Small wind turbines ride out last week’s Atlantic storms

Last week’s violent Atlantic storm brought extremely high winds to the West and North of Scotland, with the Met Office recording maximum wind gusts of 165mph on Cairngorm Summit and 145mph at Aonach Mor.* The Met Office issued its strongest warning – a red alert – for winds in Scotland, and people were warned to stay indoors, schools were forced to close and flights were cancelled.

For owners of Evance R9000 small wind turbines, however, Scotland’s extreme wind speeds didn’t present any challenges. The Evance R9000 turbine is designed to keep running in the highest winds, and features an innovative Reactive Pitch™ mechanism that automatically pitches the turbine’s blades so it can regulate energy capture and blade speed.

Evance has over 50 of its R9000 turbines installed in the Orkney Islands. All continued to perform well during the storm, confirming the applicability of small wind turbines even in these most extreme conditions.

Evance R900 5kW Wind Turbine

One Evance turbine owner, Adam Cockram, lives on Eday – one of Orkney’s Northern Isles – where peak gusts of over 130mph (58 metres per second) were recorded. According to Adam: “on Thursday night and Friday morning last week the wind gusted at up to 138mph. I did wonder whether our Evance turbine would keep going, and I’m glad to say that there were no problems at all!”

“Like many in Orkney we experienced several mains power failures. Each time the turbine started back up with no problems at all,” continued Adam. “I’m certainly impressed by the quality of both the Evance turbine and the installation carried out by Orkney Micro Renewables. It’s certainly been tested here on Eday!”

Adam Cockram’s Evance R9000 turbine was commissioned in August 2011, and in five months has already produced 7,343kWh of electricity.

 

The Evance R9000 installed on a farm near Ferns, Co. Wexford.

 

Note

*http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2011/research-flight

 

 

 

Ampair Launches ‘off the Shelf’ Range of Offshore Power Supplies

UK small wind turbine manufacturer Ampair has continued its push into the renewable hybrid power system market by launching the containerPod™ range of power solutions predominantly designed for providing platform power for the offshore wind measurement sector.

Ampair containerPod with vertical deploy masts at Ampair works

Jeremy Davies Ampair’s sales and marketing manager says that, “Onshore heated met-masts and LIDAR installations use between 50 and 200 watts of power and to date we have been able to power these with our existing solutions. However in any offshore installation, the loads are typically 400 Watts at a minimum, reaching up to well over 1kW for periods. The main reason for these higher loads is the requirement for essential navigation lighting and communications equipment to be powered coupled with the simultaneous use of traditional met-mast and LIDAR measurement systems on the same platform.”

Ampair’s OF4000 ‘containerPod™’ unit is a turn-key packaged power solution that includes wind generators, PV arrays and an integrated back-up diesel generator which is designed to ‘rescue’ the system should there be a prolonged bout of poor renewable generation weather. The OF4000 system is designed to power continuous loads of up to 850W for 12 months without the need for a support vessel needing to be chartered to refuel the unit.

“After extensive modelling with our in-house stochastic modelling software proAmpair™ we could see that that using a purely renewable solution just didn’t add up as they required much larger battery banks, larger wind turbine arrays and larger solar arrays. These carried a price, weight and deck space premium that was not attractive. From the model, we could see that the best efficiency was obtained by using a small DC diesel generator that should only need to be run for 50-100 hours a year. By keeping the generator run time so low, we still deliver the low/no maintenance benefit of a purely renewables-based system, but we can supply power year round in a much more cost and size effective package”.

 

View of containerPod showing generator compartment

Ampair’s containerPod solution includes a variety of proprietary innovations designed to minimise the platform size needed by its customers. These include a unique ‘through-deck’ turbine pole which allows the Ampair 600 wind turbine to be lowered vertically to chest height, and also a tightly integrated generator and fuel tank compartment which share a common bund.

 

Ampair team on top of OF4000 containerPod

David Sharman, Managing Director at Ampair commented: “Ultimately Ampair’s system can be configured to power all of the required loads on a met platform in one single containerised package with the added benefit of providing additional internal real estate for all of the customers electrical panels. The containerPod is the natural progression from our successful land based heliPod and trailerPod hybrid systems, and leverages our deep understanding of the offshore industry. As a result interest to date has been significant and we have increased the size of our manufacturing plant and workforce to cope with demand which is a great step forward for us.”

 

For further information contact Eco Evolution – authorised representatives of Ampair in Ireland.

 

Evance R9000 small wind turbine receives full MCS accreditation

Evance, a leader in the manufacture of small wind turbines, is the first company to have completed the Mircogeneration Certification Scheme(MCS) Phase 2 requirements when the MCS Transition Arrangements document was issued on 28th April 2010. The MCS gives consumers the guarantee that certified microgeneration products and the installers of those products have conformed to a rigorous set of standards.

Eco Evolution are  pleased to announce that the Evance R9000 5kW wind turbine has completed all tests and has been awarded full Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation. This accreditation is a formal recognition of the durability, reliability, safety and overall performance of the R9000, which provides customers with confidence in the turbine, as well as entitlement to income from Feed-in Tariffs.

Evance Press Release  20th July 2010:

Evance, a leader in the manufacture of small wind turbines, is pleased to announce that its R9000 5kW wind turbine has completed all tests and awarded full Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation.

This accreditation is a formal recognition of the durability, reliability, safety and overall performance of the R9000, which provides customers with confidence in the turbine, as well as entitlement to income from Feed-in Tariffs.
For durability, the MCS states that a Class II turbine, such as the R9000, needs to be in operation for at least 6 months and achieve a minimum of 25 hours operating in winds greater that 15.3 m/s (34.2 mph). During this test period the R9000 substantially exceeded this parameters, by operating for over 200 hours in winds >15.3 m/s, proving its resilience. It actually saw sufficient wind to pass the Class I durability criteria within this timeframe.
To prove dependable operation the MCS required a 6 month running test. The R9000 test period began in November 2009 through to June 2010, with the turbine operating consistently throughout this period, so demonstrating its reliability.
“We are very pleased to have our product performance accredited as we have always been proud of the data we publish as our products are developed to BWEA testing standards,” stated Andrew Tasker, Product Director for Evance Wind Turbines Ltd. “We ran two concurrent test sites, in Cornwall and Shetland, which allowed us to rigorously test the turbine and tower in harsh winter conditions, with exceptional results.”
Turbines also have to pass the Safety & Function criteria which reviews and tests how a turbine copes with high wind speeds. For the R9000 this meant that the patented Reactive Pitchmechanism and Electro Brakewere fully tested, with both passing all requirements. Also technical information, such as load calculations and stress analysis, has been independently audited.
“We welcomed the introduction of the MCS as we believe it will improve standards across the industry. The R9000 is an excellent design, and it is good to see a product designed and manufactured in the UK meeting these stringent requirements” commented Kevin Parslow, CEO of Evance Wind Turbines Ltd. “The outstanding performance of the R9000 will give all customers, around the World, confidence to invest in small wind and Evance as a supplier of small wind turbines.”
Video of the EvanceR9000 installed on a farm in Co. Wexford.

Eco Evolution are resellers and installers of the Evance R9000 Wind Turbine in the Leinster region. If you would like to find out more about the benefits of wind energy please contact us here.

Top Myths About Wind Energy

Many people make many claims about wind turbines and the effects that they allegedly have. We’ve collated our favourites and given the answers.

Windfarm near Kilmuckridge, Co. Wexford.

Windfarm near Kilmuckridge, Co. Wexford.

  1. Myth: Tens of thousands of wind turbines will be cluttering the British countryside Fact: Government legislation requires that by 2010, 10% of electricity supply must come from renewable sources. Wind power is currently the most cost effective renewable energy technology in a position to help do that. Around 3,500 additional modern wind turbines are all that would be needed to deliver 8% of the UK’s electricity by 2010, roughly 2,000 onshore and 1,500 offshore.
  2. Myth: Wind farms won’t help climate change Fact: Wind power is a clean, renewable source of energy which produces no greenhouse gas emissions or waste products. The UK currently emits 560 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the key greenhouse gas culprit, every year and the Government target is to cut this by 60% by 20501. Power stations are the largest contributor to carbon emissions, producing 170 million tonnes of CO2 each year2. We need to switch to forms of energy that do not produce CO2. Just one modern wind turbine will save over 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually3.
  3. Myth: Building a wind farm takes more energy than it ever makes Fact: The average wind farm will pay back the energy used in its manufacture within 3-5 months of operation4. This compares favourably with coal or nuclear power stations, which take about six months. A modern wind turbine is designed to operate for more than 20 years and at the end of its working life, the area can be restored at low financial and environmental costs. Wind energy is a form of development which is essentially reversible – in contrast to fossil fuel or nuclear power stations.
  4. Myth: Wind farms are inefficient and only work 30% of the time Fact: A modern wind turbine produces electricity 70-85% of the time, but it generates different outputs depending on the wind speed. Over the course of a year, it will typically generate about 30% of the theoretical maximum output. This is known as its load factor. The load factor of conventional power stations is on average 50%5 . A modern wind turbine will generate enough to meet the electricity demands of more than a thousand homes over the course of a year.
  5. Myth: Wind energy needs back-up to work Fact: All forms of power generation require back up and no energy technology can be relied upon 100%. The UK’s transmission system already operates with enough back-up to manage the instantaneous loss of a large power station. Variations in the output from wind farms are barely noticeable over and above the normal fluctuation in supply and demand, seen when the nation’s workforce goes home, or if lightning brings down a high-voltage transmission line. Therefore, at present there is no need for additional back-up because of wind energy. Even for wind power to provide 10% of our nation’s electricity needs, only a small amount of additional conventional back-up would be required, in the region of 300-500 megawatts (MW). This would add only 0.2 pence per kilowatt hour to the generation cost of wind energy and would not in any way threaten the security of our grid6. In fact, this is unlikely to become a significant issue until wind generates over 20% of total electricity supply.
  6. Myth: Installing wind farms will never shut down power stations Fact: The simple fact is that power plants in the UK are being shut down, either through European legislation on emissions or sheer old age. We need to act now to find replacement power sources: wind is an abundant resource, indigenous to the UK and therefore has a vital role to play in the new energy portfolio.
  7. Myth: Wind power is expensive Fact: The cost of generating electricity from wind has fallen dramatically over the past few years. Between 1990 and 2002, world wind energy capacity doubled every three years and with every doubling prices fell by 15%7. Wind energy is competitive with new coal and new nuclear capacity, even before any environmental costs of fossil fuel and nuclear generation8 are taken into account. The average cost of generating electricity from onshore wind is now around 3-4p per kilowatt hour, competitive with new coal (2.5-4.5p) and cheaper than new nuclear (4-7p)9. As gas prices increase and wind power costs fall – both of which are very likely – wind becomes even more competitive, so much so that some time after 2010 wind should challenge gas as the lowest cost power source. Furthermore, the wind is a free and widely available fuel source, therefore once the wind farm is in place, there are no fuel or waste related costs.
  8. Myth: The UK should invest in other renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency instead of wind power Fact: Wind energy’s role in combating climate change is not a matter of either/or. The UK will need a mix of new and existing renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures, and as quickly as possible. Significant amounts of investment have been allocated for wave and tidal energy development, and these technologies, along with solar and biomass energy, will have an important role in the UK’s future energy mix. However, wind energy is the most cost effective renewable energy technology available to generate clean electricity and help combat climate change right now. Furthermore, developing a strong wind industry will facilitate other renewable technologies which have not reached commercialisation yet, accumulating valuable experience in dealing with issues such as grid connection, supply chain and finance.
  9. Myth: Wind farms should all be put out at sea Fact: We will need a mix of both onshore and offshore wind energy to meet the UK’s challenging targets on climate change. At present, onshore wind is more economical than development offshore. However, more offshore wind farms are now under construction, with the first of the large-scale projects operational at the end of 2003, and prices will fall as the industry gains more experience. Furthermore, offshore wind farms take longer to develop, as the sea is inherently a more hostile environment. To expect offshore to be the only form of wind generation allowed would therefore be to condemn us to missing our renewable energy targets and commitment to tackle climate change.
  10. Myth: Wind farms are ugly and unpopular Fact: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and whether you think a wind turbine is attractive or not will always be your personal opinion. However, studies regularly show that most people find turbines an interesting feature of the landscape10. On average 80% of the public support wind energy, less than 10% are against it, with the remainder undecided. Surveys conducted since the early 1990’s across the country near existing wind farms have consistently found that most people are in favour of wind energy , with support increasing among those living closer to the wind farms.
  11. Myth: Wind farms negatively affect tourism Fact: There is no evidence to suggest this. The UK’s first commercial wind farm at Delabole received 350,000 visitors in its first ten years of operation, while 10,000 visitors a year come to take the turbine tour at the EcoTech Centre in Swaffham, Norfolk. A MORI poll in Scotland showed that 80% of tourists would be interested in visiting a wind farm. Wind farm developers are often asked to provide visitor centres, viewing platforms and rights of way to their sites.
  12. Myth: Wind farms harm property prices Fact: There is currently no evidence in the UK showing that wind farms impact house prices. However, there is evidence following a comprehensive study by the Scottish Executive that those living nearest to wind farms are their strongest advocates12.
  13. Myth: Wind farms kill birds Fact: The RSPB stated in its 2004 information leaflet Wind farms and birds13, that “in the UK, we have not so far witnessed any major adverse effects on birds associated with wind farms“. Wind farms are always subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment and BWEA members follow the industry’s Best Practice Guidelines and work closely with organisations such as English Nature and the RSPB to ensure that wind farm design and layout does not interfere with sensitive species or wildlife designated sites. Moreover, a recent report published in the journal Nature confirmed that the greatest threat to bird populations in the UK is climate change14.
  14. Myth: Wind farms are dangerous to humans Fact: Wind energy is a benign technology with no associated emissions, harmful pollutants or waste products. In over 25 years and with more than 68,000 machines installed around the world15, no member of the public has ever been harmed by the normal operation of wind turbines. In response to recent unscientific accusations that wind turbines emit infrasound and cause associated health problems, Dr Geoff Leventhall, Consultant in Noise Vibration and Acoustics and author of the Defra Report on Low Frequency Noise and its Effects16, says: “I can state quite categorically that there is no significant infrasound from current designs of wind turbines. To say that there is an infrasound problem is one of the hares which objectors to wind farms like to run. There will not be any effects from infrasound from the turbines.”
  15. Myth: Wind farms are noisy Fact: The evolution of wind farm technology over the past decade has rendered mechanical noise from turbines almost undetectable with the main sound being the aerodynamic swoosh of the blades passing the tower. There are strict guidelines on wind turbines and noise emissions to ensure the protection of residential amenity. These are contained in the scientifically informed ETSU Working Group guidelines 199617 and must be followed by wind farm developers, as referenced in national planning policy for renewables18. The best advice for any doubter is to go and hear for yourself!

SOURCE:  http://www.bwea.com/energy/myths.html

Evance R9000 Wind Turbine

An overview of the Evance R9000 5kW  wind turbine suitable for residential, farming and commercial installations.

Evance R9000 5kW Wind Turbine

Evance R9000 5kW Wind Turbine

Performance:

  • Class leading energy yield
  • Reactive Pitch technology continuously optimises aerofoil positioning
  • Generates from wind speed of 2.5m/s(5.6mph)
  • No cut out wind speed

Design Excellence:

  • Blends into the environment for low visual impact
  • Lower material use for high ecological performance
  • Aerodynamic and contemporary
  • Created from big wind technology and automotive expertise

Low Maintenance:

  • Autonomous operation up to 60m/s(134mph)
  • Direct drive – no gearbox
  • Patented ElectroBrake – automatic with no moving parts

Safety:

  • Reactive Pitch automatically limits maximum of 230rpm whilst generating maximum energy. No cut out speed or intervention needed.
  • Brake system tower top mounted – no dependence on external system
  • ElectroBrake provides secondary backup safety system

Quiet Operation:

  • System engineered for minimum noise generation
  • Advanced blade design for low noise aerodynamics and balance
  • Direct drive – no gearbox noise

Efficiency:

  • Proprietary Reactive Pitch technology ensures perfect positioning of the aerofoils to maximise yield
  • Patented axial flux generator sets new standard of 96% efficiency
  • Upwind architecture with tail vane ensures precise yaw control

Durability:

  • All parts manufactured in composite, stainless steel or coated to automotive standards
  • Blade erosion resistance tested to double military standards
  • Designed to IEC61400-2, the international standard for wind turbines
  • 5 year warranty underpinned by more than 2.5 million hours in the field

Reliability:

  • Reactive Pitch is a simple and durable mechanical system
  • ElectroBrake has no moving parts
  • Backed by manufacturer trained and certified service network
  • Integrated generator eliminates complexity
  • Existing installations average >99% up time

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