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Alternative Technology and Renewable Energy can be great fun and very rewarding, especially if done at home. On this blog I share my ideas and tips for mainly simple and inexpensive alternative technology projects.

Friday, July 28, 2006

New Wind Turbine

I have recently taken delivery of a new wind turbine. It is a Navitron 200 watt device which comes from China. I bought the 24 volt version without electronics or tower, as I already have all that.

I am using a 24 volt version even though my battery bank is 12 volt, as the average wind speed at my location is very low at around 4 mps. This should mean that the onset of battery charging should be at very low wind speeds, although the maximum output will be less.

I wasn't keen on the gaudy colours of the unit as supplied (red nosecone, blue body and yellow tailfin) so I I have painted the whole thing white, so that it appears similar to the Rutland turbine it is replacing. I was impressed with the rugged construction of the unit, but it weighs in at 35kg. Quite a lot of weight at the top of a 48mm scaffold pole! I am arranging some additional guy wires to make the whole installation more rugged.

I may also modify the profile of the blades as this model is reported to be quite noisy. I will try it as it is and see if the noise is bearable. Apparently it is possible to trim and sand down the blades to improve their aerodynamic properties. I would be grateful if any users of Navitron turbines could offer any advice.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Toyota Dealers Don't Promote the Prius

When I was preparing for the recent Green Living Days in Ipswich, I contacted two Toyota dealers near me and informed them that I would have my Toyota Prius on display. I asked them if they would like to give me some leaflets to hand out to interested people. Amazingly, both dealers never rang me back, even after reminder calls. This was a missed opportunity for them as I had a constant stream of interested people asking about the car.

My take on this is that a dealer would much rather sell a car that he has in stock or can get quickly, rather than the 3 month wait for the Prius. The Prius is not pushed by the local dealers, in spite of national advertising done by Toyota. I now suggest to people that they should contact one of the online car discount companies who offer a great price deal on the car with the same warranty that you get from a dealer. You would have to wait a few months wherever you bought the car, so there is no disadvantage in an online purchase.

It is such a shame that dealers don't seem interested in promoting such a revolutionary car. After all, in a few years time, hybrid cars will be much more common and a regular sight on the road and in the showrooms.