It is clearly good manners to discuss your plans and aspirations neighbors. Relevant factors include environmental impact, access to the site, noise and visual effects. Overall, planning policies support the development of small scale wind energy.

Q. What materials are these turbines made from?

A. Wind turbine towers are generally made of steel. The blades are made of nylon, carbon fiber and glass fiber. The finish in most models is matt, to reduce reflected light.

Q. Are these turbines noisy?

A. The majority of modern small wind turbines have been designed to be very quiet. In general, the wind itself makes more noise than a wind turbine. It is most unlikely that any noise from small wind turbines will be heard beyond 50 m. If you need more detail noise data of our wind turbines, please contact us.

Q. Does turbines affect communication transmission?

A. Small wind turbines are unlikely to have any detrimental effects on aviation and associated radar or navigation systems. In general, turbines with small diameters are unlikely to have effects on television and radio reception. If this occurs it is likely to be highly localized and technically easy to overcome. It is also unlikely that small rooftop wind turbines will effect either mobile phone reception or fixed radio or microwave communications links.

Q. Will lightning affect the turbine?

A. Lightning strikes does occur and can cause damage to any structure raised from the ground. However, lightning protection is a well known practice and can be applied to wind turbines as for other equipment. On some turbine models, full protection of electrical circuits is installed by the manufacturer. Obviously, as with other elevated structures. Protection against lightning is advisable if the turbine is installed in an area where lightning strikes are frequent. Insuring the turbine against lightning damage may be a wise precaution.

Q. When there is no wind what?

A. When the wind stops blowing, electricity continues to be provided by other forms of generation in an isolated system (e.g. batteries, solar, generators etc), and by the grid in a grid-connected system. Consequently, it is possible to have at least 10% to 20% of the country€™s electrical demand met by intermittent energy sources such as wind energy, without having to make any significant changes to the way the system operates.

Q. What about servicing?

A. Wind Turbine may be operated under extremely harsh environment, or meet various complicated weather. Therefore, fix- date examination and maintenance are necessary in order to keep the system operate rightly.

Do the following check every three months:

  • Check the guy wires if they are too loose or too tight, and adjust them, in particular to the initial stage of installation and post-gale.
  • Check the electrical wiring for loose joints, rusted joints and correct the same in order to maintain supply integrity and electrical safety.
  • Maintain the batteries following the battery manual.
  • Before storm, it is better to lay down the tower to prevent losses.

Q. How long is the turbine generator lifespan?

A. 15 €“ 20 years under normal care.