9-16-13 Severe weather cautions. While the stall regulated design of the Breezy turbines allow them to operate in really severe wind speeds caution must be exercised here. As a rule we should monitor weather forecasts and not operate the turbines when there is the expectation of thunderstorms. Many storms in the Midwest produce very strong straight-line winds in the 70mph range along with lightning. Power flicker and brown out will cause the circuits in the controller to shut the turbine down. This invariably happens when the winds are highest demanding maximum performance from the brake system. Lets save this maximum brake performance for that time when you cant get there to shut it down.
Lightning can also create problems for the turbine. A lightning strike to the turbine could damage control circuits. If for example the surge destroyed the hall-devise the controller would have no way to determine turbine shaft speed and a run-a-way could result.
Lets not operate the turbines if the forecast calls for: thunderstorms or sustained winds greater then 45 mph.
If in your area 45 mph wind is the norm call us. Your turbine rotor can be adjusted for these higher wind areas.
2-8-11 This update concerns the 10K supplement. The photo labeled View of rear bearing. in the book (latest printing) and printed supplement shows what appears to be a shaft coupling. The photo is on page 108 of the books and page 8 of the supplement. This is the alignment coupling Alan uses here at the shop to align the motor shaft to the drive shaft and rear bearing. This type of coupling is not appropriate for use on an operating turbine. The coupling sprockets are listed on page 103 of thebook and page 3 of the supplement.
Weve been getting a few questions about the Soft Start Relay we use in the 10K and how it would help the older 5.5K turbines. The soft start relay brings the turbine online over the period of 1 second (actually adjustable to 10 seconds but not necessary or advisable). This relay uses a DC voltage for control and operation and since the control voltage is of a common source to the brake relay it must be changed also. As well as being really quiet and smooth, use of the soft start relay allows us to cut back on the "stay on" time when the turbine kicks in. This will eliminate most of the draw back from the power company at low wind speeds. Although they look similar this relay should not be confused with the zero-cross solid state relay used in earlier controls. The diagrams in the 10K supplement show the soft start and brake relay (interface) connected in the new control circuit. This control circuit would be a major upgrade and a challenge for many builders. The circuit contains additional relays to monitor voltage and frequency as required by many power companies for IEEE compliance. If you are upgrading a turbine that has been approved and is currently on line you should be able to do just the minor upgrade outlined below.
So..... what's involved? For a minor upgrade: Change the main relay to Soft Start. Change Brake relay to be compatible with Soft Start relay operating and control voltage. Add two electrolytic capacitors to quiet the DC supply voltage (drawings included with upgrade kit). Send micro-controller board back for reprogramming to cut back "stay on" time. Soft Start Kit: 90 amp soft start relay, 20 amp 240 volt brake relay (dc control), heat sink, lugs, capacitors, $188.15 + 12.00 shipping,
5-1-10 Nord 7.5 HP Gearmotor part number: In addition to the part number in the book you will need to add: BRE 60 (which tells them you want a brake, a 60NM brake). SK32-132S/4 Bre60
When servicing or installing the brass slip-ring assemblies be sure to tighten all set screws on the mast and collars. If these screws are not tight the wires attached to the actual brass ring will be flexed with each yaw to the turbine and eventually break off.
Resist making blades longer.
06-06-08 Blade laminating technique: Producing 4 blades without one of them twisting, warping, or otherwise ending up out of uniform with the rest can be challenging to say the least. This last year we changed the process that we use to make the blades in that instead of using 2 X 12s we have been using 2 X 4s.
The process is as follows: Select the best 2 X 4 X 10 that you can get (4 per blade). Plane each 4 inch side (actually 3-½) just enough to clean them up, 1/32 or so. Rip the 2 X 4s down the center so that you end up with pieces roughly 1-½ X 1-¾ . Position the pieces so that you will be gluing the planed surfaces (1-¾) together with the grain of the wood rotated opposite to adjacent pieces. Apply Titebond III waterproof wood glue to each surface to be joined and clamp for 1 hour. Clean away any excess glue and allow a full 24 hours to cure. Plane the new planks on each surface to create a new laminated 2 x 12 (approx. 1-½ X 11- ½). Compete the blade shaping process using the instructions in the book.
01-06-08: This update is associated with testing the turbine prior to powering the unit up for the first time. The hall-device should not be connected at either end prior to generator rotational testing. This means: do not connect the hall-device at the slip-ring assembly or connect hall-device wiring to the micro-controller until motor direction and brake operation has been verified. Also check that AC voltage (120 volts to ground) is not present on any of the hall-device wires before connecting them at either end. In addition, none of the hall-device wires should be grounded or have continuity to ground.
Following this update should make any miss-wiring or damaged wiring apparent before personal injury or damage to the micro-controller can occur.
10-16-07 Books purchased after August, 2007 have corrected blade drawings and information and changes pertaining to using the brass slip-ring assembly.
10-02-07 There have been a few instances of turbine goes to overspeed and shuts down or turbine kicks in too early and trips circuit breaker. So far all of these types of problems have been attributed to wires touching each other when using the mercury slip-ring, or wires not properly supported and they have rubbed through the insulation and are intermittently shorting to the tower or structure. Extra care should be taken to secure wiring at and through the yaw assembly and slip-ring whether brass or mercury..
Alternate method of rotor balancing: Alvin of Saskatchewan, Canada has contributed a pendent type balancing adaptor. The tool is designed to project up through the center of the hub and be connected to a line in which the entire rotor assembly is suspended. The rotor them may be balanced as described in the plans. Photos may be seen on the "Tips Pics and Other" page.
Updates 6-2-07: We have placed a drawing of the new main drive shaft on the bonus page. This is not to say that the old one (the one in the book) will not work or is too small. The new shaft is larger which reduces lathe time and in the end we have a larger shaft which is less expensive. Of course the bearings are slightly more expensive which we believe is a good trade off. You may download the new drawing from the bonus page.
Updates 01-20-07: The torque limiter must be adjusted properly or it will be overpowered in higher winds. Although the procedure detailed in the book will result in the correct torque limiter setting we have an additional method which is easier: After aligning the motor and drive shaft and insuring all hardware is in place and tight, adjust (tighten) the large nut on the rear of the torque limiter so that the motor just begins to slip inside the brake when the turbine rotor is turned and then back the nut off so that when turning the turbine blades the motor brake holds and the torque limiter just begins to slip. This will insure that the torque limiter is adjusted to a point just below the brake holding torque and that the system slips at the torque limiter and not the brake. This adjustment should be checked again at the initial 30-day check-up and every 6 months there after. Insure that you have tightened all setscrews and hardware before returning the turbine to service.
We have tested the turbine at several tower heights now including 17, 35, 60, 70, and 80 with results even more dramatic that previously estimated. In conclusion 60 must be considered absolute minimum mounting height for a turbine this size. In addition we have seen as much as a 10% increase in overall kW produced when increasing tower height from 70 to 80 feet. If mounting the turbine higher then 60 feet increase guy anchor positions as well as the dimensions of the cable truss tie points and spreader bars proportionally to the percentage of increase in tower height.
Check the bonus page on this web site for useful information available for those who have purchased the plans for Breezy 5.5.
08-09-06. To go along with the blade changes we have a new page 12. The page illustrates the correct blade profile. The page may be viewed and printed as if it were a picture. Use the same instructions for downloading the zip files.
Link: new page 12
07-30-06Since printing the book there has been a few changes to the hall-devise mounting and set-up. All hall-devise sensors that we have shipped ( will ship) with controllers have been North Pole sensing. Which means, as indicated with a handheld compass, the North Pole of a magnet will cause sensing. On page 41 make a note changing South Pole to North Pole in the first sentence of the last paragraph. Also, on page 86 make a note with respect to testing brake magnetic field polarity. For proper polarity of the brake magnetic field, a handheld compass should indicate that the end of the motor shaft is producing a S-pole when energized. The magnets shipped with controllers are marked on their N-pole, which should be mounted facing the hall-devise.
In addition to the magnetic polarity changes the material used to mount the magnet has also been changed. (Pg 41) The use of steel can sometimes cause an electro magnet to be formed that at times may have a field so strong that the sensing magnet will have no effect on the hall-devise. Consider making the magnet-mounting disk from thin stainless or aluminum. Drill a ½ hole into the disk and press the magnet midway through the hole and securing with silicon adhesive, this will result in a more secure mount for the magnet.
Cable clamps. It has been pointed out to us that the pictures in the book display incorrectly installed cable clamps on the guy cables (pg. 69). Cable clamps should be installed so that the saddle of the clamp is over the load bearing live part of the cable. We find that there is also a saying that goes along with this: never saddle a dead horse. Thanks for this update goes out to one of our customers. Thank you!
3-26-06 Connecting to the Nord motor: To connect to the Nord and insure proper rotation we will use this information and connect as follows: Orange wire from main relay- T1/T7; Yellow wire from capacitors- T2/T8; Green wire from 30amp breaker-T3/T9. We have found this wiring to be standard on the Nord motors we have tested. Also, to test Nord and other motors for proper rotation it is much easier to get them to start by doubling the recommended capacitor values during the test.
1-28-06 The new slip-ring assembly is going to work well. It
will however require mounting the motor on 8 channel iron motor mounts rather then
4. Make correction to the first paragraph on pg. 31. This change will also affect
the height of the end plates and the position of the flange bearing on the front end
plate. In addition to being suitable for cold weather (-40deg) the brass assembly is less
expensive, repairable, and has no environmental risks (no mercury).
We apologize for any additional work or expense this change may have caused. We felt it was necessary to make an effort to contact each person who has purchased the plans and make them aware of this.
More explanation: We when we rebuilt "Proty" the prototype generator to bring it up to specifications we found a notable loss of "generated power" at lower wind speeds. Searching for the cause we discovered that we had made the blades based on a profile, which we tested on a 3-blade hub. These blades were much longer (18") and although they worked reasonably well there was considerably more flex in them. We changed the blades making the them shorter, added a blade to the rotor, and increased the lift in the profile. Months passed while we tested and evaluated the 4-blade rotor. The turbine was performing better then we hoped but we needed the high winds produced by spring storms for additional testing. Unaffected by winds at 70mph on several occasions we were convinced that these were the blades we had been working for. The performance specifications and characteristics in the book are for this set of blades. We built the demo-trailer and generator and wrote the book based on everything we had learned throughout our design process and 3 years of testing different configurations. When we wrote the chapter on making the blades we specified the length and pitch for the 4-blade hub and the profile for the 3-blade hub. Not only did we get it wrong in the book, we built the blades for the demo-trailer and the new blades for "Proty" with this profile. We are still not sure how we managed to do this.
Usage in cold weather!! The Mercotac 830 will not be suitable for temperatures below -22 deg. This change came about in discussions with one of their technical reps. We have contacted a few other suppliers and have a very nice (and less expensive) slip-ring assembly in the works. However, to use this assembly requires the motor/generator be mounted on 6 inch channel instead of 4 inch as called for in the plans. Other minor changes will be recommended as to the mounting of the slip-ring assemble when more details are available.
More parts: We now have the drive shafts available for purchase on the website as well as a few other items. We will be adding items so if you're having problems locating parts locally check back.