|Another method of topping up the batteries that we found interesting was wind power. Horizontal axis turbines, though, are expensive, awkward to transport and mount and can be noisy. At one rally a friend was using a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) which was virtually silent but, unfortunately, was also very expensive. In about 2010, Maplins started selling a VAWT which was much cheaper, at £150, but the Autoquest didn't have an appropriate place to fit one nor roof access to put it up and take it down regularly. Both of those factors were overcome with the Burstner but Maplins discontinued the model. However, I was able to obtain a second hand VAWT from a friend in April 2015.
I mounted the VAWT by using U bolts to fix a plate to the horizontal rails at the top of the ladder. The VAWT was bolted to the plate to ensure that it did not move. The cable fixed to the VAWT is only short so I made up an extension lead which was permanently attached to the leisure battery (with in-line fuse) and connected to the VAWT using an in-line N-type plug & socket.
|The output is only 4A/50W max so there is no need for a regulator. It doesn't seem much but it was intended merely as an add-on to the solar generation with the hope being that it would provide that little extra during the winter months which have less sunshine but tend to be windy. The theory was that even if it averaged only half an amp per hour on such days that would be 12 amp hours to add to what the solar panel generates, which is a significant amount in terms of our usage. Unfortunately we found that the wind wasn't reliable enough, especially at night, so the VAWT contributed very little. It was also a bit of a pain to transport and to put up and take down so we soon stopped using it.|