Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuynman Wind System

Owner: Tony & Karen Tuynman
Location: 2386 - 120th St., Luck, WI 54853
Phone: 715-472-2083
Contractor: Owner
Installed: 2003

This wind installation, at 199' total height (200' being the level at which the FAA requires lighting), is well above the tree line and very visible to anyone driving south of U.S. Hwy. 48 on Co. Rd. GG. When I first visited the Tuynmans, they had two systems in operation; they have since sold the smaller one, a 10 kW Jacobs on a 120' tower. (If I can track down the new owner I'll include a blog entry on that one, too.)

Tony picked up the red-and-white former communications tower from a salvage yard in South Dakota. The 20 kW Jacobs wind charger that sits on top also came used and in need of refurbishing. Doing all the work himself saved them a bundle; the Tuynmans estimate that if they'd purchase everything new and paid someone to install it, they'd have spent $60,000. Their actual investment was closer to $11,000. They realize additional savings because Tony has done all the maintenance himself -- greasing fittings every spring and fall and changing gearbox oil every other year. He says the height doesn't bother him!

Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative is the Tuynman's other electricity provider, paying retail prices ("net metering") for any wind-generated electricity beyond the homeowners' needs. Tony related to a recent tour group that he did have to pay for the expense of a larger transformer when he first installed his wind system. The Jacobs is cranking out between 600 and 1800 kilowatt hours per month, with the average being around 1000.

The Tuynmans have been very gracious and welcoming with groups wanting to get an up-close look at their wind system.