Author Topic: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again  (Read 11923 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« on: November 10, 2013, 11:28:02 PM »

I have christened my wind turbine the "Spirit of Zubbly".  I don't want his contributions to the art of home-built wind turbines to be forgotten.  By dedicating this project to his inspiring work, I hope to remind everyone about the value of being creative and inventive, and sharing knowledge with others.  It's the spirit of both science and art, and it's what makes projects like this so satisfying for me.





I'm finally done (almost), and it's up in the air.  What a cold day for finishing this off (-12C / 10F!).  This years' project was pretty complicated.  Many things are changed, although many basic parts of the turbine remained the same.  It still has the 8-foot diameter rotor blades, and the generator is the same motor-conversion I did a couple of years ago. 
Wood blades and a motor-conversion: at its heart it is still a Zubbly-inspired wind turbine.

Improvements to the tower and the balance of the system meant that the entire system was taken apart all summer.  It was also an opportunity to re-finish the blades and do some experiments with improving the generator.  Some will remember that I had difficulty removing the old bearings from the generator's shaft, but that mess was minor compared to the piles of parts littered about as I went.

In all, this is what I changed:

The tower is taller by 10 feet, getting above my trees (which don't stop growing, dammit), now 50 feet tall,
The tower also has an additional group of guy wires to support the extra height,
Yaw-mount and chassis were re-designed to allow vibration isolators under the generator,
Tail re-designed to have a complete 90 degree swing when furled, and a harder running position,
Re-organized all batteries/inverter/charge controllers in a new building,
New underground cables buried from the new building to the tower and solar panels.





Since the new building wasn't built until September, and lowering the tower to work on it would be in the way of the construction, I had to wait, with most of the welding work on the tower parts and yaw mounting done early, but unable to install them.  In the meantime, I also prepared a tachometer/ temperature sensor board that I fitted inside the generator, and an extension to the tower's gin-pole, but I don't really need either one, so they will wait for next year. 

Adding height to the tower put higher loads on the gin pole and winch cables, so I was going to make the gin pole longer.  Halfway through working on that, I realized that rather than extend the gin pole, it was far easier to add a pulley to the end of the gin pole instead.  The pulley reduces the winch cable tension in half, which was the critical part of the equation.  An unrelated project from last year had left me with a 10,000 pound load cell and a nifty program to monitor tension loads, so I used that to check that I wasn't going to over-stress the cables.  Several test-lifts of the tower with the load cell attached proved that the pulley was effectively reducing the cable loads to a very safe margin.  You can see two pulleys in the picture below.  The one attached to the gin pole splits the load between the anchor underneath it and the one that's farther away (I'm using the anchor that was supposed to be end of the longer gin pole).  The second pulley is for the right-angle turn from the winch (off to the left).





Last winter, an annoying noise took hold of the turbine.  At certain speeds it would hum in a way that would be perfectly amplified by the resonant frequency of the wooden blades.  With my series/parallel switch (similar to a Wye/Delta switch) I was able to narrow down the possibilities from the ground but all last winter I needed a working turbine, noisy or not.  I resolved to eliminate as many sources of noise by building a chassis for the generator that would include vibration isolators under the generator mounting feet. 

I came up with a way to assemble a set of pads, inspired by old-fashioned aircraft engine mounts, that would be easy to assemble, and avoid buying anything expensive.  All I needed were flat sheets of neoprene to cut to fit as needed.





The frame of the chassis supports the feet of the generator with four over-sized bolt holes.  By over-sizing the bolt-holes, there is room to slide in tubes of rubber, fitting snugly and allowing each bolt to pass through.  On either side of that are rubber disks about 1/4" thick.  Large washers put bearing pressure on the pads as the bolt is tightened up.  The generator sits on top of the assembly, resulting in no metal parts in contact with the generator being in contact with the chassis, too. 





The arrangement is, I admit, better at absorbing high-frequency noise rather than the low-frequencies that are giving me trouble, but I don't think it will hurt any, either.  Sometime during my christmas holidays I will have to lower the tower again to see if the rubber pads are doing well.  If not, I'll have to put metal sleeves into the oversize holes and go back to metal-on-metal mounting.





I also managed to build in the right sized hole for a kellum grip to hang neatly at the top, supporting the drop cable inside the tower.  I hope to avoid the terrible amount of twist that had developed by the time I took the tower apart (about 15 complete turns CCW).


During the summer, my wife and I moved a number of our "movable" buildings to make room for a new one, and to make it easier for trucks to turn around in our barnyard.  We chose a shed that wouldn't be needed any more to become the new home for the batteries, and electrical room for all the RE projects, so I call it the "Batt-cave". 




I haven't insulated the compartment around the batteries yet, though they are enclosed for protection, now.  Everything is accessible, wiring is sized out of the NEC, and I have more places with protection and shut-off means than I did before.  Got all enclosures bonded to ground, too.  I won't be sure I have all the details sorted out right until I draw a new schematic.  It works, that's all I can say.

So, blame all this work, for me being a bit absent from the forum recently.

No I still haven't seen the WT running in the wind.  You know how that goes...
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

kitestrings

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 700
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 08:35:37 AM »
SarW,

Looks great!  You can almost feel the temperature from the photos.  My boys would like the "Batt-cave" (Saturday nights are double re-run episodes).

Quote
Tail re-designed to have a complete 90 degree swing when furled, and a harder running position

By a "harder running position" you mean to keep it in the wind a bit longer/to a higher furling point?

Quote
You know how that goes...

Yes.  It blows like hell until you get it in the air.  Then it is dead calm...

best, ~ks

Bruce S

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 4440
  • Country: us
  • USA
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 09:34:45 AM »
NICE christening !
Those pesky trees!
I'm liking the Batt-cave too!
 Neoprene should hold up nicely, I used it for 1/4miler front bushings on a '70 Chevy Impala and they were still holding up when I sold it.
Will look forward to the next post showing numbers.
Cheers!!
A kind word often goes unsaid BUT never goes unheard

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 12:31:42 PM »
Hi Kitestrings,
Not the best choice of words, about the tail.  What I mean to say is that "when it's down, it stays down, and comes off the stop only when it's time to furl."
Previously, the tail was able to drift up just a bit in moderate winds.  Since wind is never perfectly steady, the result was a gentle waving back and forth.  I'm hoping to have a tail that stays put until higher winds arrive.  To do that I increased the angle of the pivot hinge, over my previous chassis' tail.  This also allows me to lighten the tail, though maybe only one variable should be changed at a time...

Bruce,

When I moved to this place in 2004, the trees were just pathetic poplar saplings, and a drought in 2005 didn't do them much good.  As I was planning the WT project in 2006 and building it in 2007, I thought I had LOTS OF ROOM over the 20-foot-tall row of trees around the house.  As it turned out, 2007 and 2008 were rainy summers, and so was 2010, 2012, and this year, too.  So the trees now reach 50 feet tall and I'm not a little daunted by the "arms race" that's going on in my back yard. 

To avoid any finger pointing from the peanut gallery, I tend to take pictures of the turbine only facing north or east.  Otherwise you can just imagine how foolish my turbine would look with a lush green backdrop (well, not now in winter but in summertime).

No, no chainsaw job next year...  the trees provide protection from snowdrifts, wind heat loss in the house, even tornadoes which do pass by the area every couple of years...   I just prune them and NEVER water them!
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

12AX7

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 08:44:49 PM »
Looks great!   I'm sure that Zubbly would love it!   

now...  shouldn't there be a picture of you sitting astride your windmill?

and on another note...   I recall someone once saying that they knew the meaning behind Zubblys nick  I often wonder what it was.

ax7

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 09:42:45 PM »
Thanks AX

Yes, I know what "Zubbly" means, but I'm afraid the translation isn't... umm... suitable for the "family atmosphere" that is fostered on this forum.  If you know what I mean.  I phoned his widow after he passed, offered my condolences, and she was very kind to share some of her memories with me.  She also explained the name, and we had a good laugh over it.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 07:51:35 PM »
Tonight, a little bit of wind, just enough to turn it, so I can confirm that it is working fine.  Yay!

Oh and it's so much quieter.  Success on 2 points.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

DamonHD

  • Administrator
  • SuperHero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3545
  • Country: gb
    • Earth Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 12:02:16 AM »
Well done on both!

Rgds

Damon

dave ames

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 248
  • Country: us
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 10:46:33 PM »

Great work as always SparWeb.

Thanks for the look..A wonderful tribute to a friend of all, who keeps on giving even after passing. ;D :'(

Well done!

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 07:57:43 PM »
12AX7:   sitting "astride"??  That was a famous Zubbly moment, cherished in my memory forever.


Dave:  From the looks of it now I have a durable machine that will need minimal adjustment in the future.  If all goes as hoped, the Spirit of Zubbly will carry on for many years to come.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 10:29:30 PM »
After a couple of months, mostly normal operation to report.
Winds have been cooperative, but temperatures way too cold for me to be outside tinkering in the shed.
Now that we've had some nights below -30C (-22F) there seems to be one noise problem not yet fixed: the bearings.

I used to have "FAG" bearings on the shaft, your basic 6206 and 6204 types.  At -35C, those used to have an annoying skidding sound that had a beat to it.  The noise made me think the 9 balls were skidding around at some fraction less than half the inner race frequency.  The math from the smart people at FAG bears out that hypothesis, so I suspected damage in a bearing.  After taking the turbine down this summer, removing the bearings, I found not damage (other than breaking the races apart, I mean).

The turbine is up now with different bearings.  This set of bearings is from NSK, identical in size, similar in style, and the materials appear to be equivalent (hardness etc).  One night it was cold enough that these bearings TOO started making an awful scraping noise.  No pulse or beat in the sound, just a constant noise.  I shut it down until it got warmer, and the noise went away.

So my theory now is that it could be the grease in these bearings: could it be hardening up so much in the cold that it locks one of (maybe many of) the balls up?  Then the ball-race just goes around and around without all of the balls actually turning?  Does that make any sense?

I guess I should find out what grease is in them, for starters.  Shell/Exxon/Mobil grease of some sort...
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

DamonHD

  • Administrator
  • SuperHero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3545
  • Country: gb
    • Earth Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 10:59:51 PM »
You should get some of the grease that lubricates the cold clammy hands of senior politicians: that stuff must work down to near 0K...

Rgds

Damon

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 11:30:57 PM »
Thanks Damon, but the ones I worry the most about are the ones who seem so warm in person, but when seated in their parliament offices, show their cold hearts.

Anyway...

It seems I've made the same mistake twice.  Shoulda coulda woulda.  I found the boxes the new bearings came in (normally would have thrown them away) and so I looked up the manufacturer's part numbers.  It turns out the grease in them is Shell Alvania (now called Gadus), which is recommended only above -20C.  It's lithium-based, not hydrocarbon based.  Which would explain the problem nicely.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

tecker

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2189
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 04:28:54 AM »
Some ceramic will do the trick if you want to pop for them . There are also stainless races with ceramic rollers / ball ,a little cheaper and non ferrous . 

Bruce S

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 4440
  • Country: us
  • USA
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 07:01:54 AM »
During my ARMY years, we had a white grease used for bearings in the wheels for mil-spec vehicles.
This stuff was slick even in temps down to -30C, the coldest I could work in and still function.
I'll get in touch with friends still serving and let you know the name brand or mixture of it.
We used to hand pack them with Lithium grease for normal use, then clean and repack using the white grease for the winter months.
Cheers
Bruce S

A kind word often goes unsaid BUT never goes unheard

Bruce S

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 4440
  • Country: us
  • USA
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2013, 07:21:35 AM »
Caught them at coffee break  ;D.
There seems to be two now.
One is white lithium based that is good to -35C the Mil still uses and is also known as GAA.
The other is for extreme extreme cold and is white silicon based that is good to -73C
Both are rated for heavy vehicle use (heavy meaning about 800FtLb), so they should work for "Z".
Cheers;
Bruce S
 
A kind word often goes unsaid BUT never goes unheard

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2013, 09:53:49 PM »
I hope it never gets down to -73C here!
At that temp even diesel freezes!   >:(
Thanks Bruce.
I dug up the datasheet for the grease that's now in the bearings - the Alvania turns out to be Lithium, too.  Maybe not all lithium-based greases are born equal.
I'm going to look around for that silicone-based grease too.  See if it's commercially available.

I've also found out that Aeroshell pretty much has the corner on Mil-spec greases, in the aircraft business.  I remember a previous employer of mine had a 5-gallon pail of it.  Now I know why.  Too bad I don't work for him any more or this would be a trivial problem to solve!

Thanks too to Tecker, but you over estimate my budget.  :)  Bearings are another one of those things that you can buy, either in bulk or gold-plated, like power drills, laptop computers, pencils, just about everything.  Sure you can pay 5x more, even 10x more if you want.  Yes I've browsed the specs of those super-precision, ceramic ball, angular contact, last 10,000 hours in a jet engine, style of bearings, and isn't that fun, eh?  Can't stomach the price though.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

Bruce S

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 4440
  • Country: us
  • USA
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 07:10:48 AM »
Don't want to drift too far off subject, but can you imagine being the short straw that went out to get the reading this year for cold in Antarctica ! -135F
Try looking into dow corning chemical , they do the pyrex stuff, the older stuff could handle some extremes.
Newer stuff has something missing :(, with a wife has a chef, even here at home we've had the newer containers shatter going from one extreme to another, while the older stuff continues to work as always.
At -73C I stop working too!
A kind word often goes unsaid BUT never goes unheard

MaryAlana

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1200
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 03:57:32 PM »
Look for superlube, I use it in my telescope mount for low temp use.

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2013, 12:36:16 PM »
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

Bruce S

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 4440
  • Country: us
  • USA
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2013, 04:04:37 PM »
Didn't your mill have Christmas lights on it? OR does it still have them?
Just put up the last on the batt-pack powered LED ones on the homestead before the icy stuff arrived again.
Bruce S
A kind word often goes unsaid BUT never goes unheard

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2013, 08:03:36 PM »
Bruce,
You're thinking of the photo I just posted under "Merry christmas" in the Pub.  Yeah.  I did that a few years ago, took some pictures, figured that it would annoy the neighbours, and took them off soon after.  This year my house doesn't even have lights on it, because the roof was re-shingled this fall and I never had the time to put them back before the temperature dropped.  Did mention it's -20 to -30C here? ???  >:(

But I still have the pix!
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

kitestrings

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 700
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2013, 07:53:35 AM »
SparW,

Is this stuff suitable for wheel bearings and the like?  The description makes it appear mostly for plastic gears and such.  Electric motors noted.  Have you used it, or gotten a thumbs up from anyone who has?  Maybe it is what Bruce was describing.

Congrat's on the mil &Happy Holidays,  ~ks


MaryAlana

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1200
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2013, 02:13:43 PM »
My telescope mount has several ball bearings in it, works fine on them but it is a super low speed application. Works fine on metal to metal surfaces too. I think the chinese use dried yak fat for grease in the telescope mounts...

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2013, 05:57:23 PM »
Quote
...dried yak fat for grease in the telescope mounts...
yeah, I've got a horse I could grind up for tallow, glue, and maybe some grease too right now.  The temporary fix to the knocked-down fence which I had to do at midnight last night didn't hold, so I'm trying something else tonight which involves TWO electric fence power supplies.  Bulldozers with brains.  small brains.

Anyway, many interesting grease ideas!  Judging by my weather records I only get 10 days per year below -30C so I think I'll make it through this winter without needing any extraordinary efforts, just shut the turbine off when it's too cold.  And as Fabricator pointed out, maybe it doesn't even need grease, the rotations are so slow that it's probably just noise, not damage.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

jmk

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 603
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2014, 04:30:41 PM »
I remember Zubbly. I haven't been here in a while. It's nice to see familiar names. What a great name for your mill, and congratulations! 

SparWeb

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3147
  • Country: ca
    • Wind Turbine Project Field Notes
Re: The Spirit of Zubbly flies again
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2014, 12:02:55 PM »
Howdy,
I like seeing familiar names too. 
Hope you've been away for being busy and creative.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024