1. How much electricity does the Ventera turbine produce?
The quantity of electricity (what you pay for) is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). The Ventera VT10 will generate between 1,000 and 2,00 kilowatt hours per month with a good wind resource (12 mph and higher average annual wind speed) when properly sited and installed.
2. What’s my wind resource?
To find the average annual wind speed, or wind resource, for your area you can visit the U.S. Department of Energy Residential Scale Wind Map. International wind maps exist for many countries at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
3. What does a complete, installed system generally cost?
The total installed cost is affected by many variables including the condition and location of the site, the height of the tower, the availability of government and utility grants and rebates, and other factors. The typical installed cost, after accounting for Federal grants and credits, ranges from about $20,000 to about $45,000. Some states have their own unique incentive program, and these may reduce your costs. You can check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
When considering project costs keep in mind that the Ventera system likely will pay for itself within 5-10 years and will continue to reduce your electricity bill for an additional 20 years. If you can depreciate the wind turbine cost as a farm or business expense, your payback will be even sooner. Contact your tax professional for details specific to you.
4. Where can I get information on Federal and State incentives?
Please visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency or a thorough listing of Federal and State incentives for renewable energy systems.
5. Will a Ventera turbine pay for itself?
Yes, good wind, and proper placement at your location is the key to success. As your turbine turns the power is used by you before you pull power from the grid! Remember, the cost savings is in the “Avoided Cost” not having to send that money to the utility. Most utilities do not purchase excess electricity but rather you build credits for future use. Most turbines produce more electricity in the winter months and less in the summer months.
To calculate just how valuable that reduction in your electrical costs is depends on many variables. Pay back is shorter with higher wind speeds, lower total installed cost, if you can depreciate it, and with higher electricity costs. A typical Midwest farmer will see a payback less than 10 years and as quick as 5 years (when 30% Federal tax credit, a USDA grant of 25% and numerous state incentives are applied). With a 25 plus year life expectancy the VT10 should pay for itself several times over.
Payback calculations are based on current electricity prices. It is important to note that prices will likely to continue to trend upwards as does everything else.
6. How does the Ventera survive high winds?
One of the big benefits that make the Ventera stand out from other small wind turbines is that it we are warranted in wind speeds up to 130 mph or 58 m/s while STILL GENERATING AT OR NEAR PEAK POWER.
Our patented centrifugally activated outer blade pitching governor automatically limits blade rpm to about 270 rpm in winds of 29 mph and higher and limits power output to about 10kw up to a survival wind speed. A centrifugal force activated governor is the most reliable and time proven mechanical concept available and was first used to control the 18th century steam engine of James Watt.
One of the ironies in the wind turbine industry is that too much wind can be bad. If allowed to spin freely in very high winds, most turbines would actually spin so fast that they would spin themselves to pieces. To avoid that, all other wind turbines in the small-wind market can only respond by shutting down completely or furling out of the wind, wasting otherwise good electricity-producing wind and causing surging. But in very high winds, the Ventera continues to perform. When wind speeds get to 29 mph the Ventera’s patented governing system is activated so that the blades will not spin any faster. So, when EVERY other turbine on the market is completely shut down or has turned out of the wind because the wind has exceeded its capacity, the Ventera will still be generating 10 kilowatts.
7. What happens if my utility goes down, say in a storm?
All wind turbines are connected to an inverter; this converts the power from the turbine into useable “grid quality” power. All inverters are required by law to shut down in the event of power failure, this is to avoid “islanding.”
Example: You have gone out of town on vacation for a week. You have shut down most everything that uses power in the home so you can build credits with the utility for future use. Now there is a storm, a tree limb on a neighbor’s property a block away has broken free, fallen down onto the power lines ripping it from the pole. Power has gone out for the neighborhood and your turbine was producing peak power and sending it back into the grid because you aren’t there to use it. Now the local lineman come out to fix the downed line and is electrocuted.
So to avoid this all inverters are required to have “Anti Islanding” protection. The Ventera will automatically disconnect from the grid to prevent possible danger to linemen and others, it will go into what is called “free wheel mode”. The turbine continues to spin ready for grid power to return. Once the power lines are re-energized the inverter will sense it and will restart automatically after seeing grid quality power for 5 minutes. .
8. Can lightning damage the turbine?
A properly grounded turbine/tower is protected from lightning damage in most cases.
9. How often does the Ventera need to be serviced?
Ventera wind turbines only need to be inspected every 5 years or 125,000 kWh, whichever comes first. Ventera’s turbine maintenance and inspections has been made easy and quick to perform. The Ventera maintenance kit only consists of 3 easily changed replacement parts. The VT 10’s direct drive design has all sealed bearing so there is no need for continued greasing and no gear box that requires oil. Less service, less time, less hassle.
To service or do any work on the turbine, Ventera offers convenient hinged towers that tilt up and down using a hydraulic lift system. Lattice tower can be purchased with a gin pole (counter weight) or can be raised/lowered with a use of a crane.
10. Does the Ventera wind turbine come with a warranty?
Ventera offers a 5 year limited warranty on turbines, towers, and inverters. An additional extended warranty is available at the time of purchase.
11. How high of a tower do I need?
You must place the hub (turbine center where blades are attached) at least 30 feet above trees and buildings within 1000 feet of the tower. For example, a typical farmhouse may have many mature 60 foot trees, in which case you would want a tower at least 90 feet tall. This avoids turbulence. Turbulence robs you of power, reduces the lifespan of the unit, and may increases maintenance requirements.
12. What types of towers can be used with Ventera turbines?
Ventera currently offers towers which the following features:
- Steel Foundation Towers, does not require concrete in remote locations
- Tilt up or Motorized Lift designs Monopole
- Lattice tower designs
Ventera has taken careful steps to ensure a safe tower for you. Use of other towers may pose a risk due to harmonics and thrust issues. Every year VT10 Wind Turbines are used to replace other wind turbines that have failed. In many cases the existing tower can be used safely as the VT10 is the lightest weight and has reduced thrust loads compared to other wind turbine designs. Consulting with the factory is recommended but the factory makes no claims without proper engineering.
13. How much noise does the Ventera make?
Ventera’s current internal test showed a decibel level of 32 dBA at 300’ distance. Once certification is complete we will have a certified number.
14. How big is the Ventera turbine?
The Ventera VT10 has a 22-foot blade diameter and weighs just 580 pounds.
15. Where is the Ventera made?
The Ventera is made in Duluth, Minnesota, USA.
16. What are the blades made of?
Our proprietary mix of polypropylene with 20% fiberglass fibers with added U.V protections. Ventera uses injection-molded blades for the extreme accuracy and uniformity of the blade shape and the resulting increased efficiency and output. Our engineered plastic formulation is strong enough to eliminate the need for leading edge protection as required on most fiberglass blades. In additional Ventera blades are not subject to delamination like other blades. Delamination will result in moisture penetration and potential catastrophic blade failure.
Our decision to injection mold our blades was based on what would work best for our customers over the long-term. Ventera is proud to offer the highest performance blades in the industry to our customers through our unique fabrication process.
17. Can I use the Ventera coupled to a battery so that it can provide emergency back-up power in the event the utility goes down?
Yes. Ventera can assist you with a grid tied wind turbine system with battery backup for emergency power. Remote and off grid systems require additional planning and equipment.
18. Are downwind turbines better than upwind turbines?
Downwind turbines are an advantage to the customer with simplicity, reliability and performance. With Ventera wind turbines it is the highly efficient blades that steer the turbine into the wind. Upwind turbines use a tail to steer the turbine into the wind. The antiquated designs of the past use the tail fin to steer the turbine out of high winds to protect the unit from failure, in gusting winds (as most are) this causes a surging effect and much power production is lost. With the VT10, the advanced pitching mechanism allows for peak performance in all weather conditions with no surging effect robbing you of power. Our downwind turbine is significantly lighter in weight using fewer natural resources in it’s manufacturing and reducing the cost.
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