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Thread: GAIA turbines

  1. #1
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    GAIA turbines

    Hi Folks

    Just a restart for the thread that Andy started.

    Our GAIA has produced 56868 kW/hr sine establishment on 7th July 2011, how are the other GAIA getting on?

    Regards

    Gavin

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    Junior Member joyful's Avatar
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Thank you NEC, hopefully the BFF forum will quickly get up and running again as the best discussion area for farmers. I always found it the best forum for honest discussion and useful reliable information.

    In the meantime my tip breaks eventually got sorted, but I am still trying to find a longer term solution to stop deployment during a 'brown out' (whatever that is) as opposed to a genuine out of control overrun. Would a software fix be possible or some sort of hardware bridge to stop the motor shutting down?

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    Junior Member Boythorpe Wind Energy's Avatar
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Hi All
    If you are referring to a power dropout then I am afraid no software fix would make any difference as the break is applied by a spring and you would have lost the controller and any control over the turbine.

    Kind regards

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Quote Originally Posted by Boythorpe Wind Energy View Post
    Hi All
    If you are referring to a power dropout then I am afraid no software fix would make any difference as the break is applied by a spring and you would have lost the controller and any control over the turbine.

    Kind regards
    Yes, the tip blades deploy when there is a power dropout down the line. The trouble is that 1) it can take several days to get the installer to come and fix. 2) the motor then continually tries to start up (but can't because the tips are deployed) in a cycle, using expensive electricity from the grid.

    The power dropout has nothing to do with any inherent danger to the blades and can occur in light or medium winds.

    I am no engineer, but surely it should be possible to 1) tell the brake to come on when the generator motor shuts down and the blades start spinning faster to stop the speed that causes tip deployment, 2) have some form of bridge into the electric circuits to tell the motor that the power dropout is not a cause of concern as far as the blades are concerned, so don't go into free spin, 3) have some sort of mechanical/electical sensor that tells the motor that the tip blades are deployed so don't waste electrity from the grid constantly trying to resart them (this goes on indefinitely!!). They managed to put a man on the moon in 1969 so sureley problems like this can be solved relatively easily?

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    Junior Member Boythorpe Wind Energy's Avatar
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Ok

    I will try to explain

    The Brake is a made up of 4 parts
    1. caliper - brake
    2. spring - (which provides the caliper with the force like you putting your foot on the brake)
    3. Electromagnet - it is attached to the end of the actuator, this is used to grab the caliper and hold the brake off, in this position the spring has been compressed.
    4. actuator - this is a motorized ram

    how the parts work

    The actuator ram travels towards the caliper with the electromagnet active, it reaches the caliper and keeps traveling to compress the brake at this point the electromagnet grabs the caliper and the actuator then goes into reverse thus releasing the brake.
    In this position the turbine can free wheel and start.
    The ONLY thing holding the brake off is the electromagnet as it is holding the spring under load ready to engage the brake.

    when you have a power dropout the turbine loses its control system AND the power supply that is powering the electromagnet, so it lets go and the spring that was under tension is free to engages the caliper (brake)

    hope that explains it
    Last edited by Boythorpe Wind Energy; 21-02-13 at 02:46 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Quote Originally Posted by Boythorpe Wind Energy View Post
    Ok

    I will try to explain

    The Brake is a made up of 4 parts
    1. caliper - brake
    2. spring - (which provides the caliper with the force like you putting your foot on the brake)
    3. Electromagnet - it is attached to the end of the actuator, this is used to grab the caliper and hold the brake off, in this position the spring has been compressed.
    4. actuator - this is a motorized ram

    how the parts work to release the brake

    The actuator ram travels towards the caliper with the electromagnet active, it reaches the caliper and keeps traveling to compress the brake at this point the electromagnet grabs the caliper and the actuator then goes into reverse thus releasing the brake.
    In this position the turbine can free wheel and start.
    The ONLY thing holding the brake off is the electromagnet as it is holding the spring under load ready to engage the brake.

    when you have a power dropout the turbine loses its control system AND the power supply that is powering the electromagnet, so it lets go and the spring that was under tension is free to engages the caliper (brake)

    hope that explains it
    Thank you for the help. Some more questions.

    So the process (on the Gaia I presume) is that the power dropout initiates a shut down of the control system and the brakes then won't work without electrity, the free spin can then only be controlled by the centrigugal deployment of the tip blades.

    But most of the power dropouts that I am getting are only very short when a pulse is sent down to clear the line (as oppposed to a complete break in supply) and typically when the wind speeds are light or moderate. It is possible then that it is a power surge as opposed to a dropout that causes the control system to shut down (I think the Gaia reacts to both a loss or surge of power in a similar way to avoid damage).

    After the surge or loss of power, the power returns to normal supply, possibly almost instantaneously and the Gaia resets itself and the system powers up.

    The issue then is that even though the blades are free spinning but not fast enough for tip brake deployment and the power is back on, the brake system does not seem to reset itself and engage the brake caliper.

    So the blades start spinning faster and the tip brakes deploy, fair enough to protect the turbine from damage.

    The problem now is that with the reconnected electricty supply the control system decides to go into an endless cycle of trying to restart the turbine up again without any hope with the tip blades set, using up expensive power from the grid which goes on until somebody shuts off the supply (which could be all night or longer).

    So:
    1) how about setting the control system to apply the caliper brake when the power comes back on (as long as the blades are not spinning to fast to burn out the pads) before the tip blades are set.

    If this is too late then:

    2) how about fitting a sensor that tells the control system that the tip blades are deployed, so please don't try and continuously try to restart

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    Junior Member Boythorpe Wind Energy's Avatar
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    No the control system didn't shut down it is like you unplugging your computer from the wall it just goes off, then the electromagnet holding the brake off releases the brake as it needs 24v to work, so at that point the brake start braking to slow it down.
    The brake is activated as soon as there is a power dropout

    Kind regards

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Quote Originally Posted by Boythorpe Wind Energy View Post
    No the control system didn't shut down it is like you unplugging your computer from the wall it just goes off, then the electromagnet holding the brake off releases the brake as it needs 24v to work, so at that point the brake start braking to slow it down.
    The brake is activated as soon as there is a power dropout

    Kind regards
    Universally known as.... "Failsafe"

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Remind me why I would buy one of these turbines. With the number of times our power is off sufficient to warrant reseting the electric clock the turbines would never be producing. Would be nice to get some real data as I can see 4 of these turbines from my house and quite often they dont appear to be working when I expect them to be working. That said I can also see 2 CF 20's and they dont seem to be much better so it could be problems with the grid.

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    Junior Member Boythorpe Wind Energy's Avatar
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    I know what it is called, I am trying to explain how it all works.

    Kind regards

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    I've had a Gaia for 2 years and never had a tip out - had plenty of power outages ; the brake comes on, stops the turbine, turbine restarts when power is restored. Something must be wrong with your brake adjustment joyful. And if a tip does deploy, why don't you just turn the turbine off until the tip is sorted? As BWE said, the brake comes ON when the power is Off. If this doesn't stop the blades in medium winds then it's the brake not any programming issue.

  12. #12
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Quote Originally Posted by windylamb View Post
    I've had a Gaia for 2 years and never had a tip out - had plenty of power outages ; the brake comes on, stops the turbine, turbine restarts when power is restored. Something must be wrong with your brake adjustment joyful. And if a tip does deploy, why don't you just turn the turbine off until the tip is sorted? As BWE said, the brake comes ON when the power is Off. If this doesn't stop the blades in medium winds then it's the brake not any programming issue.
    Yes, the brake does not come on, so the tips deploy. So the brake is not adjusted correctly. Thank you. I will get back to the installer.

    P.S Yes, I do turn off the power when I see that it is not turning, but the turbine is not visible from the farm house and sometimes it happens at night so can be quite a few hours before I shut down.

    P.P.S Any ideas on do-it yourself tip reset tools. In the manual there is a picture of a man halfway up the ladder with some sort of twin expandable gizmo connected at the end.

    Photo on page 29 of the manual (could not copy)

    http://www.ecoenerg.co.uk/GW-UK-18-0808_User_Manual.pdf

    Last edited by joyful; 22-02-13 at 12:03 AM.

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    You need a good head for heights if you're going to do the tips yourself (and a safety line etc), apparently you can make the tool yourself with a fishing landing net handle as the pole. Why not take some photos of your installer's it next time he's called. Also I'd be asking him for some call out fees back as he hadn't set the brake up properly in the first place.

  14. #14
    Junior Member joyful's Avatar
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Quote Originally Posted by windylamb View Post
    You need a good head for heights if you're going to do the tips yourself (and a safety line etc), apparently you can make the tool yourself with a fishing landing net handle as the pole. Why not take some photos of your installer's it next time he's called. Also I'd be asking him for some call out fees back as he hadn't set the brake up properly in the first place.
    Looks like a pair of extendable landing net handles as you say, Can experiment with the end mechanism.

    Yes, climbing harness obligatory.

    Installer has been trying to adjust the brake for months under warranty. If it is too loose it does not bind, if it is too tight then it squeaks and wears out with friction. Difficult to see this as a one-off 'bad brake' on one of the motors as both turbines go down at the same time! Has anybody else had problems with brake adjustment and finally sorted it out?

    Will not be paying the reset fees as you suggest.
    Last edited by joyful; 22-02-13 at 12:07 PM.

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    Junior Member Boythorpe Wind Energy's Avatar
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    I just lean off, grab it and twist. If you use a loop you can get it trapped between the brake tip and the blade as it closes the gap. Then you have to over speed it to get it out or cut your loop.
    If you are going to do it yourself it will look more impressive to your wife when you are hanging off the turbine about level trying to grab the blade. It will score far more browni points

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    If I did that I would be fertilizing the base of the turbine!

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Quote Originally Posted by windylamb View Post
    If I did that I would be fertilizing the base of the turbine!
    Make sure you take account of this in you NVZ Plan!!

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Hear on the grapevine that Myriad (what was segen), installers and maintainers of our pair of Gaias, are pulling out of the wind sector. Anyone have any recommendations for servicing/breakdown cover? There's 4 others within a 10 mile radius, also have 2 Proven 15s on my other site. Looking for a good deal to look after the lot!

    Cheers, windy

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Hi Windy, Gaia were talking of a gold silver and bronze servicing package at one time but i have heard no more. Any word on the e3120 and 133 that went down in devon re. the restarting of machines?

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Quote Originally Posted by windy View Post
    Hear on the grapevine that Myriad (what was segen), installers and maintainers of our pair of Gaias, are pulling out of the wind sector. Anyone have any recommendations for servicing/breakdown cover? There's 4 others within a 10 mile radius, also have 2 Proven 15s on my other site. Looking for a good deal to look after the lot!

    Cheers, windy
    SES at Preston are very good and look after both of ours. Not sure if they will be able to sort out the Provens though. Have a word with Jon at
    www.sustainableenergysystems.co.uk

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    I always thought that Myriad subcontracted all their Gaia servicing anyway - or am I mistaken. They didn't have in-house installers when I bought mine in 2011, so I bought it from the installer and got them to service it at very reasonable rates. I think you will be too far unless you get together with your neighbours but I've found Dorrell Renewables very good. They are in Pembrokeshire though.

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    For Servicing you could try these guys they come highly recommended http://www.ecoenerg.co.uk/Gaia-Wind_Turbine.htm

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    WindCare is based in North Yorkshire (Pickering) and Gaia-Wind trained/approved for groundworks, installs, servicing and maintenance. We do a lot of work on the Gaia turbines (mainly between Edinburgh and Birmingham) and can often combine servicing jobs in the same area to keep costs down. Let me know if we can be of any help.

    Alex Thornton
    01751 472595 (Mon-Fri)
    07825 994004 (anytime)
    alex.thornton@windcare.co.uk
    www.windcare.co.uk

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    I have heard that VG Energy are now selling Gaia turbines, prob making them the biggest installer ans supplier in the country. They offer the complete service package from consulatation, all planning, installing and maintenance. I just got an email in from them about the launch of their new website. Might be worth checking them out.

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Does anyone else have bother with crows building nests inside thier turbines ?
    When the turbine is stopped i see them land on the basket with twiggs in thier beaks then hop up inside the nacelle .
    A couple of times they have set up the vibration sensor . only see them do it when the tubine has stopped .

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    crows are a problem. gaia have a mesh kit which will stop most problems. crows still try to get through the central hole, however and i think shooting is the answer then.

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Our Gaia has been up since 13th May 2010 and so far has pumped out 96000kw. If it gets to 100mw by 3rd birthday we would be delighted!

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Tried shooting them but missed . now they keep thier distance from me .
    I am going to send no.3 son up when he comes back from uni , he has the safety harness and likes climbing things
    The turbine has done 67300 kw in 25 months so 100mw in 3 years is possable .

  29. #29
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    Re: GAIA turbines

    Mudman - Gaia do do a mesh kit but just go and buy some 1 inch weld mesh and get your installer to fit it. I can't understand why the mesh isn't fitted as standard, it would cost less than ten quid to make and fit when the nacelle is on the ground. Failing that, just lie under the turbine with an air gun.

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    Re: GAIA turbines

    High winds forecast today, 35mph( 65mph gust) for 12 hours, would you switch off turbine for the 12 hours?? (a tip reset is £250. 12hrs generates 100kw =£30)

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