This is time number FOUR. And I’m annoyed!
Just when we thought it was working right, the turbine started making a horrible noise – again. (This is after already replacing the shock absorbers and bolts) So once again, we call our good friend to help us. Up he comes from the village. The 3 of us take down the turbine – me operating the winch to lower it, and the 2 guys doing the technical side.
Now, I don’t really like to talk about it too much when the system goes horribly wrong. Why? Well, we like living off grid – when the system is working properly, it’s a thing of beauty. And I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying it (not that we had a choice, with no power lines up on the mountain!!) But when the system is not working properly? You are totally…what’s the word… ?? Yes.
Turbines are fairly simple bits of kit. And this one was made in Spain, so should be well suited to Spanish weather conditions. Or so we thought! This is supposed to be pretty trouble-free, low maintenance. Four times down, and 9 charge controller failures is not trouble-free, in my book!
I joined a Yahoo discussion group to ask for advice, one whose members are all owners of small wind operations for the home. Some of these guys are incredibly knowledgeable. They all say that off grid systems are never trouble-free. They say never believe manufacturers’ promises, either. They also say that our particular brand of turbine is known for “over-production” in high winds (and this is not a Good Thing, as it may first sound).
The turbine is now laying on its side – a sad, wounded bird! The offending broken part is shown here – does that ‘burnt look’ seem right to you?