Jun 032010

Image00069Built with Warwick EWB group around Halloween (hence the name Casper) this was our first UK grid-tie. The stator was wound as a 48V battery charger and feeds a pair of Mastervolt 550 Windmaster inverters. Overvoltage protection is handled by an LDR 96-15 (resold by Hugh Piggott) which dumps power into a 2kW 7ohm bar heater.

Before the university would allow it to be installed they requested we ran some high-speed tests on the alternator and electrical system. Nico used the Nottingham University facilities to conduct a series of tests and wrote this report which makes for interesting reading.

Unfortunately, during their first maintenance day the students dropped the turbine – smashing the blades and destroying the stator. Thankfully no-one was hurt (thanks to a empty drop-zone) and a new set of blades and stator were constructed in double-quick time.

Performance from the turbine has never been particularly spectacular – almost certainly due to the nearby trees. In future years the hope is to install a larger tower to get above this problem.