30 November 2008

Delta trial per Fortis

Last week at the BWEA Small Wind Systems Technical Sub-Group meeting (what a mouthful, we normally just call it the BWEA tech cte) the folks at Fortis attended and gave a presentation which I have attached below, along with a press release from Fortis regarding the trial. These are both in english and give quite a lot of background to the trials which may be useful as the Zeeland Windtest literature is only available in Dutch.

The BWEA tech cte is open to companies from all countries. Anybody can join the BWEA. At the moment there are representatives from Ropatec of Italy, SouthWest of the USA, and Fortis of the Netherlands. There are some installers who represent some other manufacturers but they do not seem to actively represent 'their' manufacturers. Just contact the BWEA if you want to know more.



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24 November 2008

Warwick Wind Trial seminar 13 Jan 2009

The Warwick Wind Trial final results are due out early next year. This is the first public trial of urban microwind. I have yet to see the final results but each time they get more data and do more analysis the more I find interesting things inside them. The consultancy that has managed the trials is Encraft and they are holding a seminar:

13 January 2009
0900 - 1700

Hill Close Garden Trust

The seminar includes a bus ride around to some local installations amongst which is the Wolseley Sustainable Building Centre. To book a place contact booking@encraft.co.uk .

The price is £200 per person inc lunch and coach tour, £125 per person for early birds and students.

Manufacturers involved in the trial are Ampair, Eclectic, Windsave, and Zephyr. There were also Renewable Device Swift units in the trial briefly but they were withdrawn.

The flyer for the seminar can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.


15 November 2008

Torfaen eco-building

Working through a backlog that I'm trying to get off my desk Torfaen County Borough Council were asking about the noise levels of the Ampair 100. I pointed them in the direction of Paul Gipe's trials (see here and here) and asked why.

Turns out that they have built an eco-building on one of the industrial estates they manage and they were going through a BREEAM assessment. This is an interesting project because as they point out industrial buildings (warehouses & factories) aren't usually very environmentally sound.

The Ampair 100 on the building probably is not hugely relevant in the overall scheme of things. But a lot of the other stuff certainly is. I've put the pdf download about their project below. For some reason I do not seem to able to control where blogger puts file links.



09 November 2008

Northanger visiting Antarctic peninsular

These two photos were just sent by Roger Robinson who was on Northanger about 5-years ago and visited the Antarctic peninsular. He apologises for the quality as these are scans from slides. They look fine to me.

I should point out that Northanger run or support various 'commercial' expeditions - just look at the Northanger website for more info. Having organised and been on both commercial and non-commercial expeditions I'm not always sure of the difference. Style surely is the real issue and we like the Northanger style going right back to the Smith Island ascent of Greg Landreth back in 1995. The chap who told me the tale of this was on the second Joint Services expedition to the island and he was impressed.

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Ampair sponsor Northanger

Greg Landreth & Keri Pashuk saling Northanger away from Hourglass Bay on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut – Canada; with the blades of the Ampair 100 they use at the top of the picture

Northanger is a yacht, two people, and a way of living. For the last 18-years co-skippers Greg Landreth and Keri Pashuk have taken the steel ketch 'Northanger' to the extreme ends of the oceans on a permanent expedition.

Ampair first joined them when they over-wintered 1999 / 2000 by freezing Northanger into the ice of Hourglass Bay on Ellesmere Island. Since then their Ampair 100 has been in constant use. Recently they contacted us for some spare blades and we recognised the yacht from our own mountaineering experiences and were very happy to discover that they had been using Ampair all these years. After that we were happy to become an official Northanger sponsor.

As with many people their electrical needs have increased of late due to adoption of more modern conveniences. They are now putting a second Ampair on Northanger and we wish them many more years of serious adventure.


03 November 2008

Delta / Zeeland trial update - November 2008

I have added in the price/kWh analysis on the last two slides of the presentation for the first six months of data. I didn't have time to do this before. I assume 20-year lifetimes for all units, no maintenance, and no change in wind regime. This is simplistic of course but occasionally I have to do the day job.

Delta Zeeland wind turbine trial presentation update (look at the bottom of this blog post)

Some folk have done a bit more digging into the trial:

- Olino
- Newenergyfocus

One of these includes a full NPV analysis.

The Zeeland folk have commented that they expected a 6m/s average and indeed it will be interesting to see what the average is after we have had the winter episodes in.

The Swift folk have commented about inverter tuning in one of the reports on the trial and it looks as if they will do a spot of tuning. The holy grail is auto-adaptive control algorithms which I know were discussed at least three years ago (because I answered a question at the BRE microwind seminar regarding them, ironically when standing next to one of the XCO2 / Quiet Revolution chaps: I think they now use an auto-adaptive algorithm in their QR6 unit but that's just a guess on my part) but surely have been openly discussed for longer, I've known about them for over twenty years when I was at college.

As I say in my blog I sincerely congratulate everybody brave enough to do public performance trials. In our experience it gets easier the more you do. Also as one consultant commented to me today "it's not what your problems are, it's more how you respond to them".

I've had a comment in that I am being a mite aggressive in my discussion re Tesco. I've had a look at what I wrote. To make it clear:
- I think Ropatec are a very robust VAWT with good engineers at the helm,
- I think that Ropatec made exactly the same sort of mistake that could happen to all of us (and which I have pointed out that something similar did happen to Ampair) and best wishes over the next six months,
- I think that the data shows that all the VAWTs are not (yet) good producers (and I'd love to see data on better performance in the future),
- I think that the consultant who conducted the initial pre-purchase analysis for Tesco owes Tesco a refund,
- I think that Tesco are to be congratulated for trying.

So well done Ropatec; well done to Tesco; (not mentioned but well done to Llumarlite who are the Ropatec representative in the UK); and what a shoddy job by the Tesco's expert consultant who I know did not understand the advice he was given and tried to bluff which is always a sign of an unprofessional professional.

Like I said and will continue to say, congratulations to all who have the courage to participate.