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Wind Energy Whispers Ahead

Pika Energy’s T701 Wind Turbine Certification

By George Harvey

Pika Energy’s T701 wind turbine has been fully certified to the AWEA 9.1 standard by the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC). It is the only turbine in its class to achieve full SWCC certification. The T701 is designed to be appropriate for use at such places as residences and businesses in non-urban areas, as well as telecom and other remote sites.

Pika

The T701’s rated output is 1,500 watts, which is its instantaneous output at 24.6 mph. It starts producing power at wind speeds of 7 mph. A site where the wind averages 11.2 mph should produce about 2,420 kilowatt hours per year. Its survival speed is 148 mph.

A small wind turbine works best in regions with an average wind speed of at least 10 mph at a height of 90 feet above the surrounding landscape. Like most small turbines, the T701 would likely be installed on a guyed tower. This usually requires an area of at least a couple acres. The T701 turbine should be mounted on a Pika Energy-approved tower that it is at least 30 feet higher than any trees and structures within a 300-foot radius.

The rotor diameter is 9.8 feet (3.0 m), and the tower top weight is 93 lbs (42 kg). It can be installed on a tower hinged at the tower base to be raised and lowered. The unit does not need regularly scheduled maintenance, though it might require replacement bearings in ten years, and it is wise to check the blades. Guy wire tension should be checked annually. The T701 is designed to last twenty years or more.

Power from the turbine is fed to an inverter fed by a 12-gauge wire over distances as great as a quarter mile. Line loss is kept to 2% at such distance because of the unit’s 380 volt output. Pika Energy has a wide variety of equipment supporting the wind turbine, solar panels, and other energy systems. Combined, they can form a really versatile and resilient micro-grid.

The T701 is very quiet. It was certified by the SWCC to produce 38.3 decibels (dB) at the standard distance for small turbines of 200 feet from the rotor (consequently somewhat less than 200 feet from the base of the tower). This is somewhat softer than a quiet library (40 dB) and much softer than conversational speech (60 dB).

The basic components of the T701’s system include an inverter for grid-tied systems, or a charge controller for off-grid systems, and whichever is needed comes with the turbine. These system components require an expense of about $6,000. The tower and installation are additional, as they depend on the nature of the site. The turbine and inverter are warranted for five years, and an extended warranty is available. The system is eligible currently for the 30% Federal Income Tax Credit.

The T701 is manufactured in the United States. Pika Energy is located in Westbrook, Maine. The website is www.pika-energy.com. The phone number is (207) 887-9105.

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