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On the 30 November 2011, three years and ten months after we started preparing for it, the 6kW wind turbine pictured here began to deliver renewable power to the grid.

You can get an idea of the installation process of getting it going from the picture.

Once the planning is over, there are basically five steps to the installation which I have summarised here in a way that makes the whole thing look pretty simple.

  1. Lay armoured cables leading from the turbine site to the indoor location for the grid-tie inverter -
  2. Cable from the place where the inverter is to be mounted to the electric fuse box.
  3. Dig the main hole - a little over a cubic metre - and a second smaller hole for the lifting gear.
  4. Pour best quality concrete over a steel mounting lattice in both holes with bolts sticking up out of the top to anchor the turbine and lifting winch. The block of concrete, bottom right in this picture, weighs as much as a double-decker bus, although it doesn't look so big once it's in the ground. It takes about three weeks to set.
  5. Put up the turbine, install the inverter and connect it up to the grid.

Each of these jobs takes about a day although those days are quite long. As you can see from the picture, on this day, there were three people working - one of them doing a very good job of showing why the high-visibikty jackets should be worn - especially when the work stretches on towards dusk!

So why did the whole process take us nearly four years?

A retrospective blog will follow to share what we learnt, what went well and what we did wrong.

Next, we are going to try and install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. And the first part of that challenge is that the Electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) is very unenthusiastic about our feeding in any more power to the grid.

Lift the Wind Turbine with blades attached

( © Richard Fieldhouse, 2013)


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