KronesSDE

Wind turbines for Africa

A South African company, Kestrel Wind Turbines, supplies small axial flux wind turbines which produce (in different models) between 600 watts and 3,000 watts of electricity.
The machines are sold throughout the world. Kestrel Wind Turbines has been in existence since 1999 and is part of the Eveready battery group located in Port Elizabeth. The machines compete internationally with other wind turbines, including those made in the US – and the Kestrel machines are sold in the US.
The Kestrel machines are not the cheapest in the world but they are equipped with a patented pitch control system which allows them to handle high wind speeds so that electricity can be harvested then. With many other systems, the mechanism is closed down in high winds.
The Kestrel machines are designed to be nearly maintenance-free and have an expected lifespan of at least 20 years. The machines are particularly used for wind pumps but can be used to generate electricity for any purposes.  KronesSDE
When an enquiry is received, Kestrel establishes the area of the proposed installation. It then assesses whether solar or wind power would be better for the area, on the basis of sunlight hours, wind conditions and “dark days”. It does this by averaging data for that area supplied by the US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Kestrel can also supply solar systems and will do so on request. Solar panels are vulnerable to theft whereas the wind turbine systems are not. 
The wind turbine systems are easily erected, although the job should be done by a qualified electrician or someone with a solid electrical background.
The smallest, 600-watt system costs about $2,000 but once it is professionally installed, with batteries, the total cost is likely to be about $4,000. The largest, 3kW system will cost about $10,000, but $20,000 installed with batteries. Of course the number of batteries will depend on what off-take is required (for instance, what appliances are to be used) and what the length of calm-wind periods will be (when the unit will not be generating).
Batteries are also not needed for certain purposes, like water pumping, in which the power is used immediately.
The Kestrel units produce DC electricity, so no rectifier system is necessary.
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