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Storm Master Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Grid Tie" mean?

"Grid Tie" is a term that means that the turbine needs to be connected to power from the utility or power "Grid".  Because it is an asynchronous induction generator, it uses the 60 cycles from the grid to work against to produce power.  If the generator were not connected to the grid, it would not have the 60 cycle frequency reference and would spin up faster than the normal operating RPM and also would not produce any power.

What else is required to connect the Storm Master to the "Grid"?

This machine comes with a control box and a disconnect that mounts at the bottom of the tower.  Typically, the machines require a 480 Volt, 3 phase connection (optionally, a 240 Volt or 480 Volt 1 phase connection) to the utility through a fused disconnect switch and a metering device.  The metering device, which is normally provided by the utility, measures how much power the turbine produces.  All of the switch gear and equipment that controls the turbine connecting and disconnecting from the grid is included.  Your local utility may require different or additional equipment.

How old are these machines?

These machines were manufactured in the mid 1980's and were used on commercial wind farms up until the late 1990's.  The machines were well maintained and serviced on a regular maintenance schedule.

What if I don't have a 3 phase power connection?

Although the standard machine is 480 Volt/3 phase, we can rewind the generator to either 240 Volt/1 phase or 480 Volt/1 phase for a minimal additional cost.

What does it take to install a Storm Master? 

The costs can vary depending on location.  A typical install is in the $5000 to $6000 range if you were to oversee the process yourself.  It may exceed $10,000 if you were to contract the installation with us or a local contractor.  There are four major costs associated with the install.

1. Permits.  These vary greatly by location.  Call your local zoning administrator for details.

2. Getting the proper electrical hook up to the base of the tower.  This cost depends on how far away from the utility service the machine will be located, but rough estimates are usually $10 per foot.

3. Digging and pouring the foundation.  The foundation requires about 15 yards of concrete and roughly 500 feet of rebar.  The foundation design may vary depending on local building codes.

4. Erecting the tower and turbine.  The tower may be hinged, so it may be assembled on the ground and tipped up once assembled and tested.  Otherwise, the tower is assembled in 20 foot sections and set atop one another with a crane.

What does "Refurbished" mean?

There is an extensive list of things done to a machine during the refurbishing process.  The following are some of the major items:

  • Generator "Meg" tested / rewound or re-dipped as needed
  • New generator bearings
  • New transmission coupler
  • Transmission inspected / rebuilt as needed
  • New transmission seals
  • Hub rebuilt
  • New blades
  • RPM sensor replaced with new
  • Compressor tested / rebuilt or replaced as needed
  • Vibration sensor tested / replaced as needed
  • New brake lines
  • New brake pads
  • New brake diaphragms
  • Total brake system check
  • New active yaw drive system installed
  • Tower sections inspected
  • New cabling in the tower
  • New contactor
  • New thermal overload relay
  • New Microcontroller
  • New anomometer
  • Complete system test
  • Painted to a color of your choice

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