Description

The Fluxy wind turbine is a grid-tied turbine just under the maximum size allowed by Irish legislation while still remaining planning exempt

The blade span is 5.5m in diameter and our custom made towers raise the turbine to 13m or 20m. Our wind turbine adopts a direct drive pancake generator, has no gearbox and only three moving parts; the tail, yaw and rotor. Simplicity increases reliability and this fully mechanical machine has no electronics of any kind in its body.

The Fluxy uses a recycled plastic tail vane and recycled materials are employed as much as possible where they have no impact on safety or longevity. The gravity furling tail allows the turbine to turn out of the wind to protect itself from over-speeding in storm force winds. The energy from the unit is fed down the tower via sliprings and an armored cable takes this to the pre-assembled inverter board where it is processed and dispatched to the grid if not utilized immediately by the user.

This is as simple a design, from an engineering point of view, as it is possible to make and our engineers have followed the principles of 'Organic Design' throughout. The turbines are purposely over engineered for strength and longevity and every effort has been made to avoid built in obsolescence.

Our towers are extremely rigid weighing in at 2,800kgs (20m) and have a life expectancy of 70 to 100 years.

The turbine body is made of steel and all bolts and fittings are made of stainless steel. The exposed areas are treated with Hemple surface coatings which are the protective paints used on the legs of oil rigs and marine bridges. The turbine has a very robust towertop weight of 250kgs and is designed to last 20/25 years after which it can be refitted/repainted to fly for a further 20 years. The blades are made of native Irish cedar and are encapsulated in epoxy.

The leading edges of these blades are protected by hi-tech helicopter leading edge tape to ensure a durable and long life. Timber is a time honoured and excellent material for wind turbine blades having a much lower embodied carbon content than glass reinforced plastic versions, and blends in to natural surroundings.




Fluxy Slip Ring Stub

A lifespan over 20+ years

It is a simple fact that heavy duty, slow speed wind generators last longer than their lightweight, high-speed cousins. Many people opt for the lighter duty wind turbines because they are invariably cheaper (they generally buy a heavy duty machine the second time around).

This picture shows the very heavyweight slip rings that are used on the Fluxy to allow electricity to be passed down the tower without the hanging cables getting twisted every time the turbine turns with the wind.

Fluxy Body Prep

This photo of the turbine body and main bearing illustrates the extremely strong construction techniques used with this type of axial flux machine and the very thick surface encapsulation that is required to give a 20 year + lifespan.




Noise

Video: Fluxy noise levels at 6 metres

Noise is an issue with many small, high speed wind turbines, especially when they are situated near to a dwelling. Our turbines are low speed and can barely be heard above the noise of the wind.

At windspeeds above 10m/s there is merely an aerodynamic swish swish sound as the blades rotate, and a very low growling sound as the generator cranks out the juice; this is barely audible 100m from the tower.

We have found no noise pollution issues with our turbines which we are very pleased with as we value the quiet and tranquility of the countryside and have no wish to disturb you or your neighbours.

Quantitative noise testing to IEC61400 standards are being commissioned and we will publish a report when the findings are independently confirmed. In this short video, the furling at 16m/s (high wind speed) can clearly be seen, the observor is standing 10 metres away from the base of the tower and the fluxy is outputting 5-6kw .Click on the thumbnail above to view the video.




Birds and bats

While it has been reported that some bird strikes have occurred globally, it is currently accepted that wind turbines and especially small wind turbines do not pose a threat to birds, and certainly not as significant a threat as tall building with transparent windows! High capacity, low speed wind turbines are a relatively recent commercial product. Consequently, any field study of 'avian mortality' done on a wind farm constructed prior to approximately the year 2000 is inappropriate for estimating bird mortality based on modern turbine designs.

Whether by intent or because older studies are more common, opponents of wind power will have cited bird mortality data from studies done before 2000 and, to make their point, are likely to focus on studies done on wind turbines erected in high exposure situations: e.g. in migratory pathways, at mountain passes, near nesting areas, and so on. Moreover, a recent report published in the journal Nature confirmed that the greatest threat to bird populations in the UK and Ireland is climate change.




Optional extras

Optional data acquisition/ logging, anemometer, video cam and real time internet streaming on request.