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The Truth About Small Wind Turbines

It presents an honest reality check, and is a must-read, if you are considering a small wind turbine for your backyard.


Lightning Protection

Learn from our lightning protection pages, about lightning and how to protect a wind turbine or other RE installation.

 

Documents


Solacity brochure (pdf)

 


Scirocco Manual (pdf)

 


Eoltec brochure (pdf)

Click Here for French version
 


Clearance & interface (pdf)

 


Aurora inverter brochure (pdf)

 


Aurora inverter manual (pdf)

 


Wind interface brochure (pdf)

 


Wind interface manual (pdf)

 


Scirocco hookup (pdf)

 


Scirocco wire gauge (xls)

 


Power & production (xls)

 


RETScreen module (xls)


Eoltec Scirocco

Wind is free, catching it has been the expensive part. The Scirocco wind turbine makes this more affordable! The Eoltec Scirocco wind turbine is a beautifully designed and engineered wind turbine. It has 5.6 meter diameter blades that take the maximum possible amount of energy out of the wind for its size. The Scirocco was successfully tested on Orkney island, with its 160+ km/hr (100+ mph) hurricane force winds.

 


6kW Eoltec Scirocco Wind Turbine Inventory Blow-Out Sale!
 


Due to Weole/Eoltec's bankruptcy filing we're eliminating our inventory of 6kW Scirocco wind turbines.
 

Eoltec Scirocco 6kW wind turbine E5.6-6

$11,995 Only!

This is for the turbine and manual stall brake

Price is CAD when shipping to Canada, USD when shipping to the US. Shipping (and HST for Canada) not included. All sales are final. Price is for the turbine and manual stall brake only. We can optionally also provide additional parts that are needed for an installation, such as the grid-tie inverter, rectifier, tower, and thermal-breaker box.

The Scirocco has Britain's MCS certification, and it has SWCC Conditional Temporary Certification for the United States. MCS certification is not easy to obtain, requiring rigorous proof of the turbine's functionality, and puts the Scirocco in a very exclusive club. You can read more about the Scirocco on our Web site, were you can also find the installation manual.

Hurry!
Only while supplies last!

 

We have Scirocco spare parts as well - contact us
 

 

The Eoltec Scirocco can truly be called the Rolls-Royce under the residential scale wind turbines. This turbine is really powerful for its size, and produces meaningful amounts of energy for a household, business, or farm, even for those not lucky enough to live in a high-wind area. Of course, if you have lots of wind this turbine will make lots of energy!  The Scirocco incorporates features normally only found on much larger turbines, such as variable pitch blades. The result is a very efficient wind generator, especially at the lower wind speeds typically found most of the time in most places, with an excellent cost/performance ratio.

If you want to know what the Scirocco is all about, read this blog page. The writer has no relation to us, we do not know him. We just happened to come across the blog. It describes nicely how a Scirocco wind turbines keep on chugging along on Orkney island, regardless of the weather.

The Scirocco stands out from the crowd in a number of ways, here is the executive summary:

  • Fail-safe design, the Scirocco can operate safely without a load, most turbines cannot
  • No power loss in high winds, produces 6 kW from 40 km/h (25 mph) through 215 km/h (135 mph)
  • Very efficient, from low to high winds. Due to variable cord, variable pitch blades, and true MPPT inverter.
  • Smaller, quieter and cheaper than other turbines, yet produces almost as much.
  • Built to last! Thanks to solid European engineering.
  • Very quiet! Thanks to dynamic pitch control, limiting rotational speed to 245 rpm at all times.
  • No furling at any wind speed means more energy production and less noise.

 

Just the Facts...

Rated Output power:6 kW at 11.5 m/s (40 km/h, 25 mph) and above
Cut-in wind speed:< 2.7 m/s (9.7 km/h, 6 mph)
Survival wind speed:60 m/s (215 km/h, 135 mph)
Rotor diameter / swept area:5.6 m / 24.6 m (18.4 ft / 265 ft)
Blades:2 fiberglass-epoxy blades, aluminum root inserts
Power and overspeed regulation:Centrifugal pitch regulator, stalls blades to limit rotational speed
Rotational speed:80 - 245 rpm
Tip speed:23 - 70 m/s
Alternator:6.5 kW direct-drive NdFeB permanent magnet, 240 Volt 3-phase wild AC
Weight :202 kg (450 lbs)
 Horizontal thrust:5800 Newton (1300 lbs) at 60 m/s
Maintenance:Annual inspection and lubrication

 

Why you want a Scirocco!

Still not convinced? Be sure to read the more in-depth discussion of what makes the Scirocco special, and to take a look at the comparison matrix. There also is a detailed installation manual for your perusal. Here are a few more reasons:

  • The Scirocco is a very quiet turbine, thanks to its much slower rotational speed, blade profile, and lack of furling. It is in fact one of the quietest turbines on the market.

  • There is no loss of power in high winds, because the Scirocco does not furl, and the inverter does not suffer from overvoltage cut-outs. The Scirocco continues to produce 6 kW in high winds regardless of the wind speed.

  • Just like large wind turbines the Scirocco uses pitch control to survive high winds. Most small wind turbines are stuck in the past by furling in high winds, something you will never find on a large commercial wind turbine.

  • Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) inverter to get the most out of every wind speed. The Aurora Inverter is VDE126/UL1741/CSA listed.

  • Thanks to its low 245 maximum rpm and because it will not furl in high winds this turbine is quiet!

  • No diversion load is needed. Rotor rpm is limited to 245 rpm even when unloaded. This makes for a fail-safe design, where other wind turbines would run away uncontrollably.

  • Build using European thoroughness in engineering according to IEC 61400-1 and 61400-2. The Pitch regulator and alternator are fully sealed. Add the low tip speed and you get a long lasting turbine that requires little maintenance.

 

Controllers

The Aurora inverter is a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) inverter intended for direct grid-connect, without batteries. It is UL/CSA listed, and thus approved by your power company for use. The documentation has more details. To handle the Scirocco's output power it takes a Aurora PVI-6000-OUTD-W-US unit plus a PVI-WIND-BOX rectifier. Our blow-out pricing does not include the inverter and wind-box. Check out the wiring diagram for details on a grid-tie installation.

For off-grid use, or for charging batteries (on- or off-grid), an Aurora inverter can be combined with Magnum/Xantrex/Outback off-grid inverters through "AC coupling". It will back-feed the batteries over the inverter. Excess energy can optionally be sold back to the utility. To avoid overcharging the batteries the inverter is combined with a regular diversion controller, such as a TriStar C-60 (Morningstar).

 

Towers

A variety of towers are available for the Scirocco wind turbine, we offer tilt-up towers, self-support lattice towers, and monopoles. Please make sure to check out our wind turbine siting page, which offers guidance on tower height and placement. The easiest to work with are tilt-up towers; they allow installation and maintenance on the ground, and access to the turbine does not involve climbing or a crane. If you have the space for it, we recommend using a tilt-up tower.

For those that are looking for their own tower solution, please make sure self-support towers and monopoles comply with the following:

First natural mode of the tower and turbine assembly ≤ 1.5 Hz
Second natural mode of the tower and turbine assembly ≥ 6.8 Hz

You will need a structural engineer to perform the calculation. The engineer also needs to know that the tower top weight is 202 kg, and the horizontal thrust is 580 daN @ 60 m/s wind speed. The above is very important. Improper resonant frequencies will cause violent vibration, leading to turbine failure! This is less important for guyed towers since the guy wires provide dampening, and the resonant frequency can be changed by simply adjusting the guy wire tension.

 

Output Power & Energy Production

Eoltec wrote a nifty Excel spreadsheet that can give a good estimate of monthly/annual energy production when the site's average wind speed is known. It will take your wind speed distribution, tower height, site height and a few more parameters into account. Use the spreadsheet to find out how a Scirocco will work out for your particular situation. There also is a RETScreen module containing the Scirocco data. You will of course need to adjust the data in the spreadsheet for your particular location and situation. For more about the RETScreen project analysis tool please visit the Natural Resources Canada site. To get a quick idea of power and energy production please see the graphs below.

The first graph shows output power vs. wind speed. Wind speed is at hub height, output power is measured at the output of the electronics (inverter or charge controller). Production remains constant at 6 kW from 11.5 m/s (40 km/h, 25 mph) to survival wind speed.

The next graph shows estimated monthly energy production as a function of average wind speed at 10 meters (33 feet), as typically reported by meteorological stations, or your local airport. This graph assumes the turbine's hub height is 30 meters (100 feet) above ground, and a typical wind speed distribution as found on inland sites (Weibull factor of 2).

 

Wind Check

To find out how many kilo-Watt-hours a Scirocco can produce for you, the first step is to look up the annual average wind speed at your location. Use the North American Wind Atlas, Canadian Wind Atlas, or the Ontario Wind Atlas to get a good idea. Keep in mind that local topography can make a difference; If you can place the turbine on top of a hill the winds will be more than the atlas indicates, similarly, if you live in a valley the winds will likely be a bit less.

Once you know the average wind speed for your site, the table below will give an idea of how much a Scirocco wind turbine will produce per month, what the cost per kWh is for business/farm or home use, and what the profit or loss will be after 20 years of net metering. The average wind speed in the table is measured at 10 meters, if you have the wind speed at a different height you can still calculate electricity production by using the Eoltec spreadsheet. The numbers are based on a realistic full installation price of $48,445, using a 106' tower with grid-tied inverter, setting aside money each year for maintenance, as explained in detail in the wind basics section.

Average wind speedkWh per monthCost per kWh for business or farmCost per kWh for home useROI in % annually for business or farmROI in % annually for home
m/skm/h
310.8280$0.47$0.761.4%0.9%
414.4630$0.21$0.343.2%2.0%
5181070$0.12$0.205.4%3.3%
621.61510$0.09$0.147.7%4.7%
725.21910$0.07$0.119.7%5.9%

Average wind speed measured at 10 meter, site altitude is sea level, hub height 30 meters, 10% turbulence factor, $48,445 installed cost, 35% tax bracket, $0.143 cents/kWh electricity price, net metering, all cost and prices in Canadian dollars

The Return-On-Investment is based on avoided cost vs. investment. For example, avoiding an electricity bill of $1,707 annually, on an investment of $31,489 (for business/farm), results in an ROI of 5.4%. That is more than one gets on the average savings account, with a guaranteed rate-of-return that is only going to go up as electricity prices increase. Not a bad investment!

As shown above, a moderately windy site with at least 5 m/s (11 mph) can make the Scirocco immediately profitable for business use at current electricity prices. Such sites can be found in many places in the US or Canada. For home use the situation is different, it would take a very windy place to break even. Keep in mind that the Return-On-Investment is very much based on the current effective electricity price of 14.3 cents per kWh (as of this writing in September 2006). When electricity prices go up, the ROI percentage will too!

 

Documents

 

 
 
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