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Thread: My C&F 20 project

  1. #1
    fermerboy
    Guest

    My C&F project

    I've started this with the same idea in mind as Big Andys Gaia project thread, to be informative and hopefully answer some of the questions about C&F turbines.

    There is an awful lot of rubbish being spoken about turbines in general, and a lack of real information.

    If you want to slag off turbines please do it elsewhere!

    The site is about 700ft off sea level and the DECC database gives about 7.6m/s at 25m high.

    After looking at various options we went for a C&F 20kw turbine on a 20metre high tower.
    It was purchased in March, upgraded to a direct drive model in May and latterly upgraded again to the latest spec with a heavier slew drive etc.

    Planning seemed to go quite easy and we put the base in at the end of August.



    Two and a half inches of rain the day before the concrete came! :cry:


    Finished job


    Invertors and electrical install done just before christmas





  2. #2
    fermerboy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    The tower went up in just over 3hrs


    Tower sections are just cones pushed together!!!
    They expect it to settle by about 6" in the first few months.


    Hanging the nacelle on.


    Bolting up the blades


    Connecting up the plug at the bottom.


    Start of the hydraulic lift.


    Halfway there.


    Full up.


    Got it fully commisioned today.

    Mobile phone pic, its doing 21.5kw/hr for a few minutes.



    It was up the length of 24.5kw/hr for a little bit!!!

    The turbine seemed to be fluctuating up and down in speed and output a little bit, but they can monitor it directly from Ireland and modify some of the parameters to fine tune it and set it up.

    Any questions or comments most welcome, I know of others on here who are just started too so would be interested in how they are going.

    Cheers

    FB

  3. #3
    oskosh
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Looking good, our 15kw should be up early next month, but grid connection not till end of feb, cant wait, its been nearly a year since we started the ball rolling. We are 6m asl with 20m tower, wind about 8m/s, it will be interesting to compare the two. Have not posted about it for a while as fed up with all the negative comments.

  4. #4
    clover
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Thanks for the pics Fermerboy and good luck.It looks like the dogs bollocks.If theyd been on the go I'd have taken one of them instead of the Proven I have now.If its not too nosey,what did the project cost in totality ? Whos the main agent for C&F in Scotland ? Is the hydraulic jack part of the package or does it travel from site to site ?
    All wind turbines have things that can go wrong.It would be foolish to expect every C&F to run for 20+ years without problem.Does your warranty/insurance give compensation for downtime?

  5. #5
    its yourself
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Very nice pics.

    Our C&F 11 is due at the end of the month too. Electrician was in yesterday sorting out the grid connection wiring.

  6. #6
    BigAndy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Looks good, hope it goes well for you.

    From the info you posted, are the tower sections not bolted together? Slip inside each other?
    Oh and you have a very brave concrete driver, lads round here would not drive on ground like that.

  7. #7
    Windbreaker
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    I too echo some of the previous comments; Yes you have a very good concrete wagon driver ! we had to ferry ours across the fields because the guy wouldn't get his tyres dirty / might get stuck etc etc.
    It looks a good set up , I also like the way it is monitored remotely. I have an Evoco , mainly because of its single phase capability and also timing of my planning (main competitor was the Proven 15 at the time )
    There has been some negativity on here recently so I sincerely wish you the best of luck as I am sure you have put a lot of time effort and money into the project

  8. #8
    tom
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Thanks for this fermerboy, very helpful.

    How much wall space do you need for the inverters etc and how much clearence from the floor?

  9. #9
    BigAndy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    Thanks for this fermerboy, very helpful.

    How much wall space do you need for the inverters etc and how much clearence from the floor?
    Looks like a sheet and a half of 8 by 4 plywood and some of the stuff is on the floor from the picture above.

    At what windspeed is it doing the rated output? Doesnt look to be enough swept area for the size of the tower, or maybe I am just used to mine:lolk:

  10. #10
    del1315
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    fermerboy

    Good pics very usefull for us wishing to be in the same situation!!

    Did you ever consider going for a larger turbine considering your windspeed in brill?

  11. #11
    BigW
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Good for you for sticking with them, there has been alot of guff posted on here that would have put alot of people off

  12. #12
    fermerboy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Thanks for the positive comments.
    It did 144kw in its first 24hrs.
    Wasn't really sure what to hope for.
    Had a good wind last night but was dead calm here this morning.
    After dinner time it picked up a bit, and it threw a trip out for one of the invertors.
    Phoned the guy who commisioned it and he said set it and see. It went off again but came up with an error later and stopped again.
    We have big wind here so not sure if its cut out, or what. There was concern that our farm voltage is quite high and could upset things, some tweaking needed I think.
    Will see what tomorrow brings.


    Quote Originally Posted by clover View Post
    Thanks for the pics Fermerboy and good luck.It looks like the dogs bollocks.If theyd been on the go I'd have taken one of them instead of the Proven I have now.If its not too nosey,what did the project cost in totality ? Whos the main agent for C&F in Scotland ? Is the hydraulic jack part of the package or does it travel from site to site ?
    All wind turbines have things that can go wrong.It would be foolish to expect every C&F to run for 20+ years without problem.Does your warranty/insurance give compensation for downtime?
    Clover you have a PM
    I think Mint Energy would be the main agents for C&F in Scotland, there are a few others too.
    The hydraulic rams travel about to site.
    The warranty doesn't give compensation but I have business interuption in place as part of the insurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigAndy View Post
    Looks good, hope it goes well for you.

    From the info you posted, are the tower sections not bolted together? Slip inside each other?
    Oh and you have a very brave concrete driver, lads round here would not drive on ground like that.
    Towers not bolted together, just 4 tight fitting cones jammed together. They say that after being up with 2.5tons of nacelle pushing down its near welded together.
    Concrete guys were very good, took them over in the jeep and gave them the option, it was rock hard underneath and the only ropey bit was at the base. The lorries only needed a slight pull when empty really. I know others have had the same as you said.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    Thanks for this fermerboy, very helpful.

    How much wall space do you need for the inverters etc and how much clearance from the floor?
    The install you see there is about 8' long by about 6' 6" high. More would be better, it was tight to fit on there. Top row are invertors, middle row of small boxes are rectifiers, on the ground are 3 isolating transformers.

    Quote Originally Posted by del1315 View Post
    fermerboy

    Good pics very usefull for us wishing to be in the same situation!!

    Did you ever consider going for a larger turbine considering your windspeed in brill?
    Did think of renting out a spot for a big turbine but the grid round here can't take any more big stuff till 2014 and the planning on the big stuff is a uphill slog. Its not out the window on another site though.

    Cheers
    FB

  13. #13
    johnny400
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Look good fermerboy. Hope they do you well.
    Neighbour has just put two up. One went up on Friday, the other monday and both turning by dinner time today.

  14. #14
    clover
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    What happens to the C&F during a power cut? Does it freewheel like a proven ?

  15. #15
    BigAndy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    So if its not bolted together and slips inside, do they not level up the nacelle at top? Or if they do what is to stop it moving if wind from 1 direction for first week or so? Just think a small movement could mean nacelle is a fair way off level at top also got to be strain on tower welds. Simple idea, but not sure i like the practicalities

  16. #16
    quavers
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    fermerboy you have a pm

  17. #17
    scots_knight
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Andy,

    Much simpler and safer in practice when you see it done.
    When we say slip inside thats true but its not just a few inches, its a heck of a lot more about 900mm I was told.

    They slide it on gently and line up carefully with the sling then go to the end push section on with forklift, so you think thats it but no.

    They give it what in technical terms we might call in Scotland "two or three good dunts" with the forklift to ram it home that mast is now solid and aint going nowhere

  18. #18
    fermerboy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Quote Originally Posted by BigAndy View Post
    So if its not bolted together and slips inside, do they not level up the nacelle at top? Or if they do what is to stop it moving if wind from 1 direction for first week or so? Just think a small movement could mean nacelle is a fair way off level at top also got to be strain on tower welds. Simple idea, but not sure i like the practicalities
    No leveling done. we had a hell of a wind for a few days after, and I did wonder if it would lean, but it seems to be straight.


    Quote Originally Posted by scots_knight View Post

    "two or three good dunts"

    Alternative words used at the time, "Jesus he's giving it a big skelp"

  19. #19
    BOB1
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Quote Originally Posted by scots_knight View Post
    Andy,

    Much simpler and safer in practice when you see it done.
    When we say slip inside thats true but its not just a few inches, its a heck of a lot more about 900mm I was told.

    They slide it on gently and line up carefully with the sling then go to the end push section on with forklift, so you think thats it but no.

    They give it what in technical terms we might call in Scotland "two or three good dunts" with the forklift to ram it home that mast is now solid and aint going nowhere
    It is much the same method used for telecom mast towers. I would have thought a bolted tower would have been a better option for wind turbines.

  20. #20
    fermerboy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F project

    Well here is the first week update.

    We had good winds in the first 2 days, but have been really in the doldrums wind wise for the last 5days. :cry:

    It, like most of the others round here has done nothing since last Thurs night. It was turning sometimes but only doing a few watts.
    Week total : 300kw

    In the first couple of days it was going good, but fluctuating up and down quite a lot.
    We had a problem with one or more of the invertor trips blowing, and it was stopping, eventually on Thursday at 6.00pm all 4 tripped out, and it wouldn't restart.

    I phoned the guy who commisioned it and he said he'd come up that evening as he was at a job not far off. He texted to ask if it would be alright to come in at 12.30am to sort it out!!!!!

    True to his word he came, did some electrical trickery/tweaking and reset it and off it all went.

    Even though he was working locally, and it saved a trip back into the area next day, I couldn't believe that he came and fixed the problem at that time of night.
    Way above and beyond what I would expect.

    Hello to you, Mr C&F sparky, I know you look on here now and again!!!

    Of course we have been dead calm since so don't know if its really sorted out or not.

    Think they have been tinkering remotely from Ireland as it was not peaking so high, but much more even.
    That's the problem with this remote monitoring/adjusting, I have no way of telling if any changes have been made.

    Here's hoping for a bit more air movement this week!!

  21. #21
    clover
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Thats good you've got a start.The winds are to be picking up again today according to the forecast.How many acres did youre combine cut last week? Turbines dont work every day either

  22. #22
    BigAndy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    No wind since about thursday here as well, turbines not moved for 2 days out of last 5 and others only done 100kw a piece.

    As in previous question what windspeed are you getting the rated output at? In the control from Ireland are they all computer alterations, do they not have to physically alter anything at all?

  23. #23
    fermerboy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Quote Originally Posted by clover View Post
    Thats good you've got a start.The winds are to be picking up again today according to the forecast.How many acres did youre combine cut last week? Turbines dont work every day either
    Never thought of it like that!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by BigAndy View Post
    No wind since about thursday here as well, turbines not moved for 2 days out of last 5 and others only done 100kw a piece.

    As in previous question what windspeed are you getting the rated output at? In the control from Ireland are they all computer alterations, do they not have to physically alter anything at all?
    Sorry forgot to answer that.

    I believe the turbine produces 20kw at 9m/s.

    That seems not far off what we are getting, I have an online weather station at my house a half mile off and the windspeeds there would be about right for the kw being produced.

    I have no way of knowing what wind speed the turbine head is getting at the moment. All we can see is how much each invertor is producing and do the maths, or see the current output on the generation meter.

    I haven't got a login(coming soon I hope) to the C&F system yet, but on it you can see windspeed and direction, and current output, along with other variables.

    As far as I understand it(somebody else might know better) they can adjust certain things on the computer in the turbine tower from Ireland via a GSM remote link. By so doing, they can tweak how much pitch on the blades for a given windspeed rating, depending on rotor rpm etc. Some sites tend to have more turbulent wind depending on obstacles and they can set the turbine up a bit to suit this. I would have thought that once it is setup there would only be problems to watchout for.
    They can run diagnostics to see if all the sensors are ok etc.

    Obviously if something major needs setting/adjusting, that would be a fold down job.

    Theory is that they can see on a screen that Fermerboys turbine is only doing 10kw/hr when it should be doing 15kw/hr for a given wind, and pickup whats wrong and send a man in to fix it, before I've realised myself.

    Remains to be seen if it all works though.

  24. #24
    BigAndy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Yep fair enough that is what I expected, surprised you cant see the windspeed actually on the turbine though. Guess you will have to wait for the login, it is nice to see the output at various windspeeds, you soon get to guess the windspeed when you can tally the two.

    I suspected that they can only alter the computer program effectivly, couldn't see how they can alter actual sensors etc.

  25. #25
    fermerboy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Well a much better week than last.

    It did about 1550 units this week.

    Best day was 324units.

    As we are still quite new to this lark I'm not sure what to expect really, Anybody else got an opinion or figures for a guide?

    No problems other than one morning 3 of the invertor trips were out, turbine looked to be running normally with one invertor running flat out at 6.2kw.

    Stopped everything, reset trips and it was up to about 12kw straight away.

    Its been no bother since.

    Don't know why that happened though.

    Lets hope the wind continues like this.

  26. #26
    fermerboy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Update for the first month.

    It was commissioned on the 10th Jan so thats our first month in.

    Turbine has done 3201kw.

    Out of this month it has had 10 days that it did less than 10kw, best day was 324kw.(Can you tell we are still addicted to the meter? )
    Wasn't sure what to expect really, any opinions on this?

    Not a chance of doing what the agents said anyway!!

    It has thrown the invertor trips once since the last report.:cry:

    It threw out 3 invertor trips and a transformer trip this time.

    The annoying thing is that the turbine appears to be working normally, but you only find out when you go into the shed and find only one invertor working flat out. :cry:
    Stopped it and reset and it was ok again.

    Mr C&F came this week and adjusted a regulator a bit to see if that would stop it happening.

    Apparently a freak big gust of wind can overspeed the turbine before it can adjust itself to suit and cause a voltage peak, throwing out the trips.
    Ireland have been tweaking remotely too I think, the other day it was running really even with very little fluctuations speedwise, best I've seen it.

    Have got remote monitoring now too, on computer/smartphone, doesn't tell much, RPM/windspeed/output/slew direction/wind direction and buttons to start/stop/reset.

    Neighbours have 3 C&F 20's up between them, all on the same crest of a hill, its interesting to watch them and ours, they all behave differently, one of the neighbours ones is a complete random, it goes when the others are stopped and vice versa. Can't see there being that much difference in the wind speed between them either.

  27. #27
    BigAndy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Dont worry the Fitmeteritis wont wear off for at least 6 months:lolk:
    Production not as good as I expected to be honest as you are about 7m/s at hub height compared to our 5.5m/s. Our turbines both did over 3000 KW in Jan though much of it will have been in first 2 weeks. But given yours is a 20 I would have thought you should have had around 4500 for the same period. Still early days and trips and tinkering can make a big difference. See how it continues on, not the best weather for turbines at moment anyway really:cry:

  28. #28
    Mr Muck
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Very interesting FB, how much is that 1st months units worth in s? How does that work out for the break even time that you were quoted by the salesperson?

  29. #29
    BigAndy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Muck View Post
    Very interesting FB, how much is that 1st months units worth in s? How does that work out for the break even time that you were quoted by the salesperson?
    cant do it like that, I have found that much out already, need a yearly target figure and see how you match up to it, even then will vary a fair bit. First couple of months will be teething troubles, get them sorted and see how you go from there.

  30. #30
    fermerboy
    Guest

    Re: My C&F 20 project

    Quote Originally Posted by BigAndy View Post
    Dont worry the Fitmeteritis wont wear off for at least 6 months:lolk:
    Production not as good as I expected to be honest as you are about 7m/s at hub height compared to our 5.5m/s. Our turbines both did over 3000 KW in Jan though much of it will have been in first 2 weeks. But given yours is a 20 I would have thought you should have had around 4500 for the same period. Still early days and trips and tinkering can make a big difference. See how it continues on, not the best weather for turbines at moment anyway really:cry:
    Production not as good as I was hoping for either. Not sure what my target for the year should be, 30% efficiency which is what many of the big wind farms work on, is 52560, so I am hoping for that.
    Notice the MCS certificate says annual production of 47500kwh.
    Either figure is a lot less than the agent predictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Muck View Post
    Very interesting FB, how much is that 1st months units worth in s? How does that work out for the break even time that you were quoted by the salesperson?
    Its no secret, and quite simple, each unit is worth 25.3pence in FIT regardless if you sell it or burn it yourself.

    We are on deemed export which means we don't have a meter measuring what goes into the grid, instead they say we burned half and they bought half.

    So on half the production we get 3.1pence.

    So on 3201kw its like this, 3201x 0.253=809.85, 3201/2 x 0.031= 99.23, so total cash in is 909.08

    The other thing is the saving on electricity being bought at 10.51pence, not so easily measured.

    They still haven't come to change the old style meters yet, and I'm in no hurry to chase them up either!!!!! :lolk::lolk:

    Quote Originally Posted by BigAndy View Post
    cant do it like that, I have found that much out already, need a yearly target figure and see how you match up to it, even then will vary a fair bit. First couple of months will be teething troubles, get them sorted and see how you go from there.
    Agree completely, can't really go on monthly totals, have to take a long term view.

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