Wind turbine comparisons

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I have a customer who operates a small electric utility on an island and considering a wind turbine. Their peak load is about a megawatt. With the high cost of fuel the retail price of energy is about $0.42 U.S. They are considering installing a vertical turbine on top of a range of hills. I have been asked to comment. I’m heading out to the island next week. is the proposed supplier. Your input is welcomed.


Installation of a wind turbine farm (one or more machines) requires several commissioned studies that should be performed by a 3rd party.

First, is a commissioned wind study of the site. Once this is completed, the results of this study would be part of a request for proposal (RFP) regarding wind turbine OEM’s. Once you get back bids, now you perform a net present value analysis to determine if the wind farm is a good business decision. There may be political forces at work to drive toward using wind, but lets fact it you should be in the business to make money and provide a reliable product.

What I listed above is a short cut of a very lengthy process from start to finish for a wind turbine farm. Now, for the various wind turbine OEM’s based on current availability and O&M (best to worst);

and last, is Suzlon.

I would not by used equipment unless you have access to a detailed maintenance history and understand the design of a wind turbine. The main sources of industry problems with wind turbines has been gear box reliability, main shaft and generator bearing issues, and blade cracking.