Small wind turbine generators are generally mounted on guyed poles, lattice towers or unguyed tubular towers. Depending on the proposed site and the size of wind turbine, concrete foundations may be required.
Installation of the wind turbine will involve the advanced laying of foundations, the assembly on site of the components and the erection of the wind turbine and tower using a winch.
Due to the skills involved, anything other than very small wind turbines should only be installed and serviced by qualified personnel.
- Wind turbines need to be sited in the best available wind site but as close as possible to battery location.
- The tower needs to be high enough to place the wind turbine above turbulence caused by nearby obstructions.
- For permanent installations concrete foundations are used. These need to be accurately set out along with the tower foundation steelwork. Concrete should be allowed to cure for at least two weeks before the wind turbine is installed.
- It’s useful to provide a duct through the tower base pad for easy routing of the wind turbine output cable.
- Mount wind turbines high enough so that tips of rotating blades are well above head height (min 3m from ground).
- Prevent unauthorised access to towers.
- Potential high (lethal) voltages can be produced by wind turbines when ' open circuited' ie. disconnected from the battery, and spinning. Use extreme caution when opening control boxes etc. and disconnect power before working on electrical components.
- When raising or lowering towers, keep all spectators out of the way, make sure all supporting guys etc are not snagged. Ensure all people involved understand what is happening (and are wearing safety helmets), ideally use a winch and gin pole method. When raising a tower for the first time, do it first without the wind turbine fixed.
- Never climb towers or work on electrical circuits when the turbine is turning, during strong winds, or in electrical storms.
- When climbing a tower wear a safety belt and hard hat at all times.
- Dress warmly, comfortably in clothing that will not catch on steelwork, wear non-slip shoes and avoid haste!
- Always have someone else on the ground to help in case of trouble.
- Beware of falling tools or components, use pouches or belts, and pulleys/ropes to raise/lower parts etc. Wear hard hats when someone is working above you.
- Make sure the turbine is restrained from turning until the rest of the installation is complete.
- Make sure that regular maintenance of the turbine and pole or tower is carried out to avoid possibility of problems or catastrophic failure occurring.