The executive team at Mannerfarm get asked a lot of questions about how things are setup and work. So here are the ones we get asked the most about.

Wind turbines like solar produce energy. How much energy it produces depends on how much wind and sun you get at any particular time of day. Systems such as we have at Mannerfarm are designed to supply power to a battery electrical system. The battery system in turn is sized according to how much expected energy we use per day Vs how much expected solar and wind can be supplied. Its a bit of an educated balancing act where you need to understand your consumption Vs your production. A Wind Turbine is just a source of energy production. So the answer is yes technically it could but it is part of a bigger discussion. Feel free to contact us if you want any specific advice or ideas.

Wind Turbines have built in charging controllers or regulators. Their job is to ensure you battery is not overcharged and hence damaged. To this end in windy conditions your turbine may stop spinning (or spin very slowly) for the following reasons:

1. Your battery is simply full, this usually kicks in around 14.4Volts for a 12V battery system. The turbine will stop then start again periodically. This is by design.

2. The turbine controller has sensed an over-speed condition. In very strong windy conditions where wind speeds exceed 50kmh or so the turbine will hit the brakes. This is to protect the turbine.

With regards to braking turbines don't have mechanical brakes. They use a method that effectively shorts the internal electrical system thus creating load on the motor. This load creates resistance and hence the turbine stops spinning. The turbines are designed this way so its perfectly safe. If you don't like it doing this you can add what is called a diversion load to your turbine setup that effectively bleeds off the excess energy as heat. There are plenty of internet based blogs and videos about this.

If you turbine does not spin at all regardless of battery charge level you may have a mechanical issue. In this case a physical inspection will be needed. If you have any issues with your turbine please contact us and we can help.

Technically the best location for a wind turbine is in the order of 8-11 Metres high depending on surrounding structures. This is because it is where the wind is generally the cleanest and hence the turbine will work the most efficiently. The problem here like everything is its a trade off between practicality, affordability and safety. At Mannerfarm after much experimentation we have found that trading height for practicality, affordability and safety has not lead to a great deal in lost energy production. In fact being able to easily move the turbine around means we can experiment and find the best location for it depending on the seasons. Effectively it means we can afford to have more turbines and be confident we can easily service them without needing to spend days lowering and raising a turbine off a huge structure. This safety and convenience factor for us more than compensates for any small amount of energy loss due to more turbulent air at lower heights. Because of our portable turbine tower design you can get extra height by installing it on top of other structures such as sea containers or other flat roofed structures. Since it can be easily bolted down this is a safe means to get more height if you really need it.

Wind turbines are sealed units so there is no internal servicing of its components necessary however you should perform the following every 12 months.

1. Clean the outside of the turbine body of any moss or mould that might be starting to take hold.

2. Check the blades for any damage and ensure all bolts securing the blades to the body are tight.

3. Check that the turbine spins freely with no play in shaft.

4. Check all electrical connections for corrosion or damage.

That's about it really. They don't need a lot of care and attention. It should be only a 15 minute job with our easy to use turbine tower!

 There are a few factors that ultimately lead to the demise of a wind turbine:

1. Quality of the turbine components.

2. Wind strength and operational environment.

3. Bad luck through unforseen contact with an object (like a flying branch).

Wind turbines are not indestructible and there is such a thing as too much wind. They have a maximum rotational RPM and if you are constantly exceeding that due to extreme weather conditions this will reduce the life of the turbine due to main rotor shaft bearing wear. If you live in extreme environmental areas there are a few things you can do:

1. If you are going to get violent storms consider lowering your turbine on its tower and securing it.

2. If you have a turbine with a stop switch, engage that stop switch.

3. Do not place the turbine close to tress or other objects that might impact it in extreme conditions.

It is important to understand that we chose and use mid-tier turbines in terms of quality. If you want the best of the best then consider something like a Rutland or an Air-X Marine (we have one of these). But at three to four times the price of our mid-tier turbines we can afford spare turbines in the event of a failure. This also means we can have more turbines in service and produce four or five times the output. Its just about being sensible with the management of the turbines.

To be honest not really. It was deigned Mannerfarm tough. However there are a few sensible things you can do just because its fun to tinker with:

1. Check the tower guide wires occasionally to make sure tension is correct and tower is nice and vertical.

2. A drop of oil on the threads of the tower feet and pivot points wouldn't hurt.

3. Make sure all lock nuts on the tower feet are still secure and tight.

That's about it really since there isn't much that can go wrong with it. We designed it this way to be tough and as maintenance free as we could.

Yes you can but if you do so it will affect the weight and wind loading characteristics of the tower. We would only recommend using a pole mount and solar panel from Renogy for this purpose. They sell a 100 Watt or 160 Watt panel with their pole mount kit. If you add this you really must make sure the tower is well secured to the ground. The solar panel will act like a sail and add a lot of additional top end load and leverage to the tower structure. The tower is certainly strong enough to handle the extra weight and wind loading so just secure the legs down well. Also take extra care raising and lowering the tower as it will be an unbalanced load. Best to do it with two people for safety.

We have found the best way to add solar to the structure is to get a Renogy 175 watt flexible panel. These are super strong and lightweight. You can suspend the panel between two of the guide wires easily and safely. If you need more advice on this or are unsure what to do please contact us. Better to be safe than sorry.

No its perfectly normal. They are seriously cool things when they are spinning up and generating power and its very satisfying to sit back with a beer and watch it doing its thing.

Well only if you climb up a ladder and stick your hand into the rapidly spinning blades, they are sharp for aerodynamic reasons, so don't do that. Always make sure the turbine is not spinning when lowering and that's about it really. Perform your regular maintenance to look for any defects and you will be fine.

At Mannerfarm we use both lead acid (AGM and GEL) and lithium iron phosphate (LIFEPO4) based chemistry type batteries and all of them are just fine. But if you want to know which is the best then definitely the LIFEPO4 batteries we have. The reason is simple, this battery chemistry type has a much lower internal resistance than the lead acid batteries. This means more of the power generated goes into the battery storage itself rather than being wasted as heat. Its just a fact of the chemistry. This isn't just based on glossy sales and marketing material this is based on experience, simple careful observation and logic. Choosing the right battery is more than just this factor though. Check out our boring blog about it where we waffle on about this and that in choosing the right battery.

For wind turbines that have a power output of 300 to 600 Watts certainly no less than 100ah. This is because the batteries of this size can handle the maximum input current that the turbine might produce in strong wind conditions. But as always make sure you check your battery specifications from the manufacturer if unsure or contact us and we can help.

Yes you can. Your solar system will have a charge regulator and so does the wind turbine. They will both happily co-exist and manage the battery charge levels. You can also have more than one wind turbine and more than one solar system feeding a battery bank. The only thing you need to careful of is understanding the maximum amperage the battery bank can accept and ensure you do not exceed it.