Frequently Asked Question

In this section you can find the FAQ in different categories:

Windside Wind Turbines


Q: Can I power my home with one Windside wind turbine?

A: Windside turbines are designed for, built for and targeted firmly at the professional user market. The core of our business is based on small turbines charging battery banks that power small DC systems in remote and harsh environments. We are not pursuing the private residential market or a market where the buying criteria is based on ROI calculated against grid connected kWh price.

Q: What is the biggest turbine available?

A: The biggest Windside wind turbine is currently WS-12. It is 6 meter high and its diameter is 2 meters. WS-12 produces annually approx. 8600 kW at the average wind speed of 5 m/s. Bigger turbines up to megawatt class can be manufactured but they are still in the design stage. (Windside is looking for financing to start manufacturing bigger classes)

Q: How strong wind can Windside wind turbines stand?

A: There are three different wind endurance categories.

  • A models are guaranteed at constant wind speed of 60 m/s
  • Bplus models are guaranteed at constant wind speed of 50 m/s.
  • B models are guaranteed at constant wind speed of 40 m/s.

Q: What are the benefits of using Windside vertical axis wind turbines over using a conventional 2/3 blade-based turbine?

A:  There are several benefits.

  • Windside is totally soundless and doesn't cause vibration.
  • Windside is designed for harsh, demanding environment (We have turbines around the world in very harsh conditions: Sahara desert, Antarctica, Siberia, Greenland etc. The results speak for themselves.)
  • Long life-span
  • Minimum need of maintenance (can be left as an autonomous unit to remote areas.
  • Safe for people and animals (do not kill birds).
  • Low cut-in wind speed (starts producing power already at 2 m/s winds!).
  • Our strongest model can withstand constant wind speed of 60 m/s. Other models need to be stopped when the wind gets over 20 m/s. Our models can be left rotating and they produce maximum power!
  • Reliable. Many professionals around the world have relied on Windside's quality without compromise since 1982.               
  • Overall lifespan costs are significantly lower than for the propellers

Q: What does the product code WS-0,30B indicate?

A: WS means Windside, the number indicates the swept area of the turbine in m² and the alphabet indicates the wind endurance class.

Examples.

WS-0,15B has a swept area of 0,15 square meters and is guaranteed at constant wind speed of 40 m/s.  

WS-0,30Bplus has a swept area of 0,30 square meters and is guaranteed at constant wind speed of 50 m/s.

WS-2AK has a swept area of 2 square meters and is guaranteed at constant wind speed of 60 m/s.

 

Power Production


Q: How much energy will a Windside wind turbine produce?

A: At Windside we believe that the most important figure to talk about when discussing wind turbine power generation is what the wind turbine and generator will generate over a given period of time. kWh Over a one year period or more.

It is one thing to have a generator that produces 2kW at a wind speed of 15m/s wind speed, however if the turbine does not generate power until 4.8m/s wind speed, only reaches optimum generation at 15m/s wind speed and then has to stop generation at 25m/s wind speed, then for a large proportion of the time it will do nothing or very little.


The example below is from a real world, working installation in Finland. All figures used are real world figures and not wind tunnel tests or theoretical models. Wind in the real world is an ever changing and turbulent force that does not obey the rules.


Customer.        Mylly Shopping Centre.

Location.          Raisio in Finland.
System.           Two Windside WS-12 Vertical Axis Wind Turbines.
Swept Area.     24m²
Conditions.       Average annual wind speed in the area is below 5 m/s.

Between 3rd March 2005 and 14th Feb. 2006 this system generated 16552 kWh


This equates to 17360 kWh/year.


Expressed as kWh/m²/year = 723 kWh/m²/year


During this period the worst month of production if extended to one year gave a figure of 220 kWh/m²/year.


Estimated production of a propeller of similar swept area in similar conditions are between 100 kWh/m²/year and 300 kWh/m²/year.


These are real world results, and not theoretical or wind tunnel predictions.


Annual wind speed is made up from windy days and calm days.


The power available from the wind increases exponentially with wind speed the result of this can be seen from the examples below.

Example 1.
A turbine runs for one year.
Half the time the wind is 10 m/s.
Half the time there is no wind at all.
Therefore the average wind speed is 5m/s
Power generated is 1752kWh
Example 2.
The same turbine runs for one year.
The wind blows at 5 m/s all year.
Therefore the average wind speed is also 5m/s
Power generated is 613kWh

Note, both examples have the same average wind speed but example 1 produces 2.85 times as much power as example 2.

This demonstrates that it is impossible to put a finite figure on what a wind turbine and generator will generate as the wind is ever changing, however if turbines are monitored over a long enough period of time in real world conditions where these conditions are known then an honest figure can be arrived at.

 

Q: How much will Windside WS-0,30 produce energy

A: The amount of energy a WS-0,30 will deliver in a year is dependent on the wind speed, its electrical set up (star or delta) and its voltage (12 or 24V).

The most common use for the system is 12V Star connected charging a 12V battery bank. This could mean energy production from anywhere between 70 kWh/year at an average of 5m/s to 290kWh/year at an average of 10 m/s. It is impossible to be precise on these figures as it all depends on how the average wind speed is made up.

Installation


The installation of the turbine is as important as the turbine itself. A proper installation ensures the turbine operation.

Q: Can I install the turbine to a pole with height of 4 meters?

A: Our minimum mast height recommendation is 10 meters and additionally 2-4 meters above the surrounding obstacles. The higher the mast is, the better are the output results. Every 10 meter in height will increase the power with + 50 %.

Q: What kind of mast should I use?

A: Smaller Windside wind turbines WS-0,15 and WS-0,30 can be installed to a wooden or metal pole with proper foundation. The diameter at the upper end must be 170 mm. For bigger models WS-2 and WS-4 a metal pole with proper foundation must be used. The diameter at the upper end must be 400 mm.

Q: Can the turbine be installed to a building?

A: Yes. Windside wind turbines can be safely integrated to building, thanks to its soundless and safe operation. Please read more on section building integration.

Q: How far away can the turbine locate from the battery bank?

A: The distance between the turbine and charging controller can be up tp 100 meters. As the current between the generator and the charging controller is AC, the won't be power losses.

The distance between the charging controller and battery bank is up to 2 meters.

Maintenance

Windside wind turbines are made to last. A proper and regular maintenance ensure the long life span.

Q: What kind of maintenance procedures are needed and what are the costs?

A: Windside wind turbines are designed for harsh and demanding environment where not grid-connection is available. Such areas are often unmanned. Due to this fact we have built a wind turbine that can operate reliably and is almost maintenance-free. Only maintenance needed is the lubrication of the bearings, which can be done also automatically. The automatic lubrication system provides circa 5 years free maintenance interval which means that the turbine can operate autonomously for 5 years.

Q: How often does the Lubricant need to be substituted.

A: This depends on the chosen lubrication system.

If the customer has chosen a manual lubrication, one grease tube will last for approx. 5 years. The manual lubrication need to be done 2-3 times a year.

If the turbine has a automatic lubrications system, the 18 kg grease (obligatory for the automatic lubrication system) will last for approx. 5 years. The grease is not recommended to be stored, therefore a new 18 kg bucket must be purchased after 5 years. Please note that the Windside grease is the only grease that can be used for Windside wind turbines. If any other grease is being used, the warranty is not valid
.

Q: What is the average life span of the bearings:

A: If the bearings are lubricated according to our instructions, the life-span of the bearings is approx. 10 years or more.

Q: Are non-specialized personnel allowed to replace the bearings:

A: for models WS-0,15 and WS-0,30 anyone can replace the bearings. The replacing procedure is clearly explained in the Instruction and Operation Manual.

When it comes to larger models, such as WS-2 and WS-4, the bearings are allowed to be changed only by an authorized assembling company.

Building Integration


Q: Can Windside wind turbines installed to buildings?

A: Yes. Windside wind turbines are safe, soundless, reliable and beautiful. They are probably the only wind turbines in the world that can be safely integrated to buildings. Already many Windside wind turbines in the world have been installed to building. Such projects can be found e.g. In China, France, Finland and USA.

Q: Will the turbine cause noise?

A: If the turbines are installed according to manufacturer's instructions, Windside wind turbines will not cause any vibratino nor noise

Q: Will the turbine cause vibration?

A: If the turbines are installed according to manufacturer's instructions, Windside wind turbines will not cause any vibration nor noise.

Q: How is the turbine maintained after the installation?

A: Every project is unique and need to be evaluated individually. However, Windside wind turbines are almost maintenance-free, therefore the maintenance procedures are not likely to cause any troubles.

Q: Can I install turbines to a roof of a building?

A: As a rule of thumb Windside wind turbines can be install to a building roof, but this need to be evaluated case by case. If the building is old, it probably needs some support structures. If the building is new, the details of thestructure can be desinged beforehand. 
The best spots are the corners of the buildings where the turbine is able to catch the wind in a best possible way. The second best locations are the edges: the turbine is recommened to be installed as close to the edge as possible.

About Wind


It is important to understand the wind behaviour because wind is the "fuel" of the wind turbines. When there is no wind there is no power.

Q: How much power is available from the wind?


A:This of course depends on how fast the wind is blowing. The figures used in the examples below are the theoretical power available and not what is possible to achieve from a turbine.

At wind speed of 5 m/s theoretical power available is 77 W/m²
At wind speed of 10 m/s theoretical power available is 613 W/m²

The above two figures are used to illustrate the exponential nature of power available in the wind with relation to wind speed.


In the first example the wind speed is 5 m/s and in the second 10 m/s. This shows a two-fold increase in wind speed. In the first example the power available is 77 W/m² and in the second 613 W/m². This shows an eight-fold increase in power available.
This is very important to remember as wind speeds are often
much closer to the lower figure of 5 m/s than they are to the higher figure of 10 m/s.

Q: What is constant wind speed?


A: Constant wind speed is wind speed that is always the same and does not change. This does not exist in the real world but only in laboratory wind tunnels. Therefore, production figures given at constant wind speed are no use when thinking about actual production of the turbine at the installation site.

Q: What is average wind speed?


A: Average wind speed is made up of measurements of wind speed over given intervals of time. If readings are taken every five minutes for a period of one hour then twelve sets of readings bould be taken. If these readings are added together and then divided by twelve then the average is found.

Example 1 Example 2
Reading Wind Speed
m/s
Power Available
(Theoretical ) Watt
Reading Wind Speed
m/s
Power Available
(Theoretical ) Watt
1 5 77 1 0 0
2 3 17 2 0 0
3 7 210 3 0 0
4 2 5 4 0 0
5 8 314 5 0 0
6 1 0 6 0 0
7 9 447 7 10 10
8 5 77 8 10 613
9 4 39 9 10 613
10 6 132 10 10 613
11 3 17 11 10 613
12 7 210 12 10 613
Average 5 m/s 1545 W Average 5 m/s
3678 W
Why average wind speed can be misleading?
The above example shows 12 readings that give an average of 5 m/s. If this average is used to calculate the power in one hour then we have 77 Wh. However if we use actual power available in the wind at the time of measurement and use this a a figure we get 129 Wh.
Example 2 also shows 12 readings that give an average of 5 m/s. If this average is used to calculate the power in one hour then we have 77 Wh. However if we use the actual power available in the wind at the time of measurement and use this a a figure we get 306 Wh. Theses two examples are simple examples to illustrate that average wind speeds can be misleading and that exactly how averages are made up is important on what is actually generated.

 

 

Prędkość wiatru
m/s
Osiągalna moc
(teoretyczna) w W