Sunday, August 10, 2014

Failed Wind Turbine Installation

I have a very simple question. Do you place a PV panel in the shade to produce electricity? Do you place a hot water collector in the shade to produce hot water? Obviously NOT, however I witnessed an installation of a wind turbine installed exactly where there is no or very little wind!
I have noticed this installation for over a year now but it seems that the owners are happy with it... The turbine does spin but I guess that's it more of a roof ornament than an operational piece of an engineering.

From the looks of it, the turbine is a 'Proven Wind Turbine'. These turbines are manufactured (or better used to be) in Scotland. They used to be good/solid turbines built like a tank back in the 90s however it seems that the company went bust a couple of years ago.

The pictures below clearly show the wind turbine installation on top of a roof right next to tall buildings. The site is already not ideal because it's at the bottom of a hill however the turbine installation (especially the tower height) continues to make things worse.

A small wind turbine (500W - 1KW) should be installed at least 30 feet above all buildings with a clear radius of at least 500 feet. In Malta these guidelines are not always possible to adhere to due to our zoning restrictions and overly populated/built country however at least, the height should be maintained. The taller the tower the better, because the best and consistent wind is found at high altitudes where there is very little turbulence.

The picture below clearly shows buildings at the same height of the turbine on the right!

Why did I bother to write about this turbine? Simply because this turbine is installed at MCAST in Paola where most probably, studies are being conducted to determine wind power feasibility!!!!

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