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Power generation,Wind Turbine Projects

Off Grid Wind Turbine Update

13 Aug , 2015   Video

Two-Wind-Turbines Well, I am proud to announce I finally got the big turbine up in the air and working. A neighbour came over and gave me a hand to raise the wind turbine tower. It wasn’t super heavy, but with two people it made it a lot easier. What also helped was securing a winch and a pulley to a tree next to the guest cabin roof. The extra height really helped to raise the tower and keep the tower pipe from bending.
The only set back was the tower is not as high as I wanted. A 40 foot tall tower would be ideal, but I’m having a hard time sourcing long water pipe. The metal scrappers in my area are snapping up all the metal for recycling. I did find a 30-foot clothes line pole on Craigslist but getting it home and then to the cabin would be an ordeal. I could see it striking another car if it was strapped to the roof of my car. The “experts” claim that the best, undisturbed wind, is 20 feel about the tree line. The trees in around the cabin are called Lodgepole Pine. Very tall and skinny tree with the average height of 36 feet. My only hope is to build a platform up in a tree and then erect a wind turbine mount on it. A hard task, since I’m a little afraid of certain heights. Never used to be like that… something must have happened when I turned 40.

red wire on pole

Red wire wrapped around the top


Yep, that’s a 30′ Large Dog Tie-Out Cable Leash. Handy to have, especially with the two snaps at the end. Rated for 1700 lbs


Lots of support for the tower pole and PMA head unit


The seat cushion keeps the blades from being damaged.


A come-a-long was wrapped around a tree and the DC power winch was hooked up to it.

winch in tree

Cable for come-a-long is at the top. Just underneath is the pulley. It worked as a safety and pull up the slack. If there was a problem with the winch. I could tie off the yellow rope below.


Sunforce MPPT Wind Controller Top

Sunforce MPPT Wind Controller righthand side

Sunforce MPPT Wind Controller right-hand side- On the left… output to batteries. One the right is input from DC wind turbine or solar panels.

AC Input

AC Input

Picked up a Sunforce/Coleman 600 Watt 3 Phase Charger Controller from eBay. The controller is MPPT, 12 or 24 volts, rated for 600 watts, has AC hook up and an optional DC hook up for a solar panel or wind turbine and a brake switch. It was part of a $700 wind turbine kit that included a wind turbine, meter and charge controller. The seller said his tower had collapsed and he was selling off the components separately.
Watt-Meter-hook-up Before raising the tower, all the wire were connected and fuses installed for safety. Sorry, don’t have any exciting amps/voltage numbers to share. I’m still messing around with the proper hook up to the wattmeter. I hooked it up wrong and it displayed the wattage the equipment is consuming, not producing.
Did manage to hook up the charge controller/brake mechanism. I’m curious to see how it works out over the gusty winter months.


Base-of-tower The wind turbine is located in the same spot as the previous smaller wind turbine. It’s close to the battery bank and out of harms way from people traffic. As mentioned before, I wish it was a lot higher, but that will come in time. Made a nifty mount to the side of the guest cabin for the tower pole. Since this type of wind turbine and blades generates a lot of vibration, I didn’t want it touching, but still wanted a snug fit. Found an old tube from a portable generator and inserted it between the pole and the wood brace. Then, with a bicycle pump, put about 10 lbs of air in the tube. It inflated and filled in the void. Should provide a nice tight fit and minimal vibration.
Take a peek at my base, used 4 hockey pucks to suck up some of the vibration. Works pretty well!

Base-of-tower-mid-close-up Base-of-tower-hockey-puck

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Solar Power Projects

How to Charge a Generator Battery with a DIY Solar Panel, MPPT Charge Controller and the Sun

13 Nov , 2013  

DIY 60 watt panel

DIY 60 watt panel

The project for the day was to do some firewood splitting. Off camera, there was a pile of 18 – 24 inch tree rounds. They were a freebie given to us by a city dwelling neighbour (it cost $$ to dispose of trees in the city, most people are more than happy to give it away for free!)

Splitting firewood starts with of the big blue generator, 5 ton electric wood splitter, few extra hands and pile of firewood nearby. The generator was pulled out from the genny hut, hooked to the exhaust pipe and the starter battery. To my dismay, found out the battery had no juice. Bummer! Maybe it was showing its age or the below freezing nights must have sapped the power out of it.
So, I was in a jam. No spare 12 volt batteries, didn’t have long enough booster cables to use the car and the pull cord mechanism was broken. Didn’t want to give up. I had people waiting and didn’t want to spend another weekend doing firewood.

After I calmed down, I looked around and noticed there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Checked the forecast and it said that it was going to be above normal day in November for a warmth. Hmm… I thought that if I could get a couple of hours of charging into the battery, it might be enough. It was a small 7.2 Amp hour Gel battery, so it would need a lot of time to charge. (Just need enough for the generator started, once it’s running, it can charge the battery too)Dug through some of the old ebay solar stuff. Found an 60 watt DIY solar panel, MPPT charge controller, alligator clips and some wire. Sat down on the steps and rigged up a quick charging station. I kept the battery and the solar panel in the sun the whole time.

As the sun travelled across the sky, the panel was adjusted/moved to

DIY solar panel can be mounted anywhere

DIY solar panel can be mounted anywhere

get most charging. By 3:00pm, the battery had charged for 6 hours. Decide it was a good time to see if there was enough juice to start the generator.

Hooked it up to the starter, crossed my fingers and it turned the motor over! Sweet! It worked. Now the firewood project could finally get started.
So, in a nutshell, the sun charged the battery and it turned an obstacle into a solution. Plus,  keep old parts around, never know when they will come in handy.

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Power generation,Solar Power Projects

Generating Springtime Solar Power for the Cabin

10 Apr , 2013  

Generating Springtime Solar Power (2013)

The solar panels were collecting just a bit of electricity from the sun on the Easter Weekend. The sun is still low in the sky and in the tree line. I’m running a 12 volt system with four 6 volt deep cycle batteries. So, with my rig, the amount of sun and everything unplugged, the batteries would recharge from 80% at 10:00am to 100% by 4:00pm.

Compared to a lot of other slick systems out there, it might by wimpy, but, it will do for now.

The plan for this summer, is to move all the panels to the pole, put the offshore MPPT charge controller on the 2 poly panels and the shower door panel. The Morningstar Charge controller will be converted over to a diversion mode for the recycled wind turbine. Maybe, I’ll pick up two more 6 volt batteries…

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