We shared with GlobalCon participants our understanding of the small wind industry in term of its past challenges, current state and future opportunities. We also discussed in details the latest Osiris 10 small wind technologies. Here is the slides.
An elegant Osiris 10 small wind turbine attracted many energy professionals at Osiris Energy booth during GlobalCon in Atlantic City, NJ on Apr. 9-10.
Some people came over for a visit after listening to my snapshot breakfast presentation. One nice lady told me that my topic was interesting.
Some were audience to my workshop presentation called “Small Wind Turbine. Big Technologies.”, where small wind industry challenges, opportunities as well as the latest small wind technologies were covered.
Many people stopped by the booth pure out of the curiosity. Quite a few asked with low voice, “Is this a submarine?”. They pointed to the Osiris 10 with cover open. “No, it is a real Osiris 10kW small wind turbine.” I could see their wide-open eyes. Lots of laughs followed this short conversation.
We had over one hundred visitors in two days. We were busy. Our visiting Osiris Energy dealers volunteered to be booth helpers, sharing their expertise with visitors.
When I asked the visitors if they had considered the small wind turbine in their energy program in the past. The answer was always NO. Then I asked if they know if their states have state incentives for small wind turbines. The typical answer was also NO. I immediately felt the need to educate them about this topic for their benefit. For example, NYSERDA program in New York State offers generous incentives, up to 50% of the installed cost for small wind turbine, on top of 30% Federal ITC. NYSERDA incentive is only applied to the very selective equipment. Osiris 10 is IEC61400-2 and AWEA 9.1 certified and it is on the unified equipment list of ITAC where New York is one of seven member states. The ROI can be very attractive for Osiris 10 installations!
Sustainability is one of main themes for this conference. More and more organizations are trying to find innovative ways to save cost while doing good.
One visitor shared his story. Their organization invested time and effort on many sustainability initiatives, such as lighting retrofit etc. However, they got frustrated for getting little credit from public for what they have done. In another way to say, their initiatives were “invisible”. They were searching for a “green statement” and small wind can be a good fit for this purpose. Osiris 10 is not a toy for the show though. It is a very powerful reliable machine. At 6 m/s, the annual production is over 33,000 KWH certified by InterTek.
Visitors were taking pictures, asking questions, picking up literature. We kindly asked them to spread out the words to their colleagues, friends and families.
Small wind industry in the US has gone through difficult years. It’s time to bring the excitement at Osiris Energy booth to the real world and help more people save money while doing good. More hard work lies ahead.
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Nowadays, small wind professionals are either complaining bitterly about the competition from solar or joining happily to the solar ally. Under the pressure of selling more, some people ignored the simple fact that “A wind turbine needs WIND to work its magic”. A small wind turbine might have been installed in an area where is not enough wind. No wonder we heard that wind turbines do not work.
Wind and Solar are not created equal, no matter its cost, incentives, financing options, zoning requirements or complexity. While there are a lot of good places to install solar, small wind turbine installations are more about picking the right location. The stronger the wind, the more power production and the better return on investment for a customer.
There are five major approaches to pick a good wind location.
The first approach is to use free on-line wind maps, such as ones offered by small wind associations, airports or the map companies. You will only get general wind information in the area.
The second approach is to use subscription-based on-line wind reports. For example, you can generate a Osiris 10 wind report for your customer using New Roots Energy by picking Osiris 10 turbine, inputting tower height and your customer’s address. The wind speed is populated and the power production is calculated based on manufacturer verified power curves.
The third approach is to use a comprehensive on-line wind analysis services. Wind Analytics claims that a recent study from Energy Trust of Oregon found that Wind Analytics is up to 8 times more accurate than other wind mapping solutions. It performs site-specific obstruction analysis, recommends turbine location and tower height for a recommended turbine.
The forth approach is to test the real wind speed at customer property using anemometer over a period of time. Some states may offer anemometer loan program.
The fifth approach is to use consulting services including actual site visits. I enjoyed reading a 23 pages Wind Turbine Site Assessment Report developed by CS2 Renewable Energy in Illinois for a school project. There are many of such services available in different states.
From approach one to five, the accuracy of wind report goes up along with the effort and cost. There is no right or wrong approach. It all depends upon your customer’s situation and requirements. However, it is not right to give customers empty promises without going through the exercises of performing wind analysis.
To engage happy customers, get more referrals and build a profitable long-term business, small wind professionals shall pick the right battle field instead of simply putting blame on solar.
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Clean Energy Group ITAC Press Release
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Jan. 30, 2014, the Interstate Turbine Advisory Council (ITAC), a project of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), added the Osiris 10 and Kestrel e400nb, two fully certified small wind turbines, to its Unified List of wind turbines.. The turbines join six others on ITAC’s small wind turbine list; these turbines meet ITAC’s listing requirements, a unique set of eligibility criteria that address both the business practices of manufacturers and the performance and reliability of turbines with a rotor swept area of less than 200m2 (meters squared). The list is used by ITAC-member clean energy programs across the United States that have pooled resources to efficiently review and evaluate turbines. The list has been developed to boost consumer confidence in distributed wind and to ensure that taxpayer and rate-payer funding supports the installation of reliable and safe wind energy technology.
The Osiris 10 is a new entrant to the U.S. market—only two units are in operation here. The turbine is manufactured by global small wind turbine system manufacturer, Osiris Energy, headquartered in Shanghai. In October of 2013, the Osiris 10 achieved certification to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 9.1 standard from Intertek, a nationally recognized testing laboratory. The turbine exceeded the standard’s duration test criteria of 90% with an impressive overall operational time of 99.6%. Additionally, the turbine has achieved IEC 61400-2 certification.
The addition of these turbines to the ITAC Unified List will increase customers’ choices; the Osiris 10 is an ideal candidate for lower wind speed locations due to its direct drive permanent magnet generator which allows for high efficiency and high production, with a start-up speed as low as 2.5 m/s.
To view the list of ITAC turbine requirements and the full list of qualified turbines, please visit ITAC’s web page http://www.cleanenergystates.org/projects/ITAC/itac-unified-list-of-wind-turbines/
In the middle of snowstorm, I am still feeling gratitude for this trip to east coast. I met wonderful people. I also got some answers to a question which puzzled me, “Why small wind turbine industry is small, standing on the sideline watching the takeoff of the other renewable energy industries?”
The small wind industry went through a tough period in the last three years. Many professionals left the industry, while the remaining found it harder to find customers. We cannot simply blame solar industry for stealing the market share. Five reasons emerges from my conversations with people in the industry.
The first reason is lack of small wind turbine standard during the early stage of adoption. Both installers and customers were in the dark during equipment selection. Poor quality turbines flooded the market, damaging the trust of customers to this burgeoning industry. It’ll take some time to regain customer confidence after the establishment of the AWEA 9.1 standard.
The second reason is undisciplined dealer network. Driven by profit, some manufacturers took on dealers without due diligence, resulting in unattainable sales claims, inappropriate equipment recommendation, poor installation, or lack of maintenance. This practice not only left a bad taste in the mouth of customers, but also created a challenging environment for good installers.
The third reason is insufficient dealer support. Dealers are traditionally viewed as “outsiders” vs. partners for a manufacturer. Some distributors, instead of providing value-added services, became a barrier for communication between dealers and customers. Dealers may have to fight their own battle in this challenging environment.
The forth reason is excessive zoning requirements with decentralized decision making at the township level. This practice not only increases the installation cost but also turning way the customers who may have expressed early interest. Unfavorable industry stories contribute to even more stringent zoning requirements, becoming a vicious cycle.
The five reason is financing. The finance institutes hesitate to embrace small wind technology considering its “in-consistent” power output, complex technology and associated maintenance risks. The high upfront cost impacts adoption though customers will have an opportunity to enjoy free energy for many years after a short payback period. I would like to put financing on the last point as its alone won’t be able to save the industry.
It is a tough time. Yet, I sense hope in the small wind industry. The small wind professionals who chose to stay in the industry are wonderful people. They love the small wind technologies. They are passionate about their work. They care about the environment and sustainability. They are the hope to create a new set of rules for the game to grow the industry.
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A good business can capture opportunities in a chaotic world and thrive in this environment. It exists to have positive impacts on the society, environment and and our own lives. Like a good person, a good business should have a sound value system.
Osiris Energy chose to become the leader in the renewable energy industry. We take on sustainability practice. We use modern small wind technologies to harvest ancient wind energy. As one of the world largest small wind turbine manufacturers, Osiris Energy strives to make right decisions under the guidance of our value system.
T. R. I. P. S.
We value openness and transparency. Transparent brings trust. Trust between our company, our partners and customers is the foundation that we can do business together simply, effectively and happily.
We are committed to be a responsible business for our society, environment, community, employees, partners and our customers. We want to help make our planet a better place to live for generations to come.
We choose to do right things in the right ways. We earn our credit each day by how we conduct our business.
We respect people and value people’s contribution. We want to add value to people and help people to tap into their own potential.
We encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing and continuous learning within our organization and across our supply chain. We want to create an Osiris Energy Village ecosystem to help our partners be more successful. Individually, we are small. Together, we are BIG.
Thanks for taking VALUE T.R.I.P.S. with Osiris Energy.
People frequently asked us to clarify the following terms applied for small wind turbines: InterTek, SWCC and AWEA 9.1. I hope this article can shed some light on it.
Intertek provided testing and certification services for Osiris 10 small wind turbines according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 9.1 Standard.
SWCC – Small Wind Certification Council, also provides testing and certification to the AWEA 9.1 Standard.
Both InterTek and SWCC are authorized testing agents. Below are the explanation from InterTek.
Our Accreditations (InterTek)
As an OSHA accredited Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), Intertek can provide both testing and certification to the AWEA standard. Separate Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) certification is NOT required. With Intertek the cost of certification is included with the testing. There are no separate fees for notice of intent or issuance of certification.