The wind saga continues at Project Earthbilly. 6/21/2013.
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In the course of our research into best practice for wind we ran across a SMA WB3600TL-21 inverter. Found out it sells only in Europe but was assured this one of a kind SMA designed primarily for wind turbine inverter would be sold in USA by early spring 2013. So I waited two years to get one. (In our opinion, based on the tech parameters, this is by far the very best wind inverter offered anywhere on the planet).
Now we are told not only will this inverter not be offered in the USA, but all programming for turbine mode will be phased out of all SMA products. Now the latter is fine with me. The primary function PV inverters with turbine mode are still short of being a good turbine inverter with parameters way to narrow to function properly in several weather scenarios. But the WB 3600TL and WB5000TL, both primarily wind turbine inverters are a thing of beauty, and should not be phased out!
I have ordered a WB3600TL-21 from a friend in Israel and it is due in July. Please understand this inverter can not be used as a stand alone grid tie inverter anywhere in the USA. I am installing it as off grid into my Sunny Island AC1 protected grid, using the SI's as the gate keeper, which are IEEE compliant in the USA. I also ordered the WPB 500 to wire into this as voltage protection. This inverter is so very good I want it to be protected as well as possible.
For now we will take out the battery charging part of our Whisper 500 3 KW turbine and run this SWWP turbine through the WPB500 and into the WB3600TL. With hopes that if the Whisper 500 ever fails we can immediately upgrade to a new Kestrel 3 or 3.5 KW turbine and everything will be ready. This should increase the efficiency of our turbine by 20% or more. While I am at it we plan to take down the turbine and service it. The Whisper 500 has now operated flawlessly for over three years and is due for service. One more note! The service I rendered to the SWWP turbine 3 years ago, when it was brand new warranty replacement, also voided the company warranty. The turbine still works great but SWWP failed. Ha! HA!.
10/15/2013 Never try to make a European inverter work here in the USA. It is working with the help of a 240/120 voltage buck transformer. I had to turn European single wire 240 VAC power into single wire 120 VAC power. Lucky that the Sunny Islands can equalize the amperage flow of both 120 VAC split phase by turning the unbalanced amperage into DC and then back to AC on the other side of the split phase to export electricity to the grid. The author decided to replace this European WB3600TL inverter with a SB4000TLUS and sell the European Windy Boy on Ebay. This ended up being a big mistake.
11/17/2013 The Whisper 500 wind turbine has shorted out. Now I have to take it down.
11/19 Thinking of using the tower mast made of 5" SCD 40 pipe for strongbacks and legs to build three new arrays. Use one and sell two already ordered for purchasing a steam engine. If the turbine generator can be salvaged it can be hooked to a 3 HP steam engine to make 1.5KW under full steam. If not I already have a suitable PMA. Shoulda...coulda...willnow! Use the array I keep to replace the turbine on top of the mountain, making good use of the 1700 foot copper wire run to tap a single axis tracking/single axis adjustable 3KW tracker. The added power yield from this existing array turned into a tracker will offset any lost power from the turbine anyway. Historically averaging under 1,000 KWH per year.
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