April 2008 Archives

Skystream 3.7 - 1.8 kW Residential Wind Turbine

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The skystream wind turbine has been developed by Southwest wind power . South west are a well established american wind turbine manufacturer. The Skystream 3.7 has been developed by Southwest Windpower in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and is the newest generation in residential wind technology.

Its full 1.8kW is achieved at around 10m/s with a maximum rotor speed of 325 RPM. This low RPM means that the machine operates at a very low noise level. The turbine was rated at 9 m/s but can produce 2.4 kW at 13 m/s (approx)

A number of users have reported issues with the turbine in cold freezing weather. I would recommend you read their comments on Keepturining.com

The power curve for the turbine is impressive and has been independently verified by the NREL

The turbine It’s the first all-inclusive wind generator (with controls and inverter built in) designed to provide quiet, clean electricity in very low winds.

I will be keeping this turbine in mind as it can be connected directly to the electricity supply of my home due to its built in inverter. I would prefer a higher kW output but its price might make it more attractive.

Cell Energy in Sligo stock this unit and they are in the process of providing me with a quote.

Skystream 1.8kW, 325 rpm, 0.4 W at 6 m/s, Rotor diameter 3.72 M, Power and rpm rated at 9 m/s

Wind Turbine Considerations for an Irish climate

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Even though I am only in the early stages of gathering wind data for my house I decided to do some research into wind turbines and the practical considerations one must keep in mind.

Mike Sagrillo in the 2002 August September issue of Homepower 2002 wrote an article titled "Apples and oranges - choosing a home-sized wind generator". Mike made some good suggestions about selecting a wind turbine. They are:

1 - The KW rating is not enough of an indicator for its performance, you need to find out at what wind speed the turbine generates that amount of energy.

2 - Look at the power curves, if your average wind speed is 5 m/s then that is what you should make your decision on, not on peak values which rarely occur. Different manufacturers will rate their peak power at different wind speeds so try and pick a speed that reflects your site and ascertain the power output for that wind speed.

3 - Lower rpm turbines are usually quieter turbines. In order to run at lower rpms they use a large rotor diameter which gives them a larger wind swept area i.e. can use more of the wind. Several of the lower rpm turbines can operate at lower wind speeds and generate decent power.

4 - Heavier turbines are more rugged and will usually last longer. In Ireland we have significant gusts etc so a rugged turbine is more preferable.

5 - 3 bladed turbines wind generators avoid yaw chatter, which happens when a two-bladed machine yaws. The term “Yaw” refers to a wind generator pivoting on its bearings around the tower top to follow the continually changing wind. Some two bladed turbines do use a spring plate mechanism so as to absorb some of the yawing vibration so as to mitigate the yawing chatter

5 - Warranties etc, a turbine may need to be lowered and greased once a year, how much will that cost etc

6 - Proper blade and rotor balancing is critical so as to have smooth operation. Mike notes that a unbalanced rotor will display tail wagging symptoms.

Urban-wind.org have a catalogue which list the European Urban Wind Turbine Manufacturers.

Using the above criteria I reviewed the turbines with a view to quiet operation and power ratings around 5 - 6 m/s.

The following turbines met my initial criteria

Iskra 5 kW turbine, 200 rpm, 1.284 kW at 6 m/s. Rotor diameter 5.4 meters, 3 blades (page 23), Power and rpm rated at 11 m/s

Travere Industries 2.1 kW, 440 rpm, 1.120 kW at 5 m/s. Rotor diameter 6 meters, 2 blades (page 45), Power and rpm rated at 8 m/s

Tulipower HAWT, 2.5 kW, 0.958 kW at 6 m/s, Rotor diameter, 5 meters, 3 blades (page 47), Power and rpm rated at 10 m/s

Wind Energy Solutions, 2.5 kW, 0.958 kW at 6 m/s, Rotor diameter, 5 meters, 3 blades (page 53), Power and rpm rated at 8.5 m/s

Thurles Birds enjoying the fine weather

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The birds in the Thurles Bird Sanctuary are enjoying the milder weather in Tipperary Ireland. You always hear them before you see them.

Upperchurch Weather Station

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I now have a WH1080 weather station up and running in the back garden. Local and visitors will tell you that it is windy in upperchurch. We will now know how windy, rainy, temperature etc.

The unit records wind, temp, pressure and rain using two double AA batteries and sends the info to a touch screen wireless controller in the house. The touch screen uses 3 double AA batteries and has a USB port.

Data is averaged out over 5 mins and can be downloaded via usb using the easy weather app that ships with the weather station

The weather station is 4 metres above ground and was purchased from the ukweatherstore on ebay.

I hope to configure a low power minature linux box to post the data to the internet.

Last night we had a peak gust of 11.9 metres per second and 4.8 mm of rain fall. The kitchen dropped in temp from 25 to a low of 16.3 degrees C.


WH1080 Weather Station Kit

Good demand for IT skills

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loadzajobs.ie have a considerable listing of jobs in the IT area on their website.

Java - 763 jobs listed require Java skills
Network - 606 jobs listed require networking skills
Web Developer - 621 jobs listed contain the term web developer.

This is good news for Tipperary Institute and their graduates of software development, IT support and multimedia.

Brian Greene posted the Channel 4 details to twitter yesterday. We now have Channel 4 installed at home, which means we can watch shameless.

Select Installation and go to add manual TP section.

Select Transponder 10729GHz V, 22000 symbol rate, FEC 5/6 on astra 2d and scan that transponder for free channels. It will find Film 4 and and a channel called 8350. 8350 is actually Channel 4, we renamed 8350 to Channel 4.

Thanks Brian

Hanging Gardens of Thurles

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Hanging Gardens of Thurles
Hanging Gardens of Thurles,
originally uploaded by lnoonan_blog.
The hanging baskets that adorn the street lights may not be biblical but they are a welcome sight and serve to remind us that summer is on the way. Thurles town council put a lot of work into ensuring that we have impressive blooms all summer.

Multimedia Technology Cabinet number 1

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Our Multimedia 1st year students in Tipperary Institute will become very familiar with the contents of this cabinet. As part of the new multimedia programme which commences in September 2008 the students will study multimedia technology and learn how to connect video and audio mixing desks to Imac minis, vista entertainment systems and Linux servers. They will also learn the practical skills of installing home theatre systems and using fibre optics to connect the sound to lcd displays.

Ulster Bank recently increased the cost of their cheque books for personal accounts and reduced the number of cheques in a book by 5. This stealth practice will not resonate favourably with their customers.

The irish banking market has become so competitive that increases like this can often be the incentive for customers to switch banks.

Breakfast ritual - double espresso

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Breakfast ritual
Breakfast ritual,
originally uploaded by lnoonan_blog.
If you are the proud parent of small children, I can recommend an espresso machine. A double espresso after a broken nights sleep can do wonders for your alertness and help kick start your day.

The gaggia classic espresso machine and the gaggia grinder make a great espresso between them. I have the grinder set at 10 (there are 35 settings). The coffee beans that you use will determine the grinder setting.

New sign for TI

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New signage for TI
New signage for TI,
originally uploaded by lnoonan_blog.
At Tipperary Institute in Thurles we have taken aesthetic measures to ensure that the passer by is left in no doubt as to the purpose of the white building beside the roundabout.

The end result of this aesthetic makeover is the addition of impressive sign and logo to the building as bearla agus as gaeilge.

Quiet building site in Limerick

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This photo represents a scenario that is being repeated across Munster. Several construction projects in Limerick and Tipperary have appeared to pause in mid construction. Local estate agents tell me that developers are waiting anxiously to assess how the property market will pan out over the next few months.

A colleague of mine from Dublin pointed out that monthly mortgage repayments for new properties in Dublin are cheaper than monthly rent payments. Rent has increased 10% in Dublin in the past year, some of this increase is being attributed to the fact that potential buyers have held off buying as they are waiting to see if prices will continue to fall.

Rem on the cover of new music mag state.ie

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Check out the April edition of state.ie for an in-depth article on REM and the recording process for their new album Accelerate. There is also an interview with Jack Knife Lee.

Builders opening walk-in stores in thurles

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Builders are starting to open walk in stores in Thurles so you can meet the builder face to face and discuss extensions and attic renovations. This is new a development (Excuse the pun) in Thurles, 3 years ago you could spend months trying to meet builders and get quotes, now they want to meet you. Large construction firms in the munster region are placing front page adverts in the local Tipperary papers advertising that they do extensions and slatted sheds. The building trade has slowed down in rural Ireland, will it pick up?

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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