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July 2013 Update

 

FAQ

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much did your system cost?

Who built your system?

What type of system to you have?

Did you have to get any permits or do any studies to install your system?

How long did the project take?

Is it noisy?

So when the power goes out, you still have electricity, right?

How much electricity have you generated?

Can we talk to you about your experiences?

 

 

 

How much did your system cost?

 

Like any construction project, prices can vary.  Issues that affect price include the size and type of the system you choose, the height of the tower, how far the system is from your your structure, available grants and tax incentives, and local zoning and building regulations.  A good rule of thumb is that a wind system costs as much as a new car.  Some people buy economy cars and others buy Mercedes.

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Who built your system?

 

Midstate Renewable Energy Services planned and installed our system for us.

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What type of system to you have?

 

We have a Skystream 3.7 system on a 70' steel tower with four sets of guy wires.  The blades are about six feet long and the total rotor sweep is twelve feet.  It is rated at 2.4 kilowatts.  For more information about the manufacturer and Skystream specifications visit Southwest Wind Power.

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Did you have to get any permits or do any studies to install your system?

 

Each locality is different.  We live in Sangamon County, Illinois.  We needed a variance because our system did not fit within established zoning ordinances for small wind systems.  After the variance was granted, we merely got the necessary permits and inspections necessary for a building project. We did not have to do any special studies or contact the FAA.

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How long did the project take?

 

Actual construction took less than two weeks.  It was spread over several months however, due to weather considerations, the need for concrete to cure, and scheduling.

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Is it noisy?

 

No.  Our system emits a "whooshing hum". (845kb mp3, recorded on our front porch, approximately 150 feet from the base of the tower.)  On windy days the noise of the wind through the leaves on the trees drowns out the turbine noise.  When the windows are closed we do not hear it at all.  We have to look outside to see if the blades are spinning.

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So when the power goes out, you still have electricity, right?

 

No.  The unit will shut off when power from the commercial mains is interrupted.  There are two main reasons for this:

  • Safety.  With the unit shut down, there is no chance of feeding power back onto the grid and potentially electrocuting a lineman.

  • Wind power by its nature is highly variable.  Without batteries to smooth the variations of available power, it would not only be impossible to run any appliances, but could cause damage to them as well.  For example, if the appliances are demanding 500 watts, but the turbine is only generating 250 watts, something has to give.  Adding battery storage would solve this problem, but would add significantly to the cost and complexity of the project.

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How much electricity have you generated?

 

So far the weather has not been good for wind power.  But you can look at the raw data on our Wind Data page.

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Can we talk to you about your experiences?

 

Absolutely, we are happy with our choices and would be delighted to share what we have learned.  Please e-mail us at info@loami-windmill.com

 

Please contact us if you would like see the turbine.  We are happy to show it but it is difficult if people just drop by. I'm sure you understand.

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