Plan on spending at least as much on your tower as you do on your wind generator, if not more. Your wind generator must be least 30 feet above any obstruction within 300 feet. If you can't do this, keep in mind that turbulence caused by nearby object will rob you of power, and cause considerable stress on the generator and tower. Turbulence will cause the machine yaw violently putting a huge amount of strain on fast-spinning blades.
Wind increases and turbulence decreases with height above the ground. Power output increases substantially with wind speed. Increasing tower height by 40 meters can double the wind energy available.
"A tower too short is like putting a solar system in the shade"
Types of Towers
Guyed towers are economical and very strong when properly installed. The guy wires require space around the base of the tower so they can be properly anchored. The tower's concrete foundation must have its own secure anchor to withstand the maximum pull on the wires. Foundations should be placed below the frost line. Access to the wind turbine will be necessary for maintenance , therefore a guyed tower with rungs is helpful.
The radius of your guy wires should be between 50 and 75 percent of the tower height.
Tilt up towers are often used for smaller systems because they provide for safe maintenance of the turbine. Tilt up towers allow assembly of the wind turbine while the system lies on the ground. The tower is then erected by winch or heavy vehicle. A great advantage of tilt up towers is that the generator can be lowered for maintenance or when an extremely harsh storm threatens the equipment. Tilt up towers are also guyed. It is very important that the 4 anchor foundations are perfectly perpendicular to each other around the tower foundation--otherwise, the 2 side guys will not stay tight while raising and lowering the tower.
Self supporting towers tend to be more expensive due to the heavier materials necessary in their construction. These towers do not require guy wires, therefore the foundation must be more substantial.
Roof Supported towers tend to transmit vibration and therefore noise to the structure. Roof pitch tends to deflect air and causes unwanted turbulence. For these reasons we do not recommend Roof supported wind turbines. This said, it may be that the gable end of your roof is the only location available to you. Wind generator vibration will cause a certain amount of noise. Placing the wind generator away from living quarters is recommended.
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